R v Oakes [1986] 1 SCR 103: The Canadian limitations test

The South African limitations clause bears close resemblance to the Canadian clause. Woolman in Constitutional Law of South Africa sets out the two features shared by both limitations clauses. The generality of these two clauses distinguishes the Canadian Charter and the South African Constitution from those constitutions which have individualised limitation clauses within particular rights and freedoms clauses and those constitutions which have no limitation clause at all. Secondly both clauses limit the guarantees to such limits as can be justified in a democratic society. The Canadian limitations test was first set out in R v Oakes [1986] 1 SCR 103. This test was set out concisely in R. v. Chaulk [1990] 3 S.C.R. 1303:

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