The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination
Published: December 2008© 2009
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 384 Pages
Dimensions: 6.21 x 9.28
384 Pages, 6.21 x 9.28 x 0.98 in
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In the last half-century, the Supreme Court of Canada has undergone major upheaval. The most drastic change occurred with the adoption of the Charter of Rights in 1982, which substantially increased the Court's role in resolving controversial political and social issues. The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada examines the impact of institutional changes on the proceedings and decisions of the Court from 1970 to 2003.
The first book on the Supreme Court to incorporate extensive in-depth interviews with former justices, this study provides both insiders' accounts of how decisions are made and an empirical analysis of more than 3,000 Court decisions. Drawing on this extensive commentary and statistical data, Donald R. Songer demonstrates that the Court has remained a politically moderate and democratic institution despite its considerable power and influence. The most comprehensive account of its kind to date, The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada makes a significant contribution to the literature and will be of particular interest to scholars and students of judicial behaviour and comparative law.
'The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada provides the most current and comprehensive evaluation of the Court's behaviour over the last thirty years while focusing on four major themes: the Court's transformation; the Court as both political and legal; the Court as politically moderate; and the Court as democratic. Despite his sophisticated methodologies, Donald R. Songer has written an eminently readable and accessible book. While properly grounding the work in the Canadian judicial literature, he also incorporates the research on the U.S. courts when appropriate. This work is a significant achievement.' Stacia Haynie, Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University