Against the Queen’s Oath

Just a brief post to note that the Globe has published an op-ed by Peter Rosenthal, the lawyer representing the applicants in the challenge against the constitutionality of Canada’s citizenship oath because of its reference to the Queen and her heirs and successors, about which I have written a great deal in the last couple of weeks. (The posts on this topic are all collected here.) Nothing really new there, but it provides a useful summary of the applicants’ claims. In particular, it emphasizes that the challenge is not to monarchy itself, but merely to its inclusion in the text of the oath. Prof. Rosenthal also stresses that “[a]ll three applicants would gladly affirm that they will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill their duties as citizens.” They do not challenge the idea of a citizenship oath ― though as I have written here, it is not clear how to justify one at all.

Prof. Rosenthal concludes:

I hope that even most monarchists feel that new Canadians should be allowed to take an oath to Canada rather than to the Queen, and that Parliament will amend the legislation. Should this not be realized, I hope the courts find the oath to the Queen unconstitutional and require Parliament to eliminate it.

I wish him luck, though I would rather that we got rid of the citizenship oath altogether.

Author: Leonid Sirota

Law nerd. I teach public law at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom. I studied law at McGill, clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, and did graduate work at the NYU School of Law. I then taught in New Zealand before taking up my current position at Reading.

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