The Royal Prerogative and Equality Rights: Can Medieval Classism Coexist with Section 15 of the Charter


  • Gerald Chipeur



The author considers whether the prerogative priority of the Crown in the collection of debts of equal degree is inconsistent with the guarantee of equality found in section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms "Charter." He concludes that the Crown prerogative of priority is not consistent with section 15 and that such prerogative is not a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society under section 1 of the Charter. The author first investigates the origins of the Crown prerogative in general and then the prerogative of priority in particular. The author then proceeds to apply the Charter to the prerogative of priority. The author submits that the purpose of the prerogative priority is to recognize the medieval concept of the personal pre-eminence and superiority of the Queen over her subjects and that such a purpose is inimical to the values promoted by the guarantee of equality found in section 15 of the Charter.