This is in response to the commentary of Nov. 27, 2012 by Jackson Doughart entitled ‘Do we need the charter to protect our rights?’
The reader has to wonder what the point of the article really was. Mr. Doughart begins by questioning the necessity of the charter but proceeds to attack the judiciary. He then fails to make the case that any problems with the judiciary are connected to the charter and subsequently fails to discuss any problems he has with the charter per se. He implies that a constitutionally-based charter of rights is not a good fit for Canada but fails to argue in what way he believes this is so and fails to argue for a better framework. And yet he indicates that the Canadian constitutional model is catching on in other countries.
Overall, I think the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms has been a useful and powerful force in advancing individual rights for Canadians. I think the judiciary is a branch of democratic governmental structure that has a philosophically valid role both in relation to the charter and otherwise. I think it behooves critics of the current system to accurately identify problems and then discuss possible solutions.