Like a Prayer: What the Supreme Court says about freedom of religion and why it is important for Administrative Law
June 16, 2015
posted in: Legal Updates
The recent case of Mouvement laïgue québécois v. Saguenay (City) made headlines across the Country as the Supreme Court concluded that the “freedom of conscience and religion” entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms extended to the right to manifest one’s non-belief and to refuse to participate in religious observance. The Court found that the City of Saquenay’s bylaw which regulated the recitation of a prayer before public meetings unjustifiably infringed the rights of people who did not want to participate. In doing so, the Supreme Court established that when statute allowed for the review of a tribunal’s decision, the standard of review to be applied is not the standard of a reviewing Court but is instead to be determined as either correctness or reasonableness in accordance with administrative law principles. This decision resolves two conflicting lines of case law on this important matter.
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