Group critiques record of retiring Supreme Court of Canada Justice Bastarache

    -  Follow-up to 2007 "Judging the Judges" report reveals a mixed record
       on constitutional rights and freedoms for Justice Michel Bastarache,
       retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada at the end of June

    OTTAWA and CALGARY, June 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian Constitution Foundation
(CCF) has released "Judging Bastarache," a report on the constitutional
decisions by Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache. Appointed to
Canada's highest court in 1997 by Jean Chretien, Justice Bastarache retires at
the end of June, 2008. "Judging Bastarache" follows in the footsteps of the
2007 report "Judging the Judges," a first-of-its-kind study which ranks
Supreme Court of Canada judges as to their records in upholding individual and
economic freedom, and equality before the law.
    A 70-page study posted at, "Judging
Bastarache" reveals that the retiring Justice had an over-all strong record of
defending individual freedom, economic liberty, and equality before the law.
As between those three topics, his record was strongest on cases involving
economic freedom (eg. upholding contracts) and equality rights, but weaker in
respect of the individual freedoms set out in Section 2 of the Charter:
freedom of expression, association, religion and conscience.
    Judging Bastarache was researched and written by Ottawa lawyer
Christopher Schafer. Mr. Schafer serves on the Board of Directors of the
Canadian Constitution Foundation, a registered charity, independent and
non-partisan, with a mission to defend the constitutional freedoms of
Canadians through education and public interest litigation.
    "The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has the potential to protect our
valuable freedoms from state intrusion and interference, but it is up to our
judges on the Supreme Court to defend them," stated Chris Schafer. "This
report on retiring Justice Bastarache serves to remind Canadians that the
judges we appoint to our nation's highest Court have a wide discretion in how
they interpret our constitutional freedoms," continued Schafer.

For further information:

For further information: Chris Schafer, Author of Judging Bastarache, in
Ottawa, (613) 786-0221, Canadian Constitution Foundation, 235, 3545 - 32 Ave.
N.E., Suite 641, Calgary, AB, T1Y 6M6, Phone: (403) 592-1731, Fax: (403)
592-1459, Charitable Number: 86617 6654 RR0001

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