Understanding Charter Damages

The Judicial Evolution of a Charter Remedy


This text endeavours to provide readers with a more complete understanding of the purposes and scope of this judicially created Charter remedy. It also brings to readers’ attention the various relevant factors that influenced the development of this new remedy. Most importantly, the book examines in detail the new analytical framework set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Vancouver (City) v Ward in 2010.

Using a database of just over 100 cases covering a span of more than thirty years, the author chronicles the evolution of Charter damages through the decisions of provincial and federal trial and appeal courts. Cases involving Charter damages are statistically assessed in terms of success rates, reasons for rejection of claims, award amounts, types of damages awarded, Charter sections involved, and recurring problems.

The author also examines the effect of the Ward decision, and use of the new analytical framework, during the post–Ward period of 2010 to 2015. As part of this review, the Supreme Court’s decision in Henry v British Columbia (AG), dealing with prosecutorial discretion, is analyzed in some detail. The author concludes with a contemporary assessment of the effectiveness of Charter damages as a constitutional remedy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The First Period of Evolution, 1984–94
Chapter 2: Supreme Court of Canada Decisions, 1984–94
Chapter 3: The Second Period of Evolution, 1995–2010
Chapter 4: Supreme Court of Canada Decisions, 1995–2010
Chapter 5: Common Law Damages: The Basis for Charter Damages or Only a Guide?
Chapter 6: Vancouver (City) v Ward: An Evolutionary Milestone?
Chapter 7: Post–Vancouver (City) v Ward Results
Chapter 8: Final Observations and Conclusions
About the Author

Of interest...