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What role does the Supreme Court of Canada play in shaping the Canadian constitution?

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topgun13 | Honors

Posted March 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM via web

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What role does the Supreme Court of Canada play in shaping the Canadian constitution?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2012 at 12:21 AM (Answer #1)

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Like any court of last resort in a constitutional system, the Supreme Court of Canada helps to shape the country's constitution by making legal decisions that apply the constitution to specific legal matters.

For example, Section Eight of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that

Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

However, the exact meaning of this is not completely clear.  What, exactly, is an "unreasonable search or seizure."  The Supreme Court helped to define this.  In the case of R. v. Feeney, it held that this means that the police cannot enter someone's house unless they have a search warrant.

By making decisions like this, the Court shapes the constitution by laying out the exact ways in which the constitution applies to various situations.

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