Constitutional Law Mock Appeal Scenario: R. v. Clearwater
This resource, originally from the OJEN Fall 2010 Charter Challenge, deals with the balance between the rights of individuals and the need for public safety. Mr. Noel Clearwater, the leader of an environmental group called “Friends of the Earth,” was arrested and detained under the Emergency Measures and Public Order Act following comments he made in support of an extremist environmental group. The comments were made after the extremist group kidnapped the Provincial Lands and Forests Minister, however Mr. Clearwater’s comments were in support of the group’s environmental concerns and not the kidnapping itself. Mr. Clearwater challenged the law on the grounds that it violated his freedom of expression; freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of association; his right to life liberty and security of the person; and his right to protection from arbitrary arrest and detention under ss. 2(b), 2(c), 2(d), 7 and 9 of the Charter. This resource includes the trial level decision, which provides the basis for the appeal, as well as a factum template.
About the Charter Challenge
As Ontario’s only provincial appellate-level mock hearing, the Charter Challenge has students prepare arguments of Charter issues raised on appeal. While researching their arguments, students have the opportunity to connect online with other students around the province, as well as with lawyer mentors. Their factums are reviewed and finalist teams have the opportunity to argue the issue before a Court of Appeal judge, either in person or through video-conferencing.
Date Produced: 2010