39-6: The Top Court Archives - LawNow Magazine

The Supreme Court of Canada: A History

The leading role of the Supreme Court of Canada is no longer in dispute, but there was a time when it had to struggle to establish its authority. The history of the Court began with section 101 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which allowed Parliament to establish a “General Court of Appeal for Canada”.  …if […]


Hugo Vaillancourt
In 2015, Hugo Vaillancourt is a third year law student at the Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal and will be a clerk at the Quebec’s Court of Appeal with Justice Manon Savard.

Democratic Governance: The Constitution and Canada’s Branches of Government

Introduction Canada is a “constitutional monarchy,” which is a form of government where monarchs act as the political heads of state but their powers are kept within the boundaries of that country’s constitution. [1] In Canada, the monarch is the Queen. At the time of Confederation, the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act), as […]


Lorraine Snyder
Lorraine Snyder is a law student at the University of Alberta.

Dustin Martin

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 […]


Charles Davison
Charles Davison is the Senior Criminal Defence Counsel with the Somba K’e office of the Legal Services Board in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

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 […]


John Edmond
John Edmond is a member of the bars of Ontario and British Columbia. He lives in Ottawa.

Top Courts in the U.S. and Canada: A Comparison

Knowledge of Canada or the United States is the best way to gain insight into the other North American country.  Nations can be understood only in comparative perspective.  And the more similar the units being compared, the more possible it should be to isolate the factors responsible for differences between them.  Looking intensively at Canada […]


Peter Bowal
Peter Bowal
Peter Bowal is a Professor of Law at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta.

Jacqueline Bowal
Jacqueline Bowal is a student at the University of Calgary.

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