When Freedoms Collide
The Case for Civil Liberties
Borovoy, A. Alan
Publisher: Lester & Orpen Dennys, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1988
Pages: 384pp Price: $27.95 ISBN: 0-88619-191-2
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX3482
Civil liberties are proclaimed as important in our society, but in reality they are under constant attack.
Abstract: As Alan Borovoy, the general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, points out in the first chapter of When Freedoms Collide, civil liberties are proclaimed as important in our society, but they are under constant attack.
He surveys some of the events of the last twenty years: the War Measures Act, the revelation of systematic criminal conduct by members of the RCMP, prosecution and persecution of unpopular uses of free speech. (For those who want to follow up the facts on particular civil liberties issues, a 95-page section of notes is included, buttressed by a 9-page index.)
While particular issues and cases necessarily constitute much of the bulk of When Freedoms Collide, the book is structured around a number of key themes. These include "The Extent of Dissent: The Right to Express Difference versus the Need to Maintain Harmony";, "National Security Intelligence: Prudent Precautions versus Chilling Surveillance"; "The Ambit of Police Powers: Safety for the Public versus Safeguards for the Suspects"; "The Administration of Public Welfare: The Integrity of the Purse versus the Autonomy of the Person", and "The Constitutional Entrenchment of our Fundamental Freedoms: Minority Rights versus Majority Rule".
When Freedoms Collide is a welcome primer in the importance and diversity of civil liberties issues, which are much neglected even by those professing to be concerned with social justice. At the same time, the author's concerns are so tied up with laws and courts that little sense emerges of the social context in which rights and liberties exist and are struggled over.
[Abstract by Ulli Diemer]
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Federation of Each versus the Welfare Of All: The Recurring Fallacies
Chapter 2 The Extent of Dissent: The Right to Express Difference versus the Need to Maintain Harmony
Chapter 3 National Security Intelligence: Prudent Precautions versus Chilling Surveillance
Chapter 4 The Ambit of Police Powers: Safety for the Public versus Safeguards for the Suspects
Chapter 5 Discretionary Law Enforcement: The Interests of Leniency versus the Standards of Equity
Chapter 6 Public Inquiries and Pre-trial Publicity: Knowledge for the Public versus Fairness for the Parties
Chapter 7 The Regulation of the Economy: The Quest for Communal Equity versus the Right to Commercial Liberty
Chapter 8 The Administration of Public Welfare: The Integrity of the Purse versus the Autonomy of the Person
Chapter 9 Involuntary Civil Commitment: The Demands of Therapy versus the Desire for Liberty
Chapter 10 The Constitutional Entrenchment of our Fundamental Freedoms: Minority Rights versus Majority Rule
Chapter 11 Racial Inequity and Legal Redress: Free Choice versus a Fair Chance
Chapter 12 Some Fundamental Misconceptions about our Fundamental Freedoms
Chapter 13 Of Doves, Hawks, and the Morality of Force
Chapter 14 Towards a Sense of Perspective