Justice Robert Sharpe on the 25th anniversary of R. v. Oakes 
Ottawa Law Review 2012 Symposium, University of Ottawa
Justice Robert Sharpe – The Court of Appeal for Ontario
The Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa held in 2012 a symposium marking the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Its keynote speaker Justice Robert Sharpe spoke on the 25th commemorative anniversary of the R. v. Oakes  and the its historical circumstances surrounding the decision. The R. v. Oakes , noted Justice Sharpe, was certainly amongst the most important first cases of the Charter, completing along with Hunter et al. v. Southam Inc.  and R v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd.  a trilogy of founding Charter challenges that have since provided the “basic structure and framework” in interpreting and applying the Charter. Justice Sharpe argued that the trilogy as well as a series of speeches by Chief Justice Dickson challenged what Justice Sharpe called the “legal formalism” of the judiciary: the strong tendency to see the law as emanating strictly from statutes and determined by deductive logic in a purely “mechanical fashion” rather than being also informed partly by “outside contexts such as social contexts or political contexts” and the legal tradition. Click here for the summary.