TORONTO, Mar 5 (  In the light of the growing number of Supreme Court decisions that have radically transformed the face of Canadian society in recent years, some Canadians are questioning whether democracy still exists here. With the unelected group of nine Supreme Court Justices dictating Canadian law on abortion, homosexuality and many other controversial issues,  many people are wondering what the role of our elected legislators is.

Dr. Ian Hunter, professor emeritus of law from the University of Western Ontario, writes in the March issue of Catholic Insight that “since April 17, 1982, it is the Charter of Rights, not parliament, which is sovereign, ‘the supreme law of the land’, to use the language of section 52 of the Constitution Act.” The Supreme Court of Canada has the final say in the interpretation of the Charter and even has the right to “read in” to the Charter what is not explicitly there (such as special privileges for homosexuals).

“Decision-making by the courts,” as Hunter points out, “is the antithesis of democracy” since “the court is unelected [and] accountable to no one.” An important part of that lack of accountability is the security of tenure the justices possess until the age of seventy-five, notes Dr. Hunter.

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