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FOUR CHARACTERISTICS OF CONSTITUTION: sources of law: (1) constitution (2) statutes/regulations (3) CL (4) customary law (5) natural law

1. Supreme- When conflict w/ ordinary or non-constitutional law the Charter has precedence over non-constit. Law (Statutes&CL) similarly statutes prevail over CL; hierarchy; supremacy=s. 52(1); effective b/c common-law UK rule; see s. 91&92-Fed&Prov.powr (s.52.1)

2. Entrenched- (s.52.3) – The CA may only be amended by amending formula not by prov/fed statutes (s.38-49) BUT CA can evolve through judicial interpretation

3. Both ‘written and unwritten’ –fundamental unwritten principles (s.52.2)? constitutional documents and constitutional CL: CA 1982, CA 1867, schedules, amendments; the word ‘includes’ means the list is not exhaustive and includes unwritten laws (Re Remuneration of Judges, Re Secession of Quebec – the rule of law, federalism, democracy, respect for minorities); constitutional CL rules that are so fundamental that they have gained constitutional status (ie. s.7 ‘principles of fundamental justice’);

4. Organic Body of Law – constitution is capable of growth and change (Edwards); not product of rationale design, but of a long period of growth & evolution; to which a number of different factors and processes have contributed. As opposed to “intentionalist view” which focuses on what the framer’s had in mind at the point of drafting

R v. Sault Saint Marie (1978- 40 c.c.c. 2d 353 S.C.C.)- (FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF RIGHTS & JUSTICES)

FACTS: entered k w/ a private disposal company to dispose of the garbage. Company resided on a creek; creek became polluted. The company and the Sue Saint-Marie both were charged for discharging or permitting the discharge of material in the water course. The company was convicted but did not appeal. The city was acquitted.

ISSUE: What degree of negligence or mental state must be shown in order to convict the city?

o Court disagreed between what type of act this was 1)mens rea...