A Charter Free Domain: In Defense of Dolphin Delivery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses the relationship between the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian common law by answering a familiar question: Should common law norms governing actions of non-governmental entities be subjected to Charter-based judicial review? The paper argues that the common law cannot, and should not, be subjected to Charter-based judicial review. The decision reached in the case of Dolphin Delivery, namely that the application of the Charter is limited, is therefore basically correct. This conclusion is supported by a structural analysis of both the common law and constitutional law, and is mindful of question of legitimacy and institutional dialogue (in Canada and as a general matter).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-392
Number of pages64
JournalUniversity of British Columbia Law Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • charter application
  • constitutional application
  • human rights and private law
  • judicial review
  • common law


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