Advocacy for religious freedom in Canadian law


  • Janet Epp Buckingham


Canada, human rights, religious freedom, group rights, advocacy


Canadians enjoy strong constitutional protection for religious freedom. However, this protection is proving to be only as strong as the courts’ interpretations of the Constitution. Early decisions under the Canadian Charter were made without religious organisations being involved. Religious organisations have intervened in more recent court cases to argue for a broad, inclusive understanding of religious freedom that protects individual religious practices but also recognises the communal aspects of religion.

Author Biography

Janet Epp Buckingham

Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham is an associate professor at Trinity Western University and the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre, an Ottawa-based, live-in, extension program focusing on leadership in public policy, business and communications. She has lived and studied in England, France and South Africa. It was while studying at bible college and working with the Jubilee Centre in Cambridge, England, that she developed a passion for applying Christian principles to public policy. Dr. Buckingham served in an advocacy role as Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship (1991–94) and with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada as general legal counsel (1999–2003) and director, law and public policy (2003–2006).