Monthly Archives: March 2018

Has the Supreme Court Moved Beyond the “Living Tree”?

One of the first things law students are taught is that our Constitution is a “living tree.”  The Supreme Court has said that the living tree doctrine, which holds that our Constitution must be capable of evolving to meet new social realities, is “one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation” (See Reference Re Same Sex Marriage, at ...

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“The Basic Bedford Rule” and substantive review of criminal prohibitions under section 7

How should the objective of a criminal prohibition be determined for the purpose of substantive review under section 7 of the Charter? I’m grateful that my attempt to answer that question will be published in a special edition of the Supreme Court Law Review. In my paper, I argue that the Supreme Court in Carter (2015) struck down the prohibition on assisted suicide based on ...

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The Dark Art of Deference: Dubious Assumptions of Expertise on Home Statute Interpretation

The 10th anniversary of Dunsmuir presents an opportunity to revisit perhaps its most controversial aspect: the seeds it planted for a presumption of deference on home statute interpretation. As Professor Daly notes, the presumption is a “black hole” which engulfs questions of statutory interpretation in administrative law: Paul Daly, “Unreasonable Interpretations of Law” in Judicial Deference to Administrative Tribunals in ...

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