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1 Rev. Const. Stud. 1 (1993-1994)
Reconceiving Rights as Relationship

handle is hein.journals/revicos1 and id is 3 raw text is: RECONCEIVING RIGHTS AS RELATIONSHIP
Jennifer Nedelsky*

The   author   proposes   a   new
understanding of rights as relationship and
constitutionalism  as  a  dialogue  of
democratic accountability. She takes the
position that all rights and the concept of
rights should be viewed in terms of
relationship and that this view provides a
better way of resolving rights problems. It
is suggested that the focus of decisions
regarding rights should be on the kind of
relationship we want to foster and the
different concepts and institutions that will
contribute to that end. In the proposed
model, protected rights would be derived
from inquiries into what is necessary to
create the relationships needed for a free
and democratic society.   Using this
framework, the author argues against
constitutionalizing property and concludes
by discussing  the Alternative Social
Charter as an outline of a model of
constitutionalism  for   democratic

L'auteure propose une nouvellefafon de
concevoir les droits en terme de rapports,
et le constitutionnalisine comme uneforme
de   dialogue    ou   d'exercice    de
responsabiliti dimocratique. Selon elle,
tous les droits et concepts de droit
devraient &tre per~us   en  terme   de
rapports,  cette perspective itant plus
favorable t la rsolution des problkmes
juridiques. Ainsi, les dicisions relatives
aux droits devraient tre axies sur le type
de rapports qui veulent etre promus et sur
les diffrrents concepts et institutions qui
permettront de rialiser cet objectif Dans
le modkle proposi, I'identification des
droits protigis dicoulerait de recherches
visant ii diterminer ce qu'il faut pour
crier les rapports dignes d'une sociiti
libre et dimocratique. Utilisant ce cadre
de rifirence, I'auteure se prononce contre
I'encheussement du droit it la propriiti et
conclut   par   une   discussion   sur
l'opportuniti d'adopter une charte sociale
parallkle  en  tant  que   mod le   de
constitutionnalisme visant it promouvoir la
responsabiliti dimocratique.

I.   Introduction
In adopting the Charter of Right and Freedoms, Canada chose to make
rights a central and permanent part of its political discourse just when
the meaning and legitimacy of judicial review and, more generally, of
rights talk, was increasingly contested among legal scholars. Of course,
one might see these contests as an arcane scholarly preoccupation, since
the invocation of rights can be heard in North America in every sphere
Faculty of Law, Political Science and Women's Studies, University of Toronto.
The author would like to thank the audience of the 1992 McDonald Lecture and
the participants at the legal theory workshops at New York University Law
School and Columbia University Law School for their helpful questions and
Revue d'itudes constitutionnelles

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