Pier Luigi Petrillo

Language Rights and Multiculturalism in Canada

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The essay describes the relations between language and law in the multicultural State of Canada. The author explains that, although the 1982 Constitutional reform grants the status of official languages only to English and French (stressing the bilingual nature of Canada) multilingualism receives a real constitutional recognition because «other languages» obtain a reinforced protection. In fact, within the Canadian legal order, language rights assume a kind of «supremacy» over others, representing «the most fundamental of the fundamental rights», according to the decision of the Supreme Court. In conclusion, in the Canadian State, multiculturalism constitutes both a national identity factor and a foundation on which to structure the entire constitutional organization.


  • Multiculturalism
  • Language Rights
  • Canada


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