Fall 2021 - POL 421W D100
Rights, Equality, and the Charter (4)
Class Number: 3813
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
WMC 3515, Burnaby
Prerequisites:Eight upper division units in political science or permission of the department.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been part of the Canadian constitution for over 35 years. We assess the Charter's effectiveness in protecting human rights and equality within Canada and its effect on the wider political system. Students with credit for POL 428 Selected Topics in Canadian Government and Politics I under the title The Charter of Rights may not take this course for further credit. Students with credit for POL 421 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been part of the Canadian constitution for almost 40 years. This course will assess the Charter’s effectiveness in protecting human rights within Canada, and its wider impact on the political system. In the first part of the course, we will ask how Canadian courts decide rights cases. In particular, we will focus on how equality rights have evolved since 1982 and how courts balance rights and freedoms against the public interest. During this section of the course, you will examine the text of the Charter and read case law, giving you skills in interpreting legal texts and applying legal principles to individual cases.
In the second part of the course, we will consider the Charter as a fundamental shift in the Canadian constitutional system – moving power from Parliament to the courts system. We will examine how the Charter interacts with a parliamentary, federal political system. The final few weeks of the course will be devoted to your own research, which should focus on the legal or political impact of the Charter on Canada. In these classes you will be presenting your own research and revising your draft paper, using peer feedback.
There will be a 3-hour in-person seminar each week, with students expected to take the lead in debating and discussing the week’s reading and each other’s work.
- Participation, inc. 1 wk leading seminar discussion 20%
- Legal Case Notes x 2 (5% each) 10%
- Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 10%
- Peer Review of other students’ draft papers x 2 (5% each) 10%
- Research Paper inc. memo responding to peer review 35%
- Presenting research findings: conference poster and Q&A 15%
There is no required textbook for this course. Readings will consist of academic articles and legal cases available on-line and book chapters posted on Canvas.
Department Undergraduate Notes:
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TEACHING AT SFU IN FALL 2021
Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place. Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).
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Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (email@example.com or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.