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Top Five 2009: Alberta v Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony

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.

Alberta v Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37, [2009] 2 SCR 567

This case addressed whether the new licensing requirements in the province of Alberta, requiring every driver’s license to contain a photograph of the licensee, violates freedom of religion under s. 2(a) of the Charter.  The Supreme Court of Canada held that while the new licensing requirements violated the Charter’s freedom of religion guarantee, the violation was justified because it furthered the goal of minimizing the risk of identity theft. The full decision is available here.

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