Just Words

Constitutional Rights and Social Wrongs

The Canadian Charter of Rights is composed of words that describe the foundations of a just society: equality, freedom, and democracy. These words of justice have inspired struggles for civil rights, self-determination, trade unionism, the right to vote, and social welfare. Why is it, then, that fifteen years after the entrenchment of the Charter, social injustice remains pervasive in Canada?

The Challengers with Joel Bakan

About the Book

  • Release Date: 2007
  • University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

Sophisticated in its analyses but clearly written and accessible, JUST WORDS is cutting-edge commentary by one of Canada’s rising intellectuals.

Joel Bakan explains why the Charter has failed to promote social justice, and why it may even impede it. He argues that the Charter’s fine-sounding words of justice are ‘just words.’ Freedom, equality and democracy are fundamental principles of social justice. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenches them in Canada’s highest law, the constitution. Yet the Charter has failed to promote social justice in Canada. In Just Words, Joel Bakan explains why.