The Supreme Court's Understanding of the Democratic Self-Government, Advancement of Truth and Knowledge and Individual Self-Realization Rationales for Protecting Freedom of Expression: Part I - Taking Stock

Research output: Articlepeer-review


The Supreme Court of Canada has explained Canada's commitment to freedom of expression in section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the basis of the importance Canadians attach to three deeper societal values: 1) democratic self-government, 2) the advancement of truth and knowledge; and 3) individual self-realization. These values have, however, come to do more than provide the philosophical rationales for providing constitutional protection to freedom of expression in Canada. They have also been given important doctrinal roles, pursuant to which they assist the Court to resolve a broad range of cases in which freedom of expression is invoked. The purpose of this paper is to extract from the body of jurisprudence in which the values have played these doctrinal roles the meanings the Court has given each of them. A critical assessment of those meanings will be provided in a separate paper.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-512
JournalSupreme Court Law Review (2nd)
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this