In 1968, then-Minister of Justice Pierre Trudeau opined that “A constitutional bill of rights in Canada would guarantee the fundamental freedoms of the individual from interference, whether federal or provincial. It would as well establish that all Canadians, in every part of Canada, have equal rights.”[1] Fourteen years later, in April 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched as Part I of Canada’s Constitution.

Four decades after this significant date, we find ourselves in a crucial time to reflect on the legacy and efficacy of the Charter in Canadian law, politics, and society. How well has it lived up to the aspirations of the past and the demands of the present?

On this theme, the Canadian Journal of First Freedoms (CJFF) invites submissions for its inaugural issue focused on the Charter.

The journal welcomes papers from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines, including legal, political or historical studies related to constitutional law and human rights; theoretical or philosophical questions of freedom, especially freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the inviolability of the person; case studies in the application or interpretation of the Charter.

Authors may submit an abstract by May 31, 2022. Upon acceptance of your abstract, the deadline for submission of full articles is September 30, 2022.

Submissions should advance the scholarly discourse by presenting original research or new insights into the topic at hand. Contributors may also have an opportunity to present their papers as part of the Diefenbaker Lecture Series in November 2022.

Please send submissions as an email attachment along with an abstract and keywords to:

Dr. Barry W. Bussey, Editor-in-Chief

Canadian Journal of First Freedoms

Manuscript Submission Requirements

CJFF is an academic, peer-reviewed journal published by the First Freedoms Foundation.

All papers must be submitted electronically in Word format. Submissions should be approximately 5,000 to 8,000 words and should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style (author-date citations).

CJFF accepts simultaneous submissions but requests that authors notify the editorial staff immediately if they accept another offer. CJFF will not print previously published articles.

After initial review by the editors, articles will be evaluated by professionals with expertise in the subject matter at hand. To ensure an anonymous, confidential review process, articles should be provided with no author-identifying information. CJFF reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the publication process should significant technical or substantive errors be identified.

CJFF aims to foster respectful and open discourse through the publication of well-researched academic articles. Content should be relevant and useful to professionals while remaining accessible to the lay reader interested in gaining a deeper understanding of freedom in Canada. 

[1] See Pierre Trudeau, A Canadian Charter of Human Rights (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1986), 11. Trudeau also made reference to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson who observed in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”