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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

R v Sparrow Case (Can)

Canada [ca]

Geneviève Murray

Subject(s):
Constitutional courts/supreme courts — Collective rights — Group rights — Fundamental rights — Cultural rights — Indigenous communities

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. R v Sparrow [1990] 1 SCR 1075 (Can) (‘ Sparrow ’) marks the first case decided by the Supreme Court of Canada (Cour suprême du Canada) under Section 35 of the Constitution of Canada: the Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982 (Unofficial consolidation current as of September 2008) (UK Can) 1867 c.3 (30 & 31 Victoria) (Can) . Section 35(1) provides that ‘[t]he existing [A]boriginal and treaty rights of the [A]boriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed’. The reading given to Section 35 in the Sparrow case, particularly around ‘existing’ rights,...
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