Top Five 2012: SL v Commission Scolaire des Chênes
Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.
SL v Commission Scolaire des Chênes, 2012 SCC 7
This case involves the constitutionality of a course on ethics and religious culture which is compulsory for all students enrolled in Quebec schools. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered whether the course infringed the right to freedom of conscience and religion under the section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This decision clarifies what is required to establish a violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion. To prove an infringement, the claimant must demonstrate, on the basis of objective proof, that s/he cannot actually practice his/her religion or exercise his/her beliefs. A claimant’s mere belief that his/her religious practices or beliefs have been infringed is not sufficient to establish an infringement. The full decision is available here.
Date Produced: 2012