Coexistence of Charters

When the Charter went into effect, some provinces, including Quebec, had already adopted charters or legal traditions based on case law (Common Law) to protect freedoms and fundamental rights. These provincial charters remain applicable, except where inconsistent with the Charter, which predominates.

The Parliament of Canada or the legislature of a province may, by invoking the “notwithstanding” clause, rarely used since 1982, to specifically withdraw a law from the provisions of the federal Charter.