Freedom of Association

AuthorRobert J. Sharpe; Kent Roach
C H A P T E R 10
Freedom of association, guar anteed by section 2(d) of the Charter of
Rights and Free doms, protects the right of individual s to come together
to form a wide array of organi zations and relationships, including those
with political, religious, and social purpose s. The dicult threshold
issue for the courts ha s been whether the guarantee not only recognizes
the right of individuals to come together in an organization but also
confers constitutional protection on the activities essential to ensure
the association’s meaningf ul existence.
Nowhere has the issue of the scope of the gu arantee of freedom
of association been more hotly debated tha n with respect to the insti-
tutions and practices of collective bargai ning. Most of the caselaw on
section 2(d) deals with labour relations, especi ally in the public sector.
If section 2(d) protects only the right to come together and form an
association, its impor tance is relatively modest. On t he other hand,
to the extent that it also protects the essential act ivities of the group,
it has enormous impact, part icularly in the realm of labour relations.
Another important is sue for the collective bargainin g regime is whether
freedom of association includes t he right to refuse to be associated
with a group or its views and policies. Doe s section 2(d) include the
right to join the trade union of one’s choice or to refuse to join a union
or pay it dues?

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT