David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Most of the constitutionalized language rights in Canada have received a large and liberal interpretation. In contrast, the constitutional right to use either official language in the courts has been categorized as a "political compromise right" and interpreted narrowly to the point of being ineffective. Recently, a majority of the Supreme Court rejected the political compromise doctrine in R. v. Beaulac. It is hoped that this decision will result in a broader interpretation of the right to use English or French before the courts. A restrictive interpretation of the right, however, is also dictated by its having been characterized as a negative liberty, and this aspect of the past case law was not overruled by Beaulac. In part, the negative liberty interpretation of the right to use either official language in the courts stems from the fear that to adopt a positive right approach would result in an irresolvable conflict between interacting holders of the same right. A positive interpretation of the right is possible, however, if corresponding duties are imposed not on individuals, but on the state. In order to support a broad and positive interpretation of language use rights in the courts, as well as in the provision of government services, what is needed is an understanding of their purpose that goes beyond effective communication, that is, not one based on a natural justice rationale. To counter the tendency to construe the purpose of language rights in wholly instrumental terms, we need an account of such rights that recognizes the intrinsic value to a minority official language community of the use of its language. While Beaulac moves us significantly in the right direction, the Supreme Court failed to articulate fully why the use of a particular language is important to a community.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Baur (2010). The Language of Rights. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84:89-98.
Seumas Miller (2000). Collective Rights and Minority Rights. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):241-257.
Bradley W. Miller, Beguiled by Metaphors: The 'Living Tree' and Originalist Constitutional Interpretation in Canada.
Shaun Gates (2010). Why Linguistic Territorialism in the UK Does Not Justify Differential Minority Language Rights. Ethics and Education 5 (1):3-13.
Florian Wettstein (2008). Let's Talk Rights: Messages for the Just Corporation–Transforming the Economy Through the Language of Rights. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 78 (1-2):247 - 263.
Jon P. Gunnemann (1988). Human Rights and Modernity: The Truth of the Fiction of Individual Rights. Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (1):160 - 189.
Eerik Lagerspetz (1998). On Language Rights. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (2):181-199.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads5 ( #229,521 of 1,102,700 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #296,833 of 1,102,700 )
How can I increase my downloads?