The case raises the issue of the function of law. It questions the extent of the application of the law in resolving societal issues of inclusion. It also evaluates the obligations of the government and their interpretation, as well as whether there is a violation of the law or not when government services fail to reach a specific group in society.
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The law does not influence the way the Aboriginal people feel and think. However, it affects the freedom that the courts have in awarding compensations to people when they feel aggrieved by their government. It also provides guidelines on the way individuals or groups must approach the issue of obtaining respect for their human rights. Unless the law specifies human rights as part of its constitution, it will not have a significant application to cases referring to human rights.
Judges in the case created law because they attached elements of human rights that were not applicable to any available law. It should be noted that judges can create the circumstances for applying the law as they interpret existing laws in relation to the cases that are presented in the courts. In the Native Women of Canada case, the judge agreed to appeal for the reason that the existing law did not put constraints on the application of human rights matters. The action by the judge created a new law provision that future cases will refer to; therefore, it changed the scope of public activity that is allowed by law.
The interpretation of the judge in the appeal was a measure of public service because the court of appeal was a division of the federal government. Therefore, matters decided by the court ended up binding all states in the country. In the end, the administrative interpretation of the law only led to guidelines on what the government and the people ought to have done in the case (Module 1).
The case of the Native Women of Canada is an expression of democratic participation. It raises questions about the present practices of the ruling government. The outcome of the case has an effect on government activities. Democracy requires that the beneficiaries of the system of the government participate as much as they can in the process of handling changes in society and accepting or offering public services (Module 2).
Therefore, the group making the complaint was making a general participating gesture for public administration by raising concerns about the selective delivery of services by the government through principles that affected its conduct. An essential element of democracy is that it thrives when participants do not allow constraints of the present systems and past practices to limit their participation.
Therefore, it was necessary for the Native Women of Canada to go on with their appeal, even when they were seeking the interpretation of the human rights aspects of the constitution and not the administrative law. All means of participation are encouraged to foster democracy (Module 2).
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The case brings out the regulatory aspect of law, where the government plays a part in influencing the conduct and freedoms of individuals. The selective provision of funding by the government and the influence of the adoption of the interpretation of human rights by the Aboriginal women mentioned in the case indicate the desired and undesired aspects of regulatory law. Without regulation, it would be difficult for governments and citizens to enjoy their statute provisions.
Although governments are supposed to provide services with business-like efficiency, the nature of some services does not allow such approaches to suffice. In some cases, like the Native Women of Canada case shows, it is impossible to deliver services to every citizen when cutting costs and embracing business-related efficiency principles. There must also be accountability aspects of regulatory law binding the service provider to ensure that services are beneficial to the all intended persons.
Regulatory law can be unfair because it fosters the present social prejudices. In the Native Women of Canada case, it only supported existing structure of a patriarchal community; therefore, the regulatory law did not adequately address equality issues. However, the human rights provisions that the government’s action seeks to implement require the satisfaction of individual rights, irrespective of their gender.
Nevertheless, the reliance on the existing structure for delivery of services causes unfairness. Failure to have statutes that enable the regulatory law to function without discrimination was the main reason for the neglect and promotion of unwanted abuses of human rights highlighted in the case. Thus, the connection of the court ruling and an improvement of the law’s application in the case or similar cases is available (Module 3).
In the court’s interpretation of government action as presented in the Native Women of Canada case, judges have to consider the element of fairness to the aggrieved parties and other parties that are not present in the court. Rulings affect future decisions; therefore, they make the law fair or unfair in different aspects. Limitations of government action in providing funding for the exercise of human rights, as highlighted in the case, arise from the lack of transparency and participatory processes of service delivery.
Such procedures would allow the Native Women of Canada to mention their grievances and compel the government to make changes to its service provision policy. However, the group had to go to court to contest the procedural fairness because it did not have that option. Laws providing no appeal provision call for more emphasis on procedural fairness.
Although the human rights aspects of the Native Canadian Women appeal case may not directly link to particular statutes of law, the court still had to follow the procedure of determining violations of human rights because the group had legitimate expectations (Module 4).
Apparently, the government cannot always be efficient and fair to the citizens. However, it must strive to be as efficient and honest at all times in its treatment of the citizens. Therefore, it must demonstrate the willingness to address the concerns of the Native Women of Canada by providing them the opportunities for proposing and implementing alternative processes. It should also review its systems whenever there are complaints about the system’s effectiveness in delivering efficient and fair services.
If I were the judge hearing the case, I would rule that the government should act swiftly when providing services because delays can be avenues for violation of procedural justice (Module 5). The interpretation of administrative law relies on the provisions of the charter on human rights.
Elements of human rights law being part of administrative law ensure that provision of government services and government activities is not discriminatory to any actual beneficiary or deserving beneficiary. The citizens are free to use human rights provisions as their basis for complaining whenever they can demonstrate that the government is acting in a discriminatory manner, as highlighted in the Native Women of Canada’s decision to go to the court against the government (Module 6).
Module 1: What is Law? Class Modules
Module 2. What is Democracy? Class Modules.
Module 3. Class, Race, Disability and Gender/Sexual Orientation Distinctions in Regulation. Class Modules
Module 4. Fairness – the Basis of Administrative Law. Class Modules
Module 5. Fairness and Efficiency in Governmental Decision Making. Class Modules
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Module 6. Why are Human Rights and Charter of Rights and Freedoms Principles Relevant in Administrative Law? Class Modules