Unconscious Parallelism: Constitutional Law in Canada and the United States

Abstract

As neighbors, Canada and the United States share not only the border but essentially common values and beliefs. As well, the Supreme Court in each country is viewed as the ultimate protector of rights. This paper will outline some of our constitutional differences and use freedom of expression as an example of how we seem to arrive at an arguably satisfactory result by different means. There is a difference of opinion on the application of freedom of expression, yet each country considers it a basic and fundamental right. In part, the variance in approach is directly related to our citizen’s perception of governments. To what extent is the government friend or foe?

Keywords

Constitutional law -- Canada, Constitutional law -- United States, Comparative law, Constitutional law, Canada. Supreme Court, United States. Supreme Court

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Authors

John C. Major (Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario)

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