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Edited by John Russell

Vancouver, New Star Books, 1989. 246pp, paper, ISBN 0-919573-92-4 (cloth) $24.95, 0-919573-91-6 (paper) $14.95. CIP

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by John Bainbridge.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Liberties is a collection of essays and briefs representing some of the work of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association since its formation in 1962.

The seventeen essays are grouped under the headings of five key civil liberties issues, beginning with freedom of expression, in which Russell includes such well-publicized topics as pornography, Jim Keegstra, and the musical Hair, The second group looks at due process and includes capital punishment and policing the police. AIDS and minorities are dealt with under the heading "Discrimination." The last two sections deal with administrative decision-ma king and private offences including prostitution and the non-medical use of drugs.

Regrettably, space limitations prevented the editor from including an article on abortion; nevertheless, this is an excellent introductory text on the subject of civil liberties. All of the articles are readable and, of course, they are all topical. With the passing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, civil liberties have become a matter of concern to all Canadians and the central issue in much litigation.

In addition to serving as an introduction to civil liberties, the collection illustrates how such an organization works and the dichotomy often faced by those who take a stand on an issue: for example, the conflict inherent in the effort to circumscribe obscenity without limiting the right to free expression.

The book will be an important addition to the social sciences section of the senior library.

John Bainbridge, Beatty-Fleming Senior Public School, Brampton, Ont.
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