ERIC Number: ED306647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Charter, Educational Administration and U.S. Case Law: Contracting Legal Norms and Traditions.
Pistula, Pat; Manley-Casimir, Michael E.
The historical, political, and legal evolution of Canada and its traditions has differed from that of the United States' uncritical adoption of U.S. case law. Canada's 1982 Charter, the counterpart of the United States Bill of Rights, is discussed. This paper examines the fundamental differences between Canadian and U.S. value patterns and legal norms; the argument is then tested by applying discussion conclusions to two areas of school law--due process and student rights. Whereas the United States was conceived in a revolution against an authoritarian and paternalistic government, Canada was formed out of a compromise among four colonies, based on common interest in building a railway and willingness to remain under imperial rule for another 100 years. Canadian political culture espouses traditional values and an "elite accommodation" governance style in which policymaking and political leadership are delegated to elites representing major subcultural groups. The greater respect for authority and lesser concern for equality (compared to the United States egalitarian ethos) means that Canadians have not used the courts to the same extent. Because basic civil rights have not been entrenched in a constitution, this legal tradition is weaker than in the United States. The elite accommodation philosophy, which emphasizes deference to school authorities and the need for order, carries over to schools. Canadian courts have granted broad powers to school authorities, both to make and enforce rules based on "in loco parentis" and "parens patriae." As a result, the Canadian school administrator has traditionally counted on a predictable socio-legal environment posing few challenges on substantive educational grounds. Specific due process and student rights applications are discussed, comparing Canadian and U.S. approaches. Implications for administrative practice are also discussed. Included are 58 legal references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States