Bill of rights vs. Canadian charter.

Topics: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, United States Constitution, Constitution of Canada Pages: 8 (3046 words) Published: July 5, 2003
It is in this vein that a country drafts legislation to protect the rights of their inhabitants. In the United States there is the Bill of Rights of 1781, which consists of a preamble and the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, 1787. In Canada there is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the first part of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982. Both of these documents provide for the rights and freedoms for their respective populations. These documents are vastly different, but also contain several similarties. Thou both excellent documents, it is in my contention, however, that the Bill of Rights is far superior, more significant and efficiently exceeds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Bill of Rights has a long history entangled with that of the American Constitution. The first Congress has achieved more than any other congress in American history, they not only have the credits of a successful organization of the government, of law, administration, and defense but the enactment of the American Bill of Rights. The original Constitution of 1787 contained several provisions of major significance for civil liberties, however did not contain a specific bill of rights. This failure to incorporate a bill of rights by the framers of the constitution was not a sign of resentment or lack of concern to the rights of man, but rather their certainty that particular guarantees of rights was unnecessary. However this did not satisfy some states, who deeply demanded for solemn assurances that the new government would not consent to exercise tyranny, therefore a debate between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist began.

The Federalist were who argued for a strong national government to provide order and protect rights of people and claimed that the bill of rights was unnecessary. On the other hand the Anti- Federalist argued for a weak national government and wanted to add the Bill of Rights to protect the people against abuses of power. A number of states had ratified the Constitution with the understanding that it would be amended by the addition of the Bill of Rights. A Virginian, James Madison who's known as the Father of the Constitution and principle draftsman of the first ten amendments proposed The Bill of Rights to congress. The Bill of Rights is the name given to the first ten amendments of the Constitution of the United States adopted in, 1791. These amendments guarantee certain basic or fundamental rights and liberties, that support democracy and are essential to justice of the people against the power of the government. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark wrote in the New York Times "A right is not what someone gives you, but what on one can take away." This is way the rights and freedoms in the Bill of Rights are considered, inalienable and cannot be taken away.

These amendments, more precisely the first eight of them, denote certain basic freedoms and procedural safeguards which the individual may not be deprived by government power. The first ten amendments are therefore, virtually contemporaneous with the Constitution itself. These specified freedoms and protections are the core of American civil liberty and provide for the constitutional basis for protection of the rights of an individual. The provisions of the 1st Amendment are freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition; the 2nd Amendment protects the rights to possess of firearms; the 3rd Amendment declares that the government may not require people to house soldiers during peacetime; the 4th Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures; the 5th Amendment prohibits against double jeopardy and self-incrimination; no taking of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; requirement of fair compensation when private property is taken for public use; the 6th Amendment procedural safeguards in criminal prosecutions; the 7th Amendment guarantees the right to trail by jury in civil cases; the...
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