Constitution Act, 1982

The Constitutional Act of 1982 (English Constitution Act, 1982, French Loi constitutional de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada. It also corresponds to Annex B of the British Canada Act 1982., Which came into force on April 17, 1982 law was part of the process of " repatriation " ( patria tion ) adopted the Constitution. This means that constitutional amendments since then no longer need to be approved by the British Parliament. At the same time the British North America Act of 1867 was renamed the Constitution Act of 1867 and amended in several respects.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Declaration of Fundamental Rights and comprises Articles 1 to 34 of the Constitutional Law. The Charter is intended to protect certain political and civil rights of people in Canada at the federal and provincial level prior acts and laws of governments. Predecessor of the Charter was the Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960, but it was only a federal statute and not a constitutional document. Its scope was limited, could be easily modified and was not applicable to laws of the provinces. The relative ineffectiveness of the Canadian Bill of Rights led the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, to draft a new Declaration of Fundamental Rights. Especially formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human rights principles should be laid down.

Rights of indigenous people

Article 35 of the Constitutional Law " recognizes and confirms " the existing rights (including contractual rights ) of the Canadian aborigines. They protect the activities, customs and traditions that are an integral part of the differing native culture. The contractual rights to protect agreements between the Crown and the people, and put them through. Article 35 provides a protection of the assigned country to exercise the traditional way of life. These rights apply to persons who, Inuit and Métis are among the First Nations. Another article of the Constitution Act, which deals with the rights of the natives, is Article 25 of the Charter.

Equal Opportunity

In Article 36, the value proposition of equal opportunities for residents of Canada will be held, the economic development in order to achieve this, and the provision of public services. Subsection 2 goes further and recognizes the "principle" that the federal government intended to secure compensation.

The constitutional expert Peter Hogg expressed skepticism in 1982, whether the courts could interpret this constitutional provision at all and enforce because they are " political and moral, but not legal " possess a character. Other legal scholars are of the opinion that Article 36 was too vague. Since the courts could hardly apply this product, it should be amended to 1992 with the Charlottetown Accord that he is enforceable. However, the constitutional reform did not materialize.

Constitutional amendments

Article 52 (3 ) of the Constitution Act states that constitutional changes can only be made in accordance with the Constitution itself established rules. The intent of this article was to secure the primacy of the constitution and the opportunity to take to change the constitution by ordinary legislation. The rules for amending the Canadian Constitution are relatively complex. They are set out in Part V of the Constitution Act.

There are five different ways to change the Constitution, each tailored to a particular type of change:

Numerous other provisions in Part V regulate things like compensation or the suspension, when and how a province a constitutional amendment need not apply and the time limits for the establishment of a constitutional amendment.

Priority clause

According to Article 52 of the Constitution Act is the Canadian Constitution, the " supreme law of Canada " and any law that is inconsistent with it, has no legal force. This gives Canadian courts the power to declare laws invalid. Although these laws are published, but they can not be applied. Before the introduction of primacy clause of the British North America Act was the highest-ranking law in Canada. He relied on section 4 of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, a British law that stipulated that no law of a colony, it was against an Imperial Statute, validity possessed. Since the British North America Act was an Imperial statute, each incompatible Canadian law had no legal force. There was no explicit provision that the courts had the power to decide whether a Canadian law against the British North America Act violated. By 1982 this right of the courts was part of the unwritten constitutional law.

Definition of Constitution

Article 52 (2 ) of the Constitution Act defines the " Constitution of Canada ". According to this article it consists of:

In addition to numerous imperial statutes article contains 52 (2) eight Canadian statutes, of which three new provinces created and are five amendments to the Constitutional Law of 1867.


Article 56 states that the English and French versions of the Constitution are equal. In Article 57, this finding is extended to the Constitution Act of 1982 itself. This is similar to Article 18 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in which it is stated that the English and French versions of the Charter having the same status.

Article 59 limits the application of Article 23 of the Charter ( instruction in the minority language ) in the province of Quebec. This item will first be fully possess valid if the provincial government of Québec ratified it. Article 60 regulates the naming of the constitutional laws.