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Constitutional & Charter of Rights

Companies doing business in Canada are affected by a wide range of federal, provincial and municipal legislation. They also have to contend with regulatory bodies that assert their investigative, enforcement and decision-making powers. In some cases, the government acts outside of its jurisdiction or in violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms, and in other cases, class actions are brought on in relation to legislation that is constitutionally invalid. These and other constitutional issues are complex and have broad-ranging effects on businesses in all sectors. In deciding whether to comply with questionable assertions of government authority or defend litigation in relation to a law that may be unenforceable, you need experienced counsel that is knowledgeable about all aspects of the Constitution of Canada and the unique procedural issues that arise in such litigation.

Blakes has a leading constitutional law practice in Canada. Continuing in the traditions set by Peter W. Hogg, Canada’s foremost constitutional scholar and our Scholar in Residence for many years, Blakes lawyers practice in all areas of constitutional law. Businesses in various sectors all rely on our lawyers for advice about questions related to federalism, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Indigenous rights. In collaboration with our preeminent Media & Defamation and Freedom of Information practices, we also represent Canada's major newspapers, publishers and broadcasters in free-speech challenges.
Blakes has extensive experience in the Supreme Court of Canada. Many of our lawyers have served as law clerks to judges of the Supreme Court and other appellate courts. Our record of success has led to Blakes being retained in many of the leading constitutional, public and administrative law cases, and we regularly provide clients with legal opinions on all aspects of constitutional law. Blakes lawyers have appeared before the Supreme Court in a wide range of constitutional disputes, including cases about the application of provincial legislation to federally regulated companies, freedom of expression, access to information, privacy, discrimination and equality rights, tax, Indigenous rights, interprovincial trade, investigative powers, right to jury trials, parliamentary privilege, the independence of the judiciary and legal counsel, and health and environmental matters. We have also appeared before legislative committees to address constitutional issues.
Blakes is committed to a pro bono program that assists underrepresented communities in advocating for their constitutional rights, and we frequently intervene in the Supreme Court on behalf of non-profit organizations and other pro bono clients.
Every year, Blakes organizes and hosts the Wilson Moot, a national constitutional appeal moot that attracts the best law students from across the country. At the Wilson Moot, judges from the Supreme Court and other courts volunteer their time to teach students about advocacy.


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