Document Type

Journal Article/Book Review

Publication Date



equality, charter, section 15


Not until April 17, 1985 did Canada's Constitution officially embrace guarantees of equality. The three year delay in the coming into force of section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was a clear acknowledgement that equality was not a pre-existing condition at the time of entrenchment of the Charter in 1982. After 17 years of experience with entrenched rights, it can unequivocally be said that entrenchment has brought progress toward equality. Yet it must also be said that significant barriers to the attainment of full legal equality remain. This article will explain the basis upon which I draw these conclusions.


Author's copy - includes notes and grammatical marks.

Notes from Prof. Pothier

This article is based on a presentation made on April 19, 2002, at a plenary panel on "Interpreting the Charter, Major Trends in Charter Jurisprudence" at a conference in Ottawa, Canadian Rights and Freedoms: 20 Years Under the Charter, April 17-20, 2002.