Criminal Law Blog

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced he would be invoking the “Notwithstanding Clause” to override a recent decision passed by a judge in regards to cutting the size of the City of Toronto council. This move is highly controversial, but many people are wondering what exactly this clause is.


The notwithstanding clause is part of Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This clause is also referred to as a protection for Parliamentary sovereignty. It’s a powerful yet temporary “opt-out” clause that allows a province to nullify any judicial review for five years.


Essentially, it means that Ford can go through with cutting the size of the City of Toronto’s council even though a judge ruled it was unconstitutional.


If you’re in need of a criminal lawyer, contact our law office to book a consultation appointment by calling 416-365-3151.

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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