Persons and Properties Essay

Submitted By Zack-N.
Words: 2529
Pages: 11

Historically, women, married women in particular, were regarded by the law as not being legal persons. Women pursued to take on public roles or professional occupation, and judges denied women the rights and capacities of legal persons. By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law . That is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband . This essay proves that women were unable to withhold property, or any other belongings, using various cases and examples. It also will explain how women changed the name of legal person for both men and women. Throughout this essay, we will be looking at the Persons Case at the Supreme Court of Canada, discussing how public roles were not the only place where women’s legal personalities were an issue. We will also be discussing the effects of marriage on women’s rights to own and manage property, and explaining why the right to own and manage property was considered so essential to question about women’s legal personhood. The last topic explains how is women’s past denial of legal personhood is an example how the concept of the legal person is the foundation of all legal ideology .
During the Person’s Case with the Supreme Court of Canada, a letter was addressed to the Governor General, August 27th, 1927 by Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, and Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edward, asking that the Supreme Court hear and rule on two constitutional questions . The first question was is the power vested in the Governor-General in Council of Canada, or the Parliament of Canada or either of them, to appoint a female to the Senate of Canada ? The second question is it constitutionally possible for the Parliament of Canada under the provisions of the British North America Act, or otherwise, to make provision for the appointment of a female to the Senate of Canada ? By order of the 19th of October, 1927, made on a petition of five ladies, His Excellency the Governor in Council was pleased to refer to this court “for hearing and consideration” the question does the word persons in section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons ? Between 1917 and 1927, five successive governments had specified that they wanted to employ a woman to the Senate but could not do so because of Section 24 of the British America Act . Section 24 says does the word person in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons ? Their lordships said that the word person of Section 24 does include women that are able to be summoned to and become members of the Senate of Canada . The problem with the word persons is unclear, and it would have been understood that the word only referred to males because at common law, a woman was unable of serving a public office . The Lordships have come to the conclusion that Section 24 of the British Act does include both male and females, and that women are eligible to be summoned to become members of the Senate of Canada .
Before the Married Women’s Property Act, women did not have any rights when it came to owning property while married. Where the matters of property were concerned, the unity of husband and wife meant that the law recognized the husband as the family’s sole mediator . Unlike single women and widows, who had the same property rights as men, expect the right to vote, married women had legally no rights over property . Under the common law, the property that a woman possessed or was entitled to at the time her marriage and any property she acquired or became entitled to after marriage became her husband’s to control . The only exception to what she owned was her own clothing and personal belongings. Everything else was disposed or taken away by her husband, and became his property . If he did not dispose them, they would be reverted to others in his will . Another problem with the law is that…