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Definitions are presented in the order source books were published (most recent first).
The highest or "supreme" law in any legal system, which sets out the framework under which all other laws can be made. Constitutions may be written (as in the United States) or unwritten (as in the United Kingdom). Canada's Constitution has both written and unwritten elements. The written elements that have been of most interest to the women's movement are found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which was added to the Constitution of Canada in 1982. If a law is found to be inconsistent with the Constitution of Canada, it no longer has "force and effect," meaning that it cannot apply to anyone.