The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms became an entrenched part of the Canadian Constitution on April 17, 1982. The Charter represented a significant change in Canadian constitutional order and carried the courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, decisively into some of the biggest controversies in Canadian politics. Although the impact of the Charter on Canadian law and society was profound, a new status quo has been established. Even though there will be future Charter surprises and decisions that will claim news headlines, Peter J. McCormick argues that these cases will be occasional rather than frequent, and that the Charter "revolution" is over. Or, as he puts it in his introduction, "I will tell a story about the Charter, about the big ripples that have gradually but steadily died away such that the surface of the pond is now almost smooth."
The End of the Charter Revolution explores the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, beginning with a general historical background, followed by a survey of the significant changes brought about as Charter decisions were made. The book addresses a series of specific cases made before the Dickson, Lamer, and McLachlin Courts, and then provides empirical data to support the argument that the Charter revolution has ended. The Supreme Court has without question become "a national institution of the first order," but even though the Charter is a large part of why this has happened, it is not Charter decisions that will showcase the exercise of this power in the future.