R. v. Chaulk  3 S.C.R. 1303: Set out the Oakes reasonable limit test: objective of sufficient importance; Means: "rationally connected" to the objective; impair rights as "little as possible’; effects on the limitation of rights proportional to the objective.
Is s. 16(4) a reasonable limit under s. 1 of the Charter?
There is no question that the presumption of innocence, guaranteed by s. 11(d) of the Charter, is a fundamental legal right which plays a very important role in our criminal justice system. ….However, like the other rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter, it is subject to limitations under s. 1 of the Charter. The procedure to be followed when the state is attempting to justify a limit on a right or freedom under s. 1 was set out by this Court in Oakes, supra:
1. The objective of the impugned provision must be of sufficient importance to warrant overriding a constitutionally protected right or freedom; it must relate to concerns which are pressing and substantial in a free and democratic society before it can be characterized as sufficiently important.
2. Assuming that a sufficiently important objective has been established, the means chosen to achieve the objective must pass a proportionality test; that is to say they must:
be "rationally connected" to the objective and not be arbitrary, unfair or based on irrational considerations;
impair the right or freedom in question as "little as possible"; and
be such that their effects on the limitation of rights and freedoms are proportional to the objective.
| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |