On 17 April 2002, Canada will mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of its bill of rights—the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the time, it seemed a momentous event to many, a strange thing to do. True, Canada was a bi-jural country, thanks to Quebec and the Civil Code. Nevertheless, the rest of the country sat solidly in the common law tradition. Codes, or so we thought, were anathema to common law systems that prided themselves on protection of rights through the incremental growth of precedent.