In Canada, supreme court finds that unwritten constitutional principles like democracy cannot be used as bases for invalidating legislation

By Ashok Kini, 18 October 2021
Supreme Court of Canada (photo credit:
Supreme Court of Canada (photo credit:
The Supreme Court of Canada (5:4) observed that 'unwritten constitutional principles' like democracy, though part of Constitution, cannot be used as bases for invalidating legislation. The court was considering a challenge against a law viz. Better Local Government Act, 2018, reducing the size of Toronto City Council wards from 47 to 25. [...] The dissent, referring also to Indian judgment in Kesavananda Bharati case, noted that many Parliamentary system have recognized that unwritten constitutional principles have full legal force and can serve as substantive limitations on all branches of government. Justice Abella, with whom other three judges agreed to, said that unwritten constitutional principles are not, as the majority suggests, merely "context" or "backdrop" to the text. On the contrary, unwritten principles are our Constitution's most basic normative commitments from which specific textual provisions derive, the judge said.
Read the full article here: Live Law


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