Legal professor, proficient blogger, ARL contributor, and self-described “law nerd” Léonid Sirota recently gave a talk at Université de Montréal on the subject of constitutional originalism. This well-received talk was hosted by the Runnymede Society and can be viewed here.
Mr. Sirota’s talk was based upon two excellent papers that he co-wrote with Benjamin Oliphant, one of which has been published in the Queen’s Law Journal and another which awaits publication in the UBC Law Review. In the first paper, Mr. Sirota and Mr. Oliphant argue that originalism – and specifically the “new originalism” that has been developed largely in the United States – is entirely compatible with Canadian constitutional jurisprudence. In the second, they argue that originalism has featured prominently in many Privy Council and Supreme Court decisions, and that Canadian constitutional practice would benefit from bringing this dirty little secret out into the open by openly engaging with originalist ideas.