The Persons Case is resolved

April 11, 2017

The Famous Five, 1930

The Famous Five, 1930. Provincial Archives of Alberta, A17201


In 1928, five Alberta women, led by Emily Murphy and later known as the Famous Five, petitioned the Supreme Court of Canada to consider whether women were legally “persons” and therefore eligible to serve in the Senate. The court ruled that women were not “persons,” at least in this narrow sense. But the Famous Five made an appeal to Britain’s Privy Council, and that ruling was overturned in 1929, highlighting the importance of women’s rights in Canada.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.