The First Period of Evolution, 1984?94

AuthorW.H. Charles
Chapter 1
The First Period of Evolution
A sampling of seventy-one cases comprising eig hty-one judgments of
provincial and federal tr ial and appellate courts shows that da mages were
awarded under section 24(1) of the Charter1 in 35 percent of the cases where
they were claimed during the per iod 1984 to 2010.2 Trial cour ts awarded
damages in 40 percent of the cases3 wh ile appeal courts were less generous,
awarding dama ges under section 24(1) in only 33 percent of the cases.4 The
lower success rate at the appeal level is not altogether surprising given the
more cautious approach of higher courts to new legal developments generally.
Although Parliament gave the courts broad authority in section 24(1)
to provide remedies that are “appropriate and just in the circums tances,” it
failed to provide them with more specif‌ic directions or guidance as to the
criteria to be applied when exercising their newly provided wide discret ion.
Theoretically, courts of appeal are considered to have more time to consider
the jurisprudential landsc ape and thereby provide a road map for the lower
trial courts. A review of Charte r damages cases i n the f‌irst eleven years5
indicates not a single provincial or federal court of appea l decision providing
1 Canadian Char ter of Rights and Freedoms, Pa rt I of the Constitution Act, 1982,
being Schedule B to the Cana da Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11 [Charter].
2 These cases are collected in Appendix 5 for ease of reference tog ether with
award amounts.
3 These cases are listed in Appendi x 6.
4 These cases are listed in App endix 7.
5 See Appendix 1, cases 1–21.

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