HomeTag Archives: rule of law

Tag Archives: rule of law

Vavilov: A Step Forward

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decisions in Vavilov and Bell/NFL. I have previously summarized the facts of these cases and analyzed them here (Vavilov) and here (Bell/NFL). Overall, today’s decisions (a 7-2 decision, Abella and Karakatsanis JJ concurring in result) are a net positive for the law of judicial review in Canada. The Court has done a ...

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A Citizen’s Guide to the Rule of Law

The following is an excerpt from the author’s chapter in Constitutional Democracy Under Stress – A Time For Heroic Citizenship, Peter L. Biro (ed.), forthcoming from Mosaic Press, Oakville, Canada The Rule of Law entails the existence of a legal framework, binding at all times on the government and also on individuals in at least some of their interactions with ...

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Easing the Stress on Constitutional Democracy

On October 6, 2019, I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference entitled “Constitutional Democracy Under Stress.” The conference was hosted by Section 1 and its founder, Peter Biro, who incidentally was one of my early mentors when I was a summer student. Mr. Biro, whose article for ARL on the Section 1 project can be read here, gathered ...

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Constitutional Democracy Under Stress: Developing A Resistance To Unaccountable Government

One of the litmus tests of the legitimacy of any government that presides over a “democracy”, is the extent to which it is genuinely and adequately accountable to its citizens.  While this may seem a trite observation, it has sadly become normal, within so-called democratic societies, to find governments that are wanting in the accountability department.  In Ontario, for example, ...

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ARL Celebrates Five Years and Charitable Status

Five years ago, I founded Advocates for the Rule of Law with a small group of like-minded lawyers. We were concerned with what we perceived to be a growing disregard for the rule of law, and a move toward what some – including most notably, Justice Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada – have called the “rule of justice.” ...

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Welcome to the Lawless Zone: the Kawaskimhon Moot and the Refusal to Recognize State Law

Media coverage of the letter written by Quebec’s Minister of the Environment, in opposition to the new federal environmental assessment process, sparked a debate in Le Devoir on the value of Aboriginal traditional knowledge. On the one hand, a group of eight lawyers argued that “[s]ubordination of traditional knowledge to compatibility with scientific data amounts to establishing a hierarchy of ...

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Reflections on Charter Values: A Call for Judicial Humility

The Honourable Peter D. Lauwers is a Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. This speech was delivered to the Runnymede Society in Toronto on January 12, 2018. It develops further some thoughts on Charter values in my article, “Liberalism and the Challenge of Religious Diversity, (2017), 79 S.C.L.R. (2d) 29. The footnotes have not been edited or completed. ...

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Getting Back to the Basics of Judicial Review

One could scarcely find an area of law so muddied as administrative law. In a recent blog post on Double Aspect,  Leonid Sirota argues (omitting some far more colourful language) that our courts continue to struggle with reconciling the basic concepts of parliamentary supremacy and the rule of law, which are said to be in conflict with one another. The ...

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