Friday, June 10, 2016

History of courts and parliaments

Gee, I kinda think the Maclean's editorialists got this one right regarding the appropriate procedure for the drafting of assisted-dying legislation. Against the idea that Parliament is obliged to enact whatever legislation the Supreme Court writes for it, on the Supreme Court's schedule, they argue for the dignity of parliament and the wisdom of courts deferring to legislatures that choose to take sufficient time in the shaping of complex and divisive legislation.
Law-making in Canada can be a messy, complicated and time-consuming business, but whatever result Parliament finally produces carries the unmistakable stamp of democratic deliberation.
There's an idea, particularly among lawyers and legal scholars, that since the Charter the Supreme Court really is supreme, and has a "trumping" power that enables it to dictate administrative processes to the government and legislative texts to the legislature.

Dennis Baker's both a lawyer and a political scientist, and his book Not Quite Supreme is a persuasive counter-argument to that faith.  I wouldn't predict his view on this particular situation, but the issue (and Maclean's) had me thinking of his arguments again.
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