Reference re Language Rights under the Manitoba Act 1870: 1985

(Supreme Court of Canada) The court declined to give retroactive effect to its decision on the constitutional invalidity of all statutes and regulations of the Province of Manitoba not printed and published in both English and French. A declaration that the unilingual laws of Manitoba were of no effect would have created a legal vacuum with consequent legal chaos. Refusing to take a narrow and literal approach to constitutional interpretation, the court held it could have regard to unwritten postulates such as the principle of the rule of law. Faced with the task of recognising the unconstitutionality of Manitoba’s unilingual laws while avoiding a legal vacuum and ensuring the continuity of the rule of law, the court made a ruling which gave deemed temporary validity to all laws rendered invalid by reason of their unilingual defect.


(1985) 19 DLR (4th) 1

Cited by:

CitedNational Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Constitutional

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.228294