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Quebec Court Rejects Students' Challenge to Bill 78

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Common Dreams staff

In a ruling on Wednesday the Quebec Superior Court upheld Quebec’s controversial Bill 78, after the first legal challenge to the law.

Bill 78 was passed on May 18, 2012 in response to the ongoing protest movement and student strike in the province. The 'emergency law' restricts freedom of assembly in Quebec as well as picketing on or near university grounds, without prior police approval.

Justice Francois Rolland has rejected student groups' bid to strike down several articles in the law, saying the bill must be debated in its entirety. Another hearing may take place in the fall, but student groups were hoping to tackle the issue sooner than later, the Montreal Gazette reports.

“We are disappointed,” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. “We were trying to speed it up because elections may be coming in the fall and we really believe these articles could have a clear impact on the election,” said Desjardins. “The Liberals were trying to preserve their election campaign with this law.”

Protesters continue to march the streets of Montreal, Friday, June 22, 2012 (Photo: The Gazette / Tijana Martin)

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