Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Section 12, R v. Ferguson, mandatory minimum sentence, constitutional exemption
In R. v. Ferguson (reported ante p. 197) the Supreme Court decided that constitutional exemptions are not available as a remedy when a mandatory minimum sentence is said to violate section 12 of the Charter. This is a well reasoned and sensible decision. As mandatory minimum sentences are the context in which the possibility of the constitutional exemption as a Charter remedy has most frequently arisen, as a practical matter Ferguson largely disposes of the issue. Nonetheless, a further clarification at some point that constitutional exemptions are not available in any context, for other violations of section 12 or of any other Charter right, would be a laudable follow-up.
Steven Coughlan, "The End of Constitutional Exemptions" (2008) 54:6 CR 220.