Chapter

Official‐Language Rights: Intrinsic Value and the Protection of Difference

Denise G. Réaume

in Citizenship in Diverse Societies

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297703
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602948 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019829770X.003.0010
Official‐Language Rights: Intrinsic Value and the Protection of Difference

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The first part of this chapter discusses two opposing concepts of the value of language (viewed as an aspect of culture): its intrinsic value (which is argued to be important) versus its instrumental value (which is the usual way that it is regarded). The chapter goes on to address the specific issue of constitutional jurisprudence in Canada on the right to use French or English before federal and some provincial courts. It is suggested that the singular lack of generosity exemplified in leading cases is explained by the court's failure to recognize the intrinsic value of use of the mother tongue in a judicial setting.

Keywords: Canada; English; French; instrumental value; intrinsic value; language; language rights; rights

Chapter.  14443 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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