Controversies in the Common Law: Tracing the Contributions of Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin

Edited by Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda, and Owen Rees

© 2021

Beverley McLachlin was the first woman to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Joining the Court while it was establishing its approach to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, McLachlin aided the court in weathering the public backlash against controversial decisions during her tenure.

Controversies in the Common Law explores Chief Justice McLachlin’s approach to legal reasoning, examines her remarkable contributions in controversial areas of the common law, and highlights the role of judicial philosophy in shaping the law. Chapters in this book span thirty years, and deal with a variety of topics – including tort, unjust enrichment, administrative and criminal law. The contributors show that McLachlin had a philosophical streak that drove her to ensure unity and consistency in the common law, and to prefer incremental change over revolution.

Celebrating the career of an influential jurist, Controversies in the Common Law demonstrates how the common law approach taken by Chief Justice McLachlin has been successful in managing criticism and ensuring the legitimacy of the Court.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP006728

  • AVAILABLE FEB 2022

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

    ISBN 9781487540722
  • AVAILABLE FEB 2022

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

Quick Overview

Controversies in the Common Law identifies some of the thorniest problems in private and public law, and explains how Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin addressed them by applying a common law approach to judging.

Controversies in the Common Law: Tracing the Contributions of Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin

Edited by Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda, and Owen Rees

© 2021

Beverley McLachlin was the first woman to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Joining the Court while it was establishing its approach to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, McLachlin aided the court in weathering the public backlash against controversial decisions during her tenure.

Controversies in the Common Law explores Chief Justice McLachlin’s approach to legal reasoning, examines her remarkable contributions in controversial areas of the common law, and highlights the role of judicial philosophy in shaping the law. Chapters in this book span thirty years, and deal with a variety of topics – including tort, unjust enrichment, administrative and criminal law. The contributors show that McLachlin had a philosophical streak that drove her to ensure unity and consistency in the common law, and to prefer incremental change over revolution.

Celebrating the career of an influential jurist, Controversies in the Common Law demonstrates how the common law approach taken by Chief Justice McLachlin has been successful in managing criticism and ensuring the legitimacy of the Court.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Vanessa Gruben is Vice Dean of the English Common Law Program and an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.


    Graham Mayeda is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.


    Owen Rees is Deputy Assistant Deputy Attorney General with the Department of Justice Canada and an adjunct lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Controversies in the Common Law—Innovative Solutions and Future Challenges at the Supreme Court of Canada
    Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda and Owen Rees

    1. Reflecting on the Legacy of Chief Justice Mclachlin
    Lady Brenda Hale, Baroness of Richmond, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

    2. Justice Beverley McLachlin and Tort Law:  The Good, the Bad, and the Puzzling 
    Bruce Feldthusen

    3. Evaluating Chief Justice McLachlin’s Decisions on “Residual Policy Considerations” in Negligence
    Erika Chamberlain

    4. Controversey Resolved: Chief Justice Mclachlin, Personal Autonomy, & Unjust Enrichment
    Mitchell McInnes

    5. Selective Deference and the Judicial Role: Chief Justice McLachlin’s Legacy for Law and Legal Education
    David Sandomierski

    6. Combatting Stereotyping & Facilitating Justice: McLachlin’s Vision for the Law of Evidence
    David M. Tanovich

    7. The Continuity of Private and Public Law Reasoning in Chief Justice McLachlin’s Criminal Law Judgments
    Graham Mayeda

    8. Less is More: Chief Justice McLachlin and Criminal Law Minimalism
    Matthew R. Gourlay

    9. Controversies in the Common Law of Judicial Review: Tracing the Contributions of Chief Justice McLachlin
    Adam Goldenberg

    10. The McLachlin Court and the Concept of Open Justice
    Eszter Bodnar

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