The respondent Andrews, a British subject permanently resident in Canada. Andrews met all the requirements for the admission to the British Columbia Bar except for Canadian Citizenship, section 42(a) of Barrister and Solicitors Act. He commenced legal action for a declaration that the requirement violated section 15(1) Of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms; this was dismissed at the trial but allowed on the appeal. The appellants, the Law society of British Columbia and Attorney General of British Columbia, appealed against this declaration that the requirement for Canadian Citizenship infringes the section 15(1) of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Legal Issues:
Does section 42(a) of Barristers and Solicitors Act violate section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms; every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law. Should there be a “reasonable limit” on section 15(1) of the Charter? Held:
The appeal by the Law society of British Columbia and Attorney General of British Columbia, was rejected by a unanimous decision to section 15 of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms Ratio Decidendi:
(Per Dickson C.J and McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson and L’heurex-dubé JJ). Section 15(1) of the Charter grants that every individual was guaranteed equality before and under the law, and equal protection, and equal benefit of the law without discrimination. However, this is a general guarantee of equality, as its main focus is equality in accordance to law; equality in the formulation and application of the law. The words “without discrimination” are crucially important as discrimination is a distinction which, whether intentional or not but based on grounds relating to personal characteristics of the individual or group has an effect that imposes disadvantage not imposed upon others or...