The Appointment of Justice Rowe

On October 17, 2016 Prime Minister Trudeau nominated Justice Malcolm Rowe for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Rowe was a trial judge in Newfoundland and Labrador for two years before being appointed to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. The first section of this article describes the recent […]

Judicial Review is Different from Judicial Activism

Since the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, there has been much discussion about the proper role of judges and courts in our democratic system. Commentators have noted, and many critics have complained, that decisions made and laws passed by our democratically elected representatives in Parliament and our provincial and […]

The Nadon Reference: A Unique Challenge

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada in the “Nadon Reference,” more elegantly known as Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, [2014] 1 SCR 433 is one of the more controversial decisions of the Court in the fairly long list of defeats for the federal government in recent years. Can Justice […]

A Judge Balances Controversy with Compassion

No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing it was wrong. – Criminal Code of Canada, Section 16 This is known as the “Not Criminally […]

Bench Press 38-5: Shakespeare in Court

An Ottawa judge quoted Shakespeare when sentencing a 69-year-old sex offender recently.  The offender had assaulted his neighbour in her home after taking her out for a birthday dinner.  The Judge referenced Act 1 Scene VII of MacBeth: “He’s here in double trust. First, I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the […]


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