Yearly Archives: 2021

The Limits of a Culture of Justification

In Vavilov, the Supreme Court of Canada held that, to the extent possible, the law of judicial review should “develop and strengthen a culture of justification in administrative decision making” (Vavilov, at para 2). What is this culture of justification as adopted in Vavilov? It asks decision-makers to ensure that their exercise of delegated public power can be justified to ...

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Quebec’s Bill 96 is an Unconstitutional Attempt to Amend the Constitution of Canada

Section 159 of the current Quebec bill on “the official and common language of Quebec, French” intends to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 by introducing in it what follows: FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF QUEBEC90Q.1. Quebecers form a nation.90Q.2. French is the only official language of Québec. It is also the common language of the Quebec nation. This scheme has been referred ...

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Non-Delegation and the Constitution of Liberty

Justice Côté’s partial dissenting reasons in References re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11 offered an original interpretation of the Constitution Act, 1867 that challenges the conventional view on the Parliament of Canada’s authority to enact Henry VIII clauses. A Henry VIII clause is a statutory provision that delegates to the executive the power to amended an enabling ...

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Law, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Common Good

There is a lively debate afoot in legal circles, both in the United States and now in Canada, on the “common good.” It began with Adrian Vermeule’s call for a “common good constitutionalism,” in which vague provisions would be infused with values drawn from the Catholic natural law tradition. Many others have now adopted the “common good” moniker, though it ...

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The Common Good in Legal Interpretation: A Response to Leonid Sirota and Mark Mancini

A renaissance of interest and juristic thinking about the moral foundations of the law and legal reasoning is underway, and its reverberations have now reached Canadian shores. On February 22, Leonid Sirota and Mark Mancini published a post on the Double Aspect Blog entitled “Interpretation and the Value of Law”.[1] Although the post itself merely claims to show “[w]hy the ...

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