Friday, November 20, 2009

On November 20

On this day in ...
... 1969 (40 years ago today), the Supreme Court of Canada issued its 6-3 decision in The Queen v. Drybones, a landmark in the law relating to the rights of native peoples and in the constitutional jurisprudence of Canada. The judgment arose out of a challenge to the 1967 arrest in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (right), of Joseph Drybones, and of his subsequent conviction under a statute that forbade Indians from being intoxicated off of a reserve. (map credit) The Supreme Court invalidated the statute as unconstitutional -- a result predicated on its 1st-ever (and apparently its only) holding that its had the power to strike federal legislation offensive to the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights. Canada's legislature consequently repealed the offending statute.

(Prior November 20 posts are here and here.)

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