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Emily Murphy and the Person's Case

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Leah Dawson

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of Emily Murphy and the Person's Case

Strategy Recommendation

Brief History!
Situations in Which Rights Have Been Denied.
Throughout the ages Women have had a great deal of trouble when it comes to their basic rights and freedoms.
Emily Murphy and the Person's Case
Major Issues of Concern
Women weren't considered legal 'persons' under the BNA
Men were considered persons because the supreme court stated that individuals must be 'fit and qualified' to be appointed to a public office.
Women didn't have any rights
Women didn't have any freedoms
Weren't accepted in the Canadian Senate
Women weren't treated as equals
"after being considered legal persons"
The achievement provided a context for future legislation, which prevented discrimination on the basis of gender and improved the quality of life for many women.
Women have rights and freedoms
Canadian Senate doors were finally opened to all women on October 18th 1929
women's right to vote
- After the 1887 Confederation all women were officially excluded from voting and denied their basic democratic rights. However Emily Murphy was not going to stand for this.
- This issue was resolved in 1918.
Other circumstances where women have been denied rights
- Other circumstances where women rights and freedoms have been denied include the right to vote, equal pay, right to practice liberal trades, rights to attend post-secondary schooling, joining the senate, running for parliament and even their right to be considered and person.
The "persons" case
-Women have also been denied the right to be considered "persons under the eyes of the law.
- In 1916 Emily Murphy was the first women to be appointed as a police magistrate, today more known as a judge. However whenever she would make a ruling lawyers would challenge her, claiming that she was not a “person” thus claiming that her decisions were invalid and starting the Person’s Case in the 1920’s. In 1929 women were officially considered persons and are recognized under the law.
A presentation by:
We will talk about...
-A brief history of the five suffragettes
-The main issues of concern addressed by them
-Situations in Canada in which rights have been denied
-Their major contributions to awareness of human rights issues
Getting Women Constitutionally Declared 'Persons'
Getting Women Allowed to sit on Canadian Senate
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Major Contributions
In 1929, it was ruled that women were indeed persons under the BNA Act
This was a great victory for equal rights that:
Challenged conventional views
Established an important precedent
and changed Canadian history
Emily Murphy’s tireless work was an indirect influence on the Charter
She contributed to the defining of the variables such as ‘everyone’, ‘every citizen’, and ‘any person’ that would later appear within the Charter
She aided towards woman's legal abilities to sit in Senate and vote
She raised awareness towards the issue that women were not protected under the constitution to the same degree as men
Emily Murphy
Louise McKinney
Irene Parlby
Henrietta Edwards
Nellie McClung
The Famous Five
Equality Between Men and Women in Canada!
But More Specifically...
Getting Women the Right to Vote All Across Canda
Emily Murphy, Henrietta Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby create a milestone for Canadian women.

Fought a legal and political battle
Got taken out of watching the Edmonton prostitutes trial because it was not fit for mixed company
Emily got the opportunity to become the first female police magistrates in the British empire after protesting to the provincial Attorney General, which he agreed to 'if evidence isn't fit to be heard by mixed company than the gov't must set up a special court presided over for women to try other women'
she was un-welcomed by many colleagues because she wasn't a 'person'. They challenged her job and her under the BNA.
petitions from many women's organizations failed to open the senate to all women.
The case was brought to the Supreme Court of Canada-they ruled against it.
Brought it to the Privy Council in Britian- they declared that women were legal persons under the BNA
Emily Murphy’s influence on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be found in sections 3 and 15
Section 3 claims that “every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein”.
‘every citizen’ now includes both men and women
Section 15 declares that “every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on . . . sex”
Women of Canada owe extensive gratitude towards the individual effort of the one lady who dedicated years to defined them as persons, Emily Murphy.

Blair, A. Costiniuk, W. O’Malley, L. Wasserman, A. Law In Action (Toronto: Mark Cobham, 2003), 519.

Jackel, Susan. “Emily Murphy” [Online]. [October 2013].

Monroe, Susan. "Emily Murphy." About.com Canada, Online. N.p., 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.

Stuart, Janie. (2003). “Emily Murphy” [Online]. [October 2013].

"The Persons Case and Women's Right To Vote in Canada." The
Persons Case and Women's Right to Vote in Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.

"The Persons Case." The Persons Case. Historica, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
Full transcript