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Canadian Constitutional Documents

Quota pars operis tanti nobis committur? - Seneca


Unlike the majority of countries whose basic law derives from one document, Canada's basic law derives not only from a set of documents known as Constitution Acts, but also a set of unwritten laws and conventions. This comprises of all the acts passed since 1867 up to and including 1993. As a result, all constitutional documents during that time period have the force of law. This is analogous to laying a foundation (Constitution Act, 1867) and then building upon it and modifying it as the need arises (the successive acts).

The Documents

There are other documents that relate to Canada's development as a country, but they do not hold the force of law as each act was superseded by the other until the passing and proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1867. Also, in recent history there have been several proposals to amend the constitution which failed to get ratified.

Below you will find a list of some of these constitutional documents as well as a comprehensive table culled from Appendix II of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, and updated to include the most recent constitutional enactments.

Also note that within these documents, at nearly the top of each of these, you will find a date in perentheses. This is the date when the document was given Royal Assent (i.e., proclaimed into law).

N. B. These documents are the English versions. A committee was struck years ago to have them translated into an official French version, but to the best of my knowledge, it just handed in its report in 1993 and there has been nothing produced yet that is 'authorative.'

For more details on this, refer to section 55 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Also note that these documents are provided as a service to Canadians and others interested in Canada, who regularly travel the net and who are curious in regards to, "what the fuss is all about." This "collection" is merely for reference only. If you have a legal question regarding the consitutional validity of a law, consult a lawyer.

Contributions to this project are welcomed. I have some more plans for this, so stay tuned! See the Acknowledgements for a list of contributors and those people who have helped along the way. Those who wish to mirror this archive please read this document.

If you wish, you may also initiate a search on this archive.

Eppur, si muove... - Galileo

Last updated: March 2, 1995.

For comments, suggestions or questions, please send e-mail to efc-web@efc.ca