Reference Re: Persons of Japanese Race

Reference Re: Persons of Japanese Race

In the Matter of a Reference As to the Validity of Orders in Council of the 15th Day of December, 1945 (PC 7355, 7356 and 7357), In Relation to Persons of the Japanese Race, [1946] SCR 248
Though this reference case does not directly involve litigants of Japanese descent, it is one of the most important cases in Japanese-Canadian legal history as it deals directly with not only their uprooting, dispossession, and forced removal from Canada, but also with conceptions of race, nationality, and of who is understood as ‘belonging’ to the Canadian nation state. The case revolved around the three ‘deportation’ Orders-inCouncil (PC 7355, 7356, and 7357) that were issued at the end of December 1945 under the guise of legality due to the War Measures Act. The ruling handed down from the Supreme Court of Canada was mixed, wherein all justices stated that at least part of PC 7355 was valid, Rinfret CJC, Kerwin and Tasherceau JJ stated that PC 7356 and 7357 were valid, Hudson and Estey JJ stated that everything except for part of PC 7355 was valid, and Kellock and Rand JJ only ruled that part of PC 7355 was valid with the rest of the Orders-in-Council (along with parts of PC 7355) were invalid or only partially valid. The case was then appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. (Co-operative Committee on Japanese Canadians et al v Attorney-General of Canada et al [1947] 1 DLR 577)



Reference Re: Persons of Japanese Race


Researcher: Monique F. Ulysses
Researcher: Lauren Chalaturnyk
Metadata author: Connell Parish
Metadata author: Gordon Lyall
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Source: Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Court Reports. 1946.


Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.