Instructor(s): Joel Bakan

Note: The add/drop date for this course is Monday, January 8 at 10:00 PM.

Course Location: Please see the "Intensive Course Schedule" under Schedules and Timetables (

Note: Attendance at intensive courses is mandatory for the duration of the course.

The purpose of the Charter is to ensure “Canadian society is…free and democratic,” Chief Justice Dickson wrote in R v. Oakes. Against that backdrop, the first forty years of Charter law saw courts widening and deepening Charter protection, making it increasingly relevant for fighting injustice and advancing human rights. But what of the Charter’s next forty years? As the new Charter era begins, freedom and democracy are under assault, a result of rising illiberal movements, spiralling inequality, and fractured social solidarity. The Charter must have an answer to these corrosive trends if it is to fulfill its purpose of protecting freedom and democracy now and into the future. The course asks whether and how it might, examining limits and possibilities in current Charter jurisprudence and possible future trajectories for its development.

Students will be evaluated based on a final paper of 2500 to 3000 words. Papers must be delivered to the Records Office by 4:00 p.m. on February 5, 2024.
Academic year
2023 - 2024

At a Glance

Second Term



20 JD


Monday, January 8, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Tuesday, January 9, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Wednesday, January 10, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Thursday, January 11, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Friday, January 12, 2024: 2:00 - 4:00 pm