Mackay Case

In Mackay v the Queen (1980), private R.C.

Mackay Case

In Mackay v the Queen (1980), private R.C. Mackay, accused of trafficking in drugs and of being found in possession of drugs, invoked in his defence the principle of equality before the law found in the CANADIAN BILL OF RIGHTS of 1960, because the prescribed penalty was higher for a service person than for a civilian. The Supreme Court of Canada enunciated the principle that, based on the Constitution Act, 1867 (s91.7), Parliament could, for a valid federal purpose, provide a more severe penalty for a serviceman than for a civilian and for the same reasons could provide that these cases should be conducted by a military attorney before a court martial.