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Constitutional Law Mock Appeal Scenario: R. v. J. Intolerant

This resource, originally from OJEN’s 2006 Charter Challenge, deals with hate speech and freedom of expression. Mr. Joseph Intolerant sent a derogatory e-mail about a group of new immigrants to his friend, a member of a white supremacist group, who subsequently posted the e-mail on the group’s website. The e-mail was viewed by the RCMP anti-hate crime unit and Mr. Intolerant was charged with wilfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group, contrary to s. 319(2)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Mr. Intolerant submits that the e-mail constitutes free speech, which is protected under s. 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that the investigation violated his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under s. 8 of the Charter because the website was supposed to be only privately accessible. 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.

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