Dalhousie Law Journal


equality, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, women, judges


While it may be in questionable taste to begin an article on equality with a poem that uses "man" in the global sense, John Donne's words do evoke a sense of community that feminists would applaud.' The tension between an individualistic and communitarian approach to the world is crucial to how equality will be defined in Canada. Violations of equality diminish the rights and dignity of all Canadians and not just the particular individuals or the specific groups who are the immediate victims of inequality. This recognition is only the beginning of the complex task of defining equality as guaranteed in section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedms.3 Unravelling the concept of equality at a theoretical level is the focus of the articles by Peter Rogers and Colleen Sheppard which follow this one. Defining equality in specific situations is the thrust of the articles on prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and pensions for women in the second part of this volume. My task is to explore the role of judges in promoting equality as a link between the more general comments on judging by Professor McBride that precede this article and the more direct treatment of equality in the articles that follow.