In 1982, Canada enacted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Its interpretation should be of interest to jurists in India. No doubt the most fascinating comparison that could be made between the Canadian Charter and the Indian Constitution is in comparing the Canadian section 7 and the Indian Article 21. Section 7 of the Charter provides that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice". The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has now been in operation for 10 years. It had a major impact on many areas of the law. In this paper the author concentrates on the criminal law. The Charter has played a very important role in the development of the criminal law. The Charter has brought us closer to American law - and further removed from English law. The charter has taken some of the harshness out of the criminal law and introduced a number of new procedural rules. One drawback in so much activism by the courts is that Parliament has taken a back-seat in the development of the criminal law.



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