The Charter Revolution and the Court Party

By F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff

© 2000

The Charter of Rights has transformed Canadian politics. The Supreme Court has used the Charter to change government policy on an ever-expanding list of controversial issues—abortion, aboriginal rights, gay rights, bilingualism, criminal law enforcement, and prisoner-voting. The Court has made itself the second most powerful institution in Canadian politics after the Federal Cabinet. Morton and Knopff demonstrate that the Court is not so much the cause as the means by which the Charter Revolution has been achieved. Behind the judges is a well orchestrated network of state-funded interest groups that use litigation and the media to achieve what they can't win through democratic elections.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000056

  • PUBLISHED APR 2000

    From: $34.81

    Regular Price: $40.95

    ISBN 9781551110899
  • PUBLISHED APR 2013
    From: $32.95

Quick Overview

"Here finally is a book that unveils the politics that infuse Canadian courts and their decisions ... and warns us of the effects of a judicialized politics on our democratic traditions." - Leslie A. Pal, Carleton University

The Charter Revolution and the Court Party

By F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff

© 2000

The Charter of Rights has transformed Canadian politics. The Supreme Court has used the Charter to change government policy on an ever-expanding list of controversial issues—abortion, aboriginal rights, gay rights, bilingualism, criminal law enforcement, and prisoner-voting. The Court has made itself the second most powerful institution in Canadian politics after the Federal Cabinet. Morton and Knopff demonstrate that the Court is not so much the cause as the means by which the Charter Revolution has been achieved. Behind the judges is a well orchestrated network of state-funded interest groups that use litigation and the media to achieve what they can't win through democratic elections.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the most important enactment in Canadian History. At one fell swoop, it did away with the major constitutional difference between Canada and the United States.... The book is certain to arouse much debate and has to be read by anyone seeking to understand Canadian political life.


    Seymour Martin Lipset, George Mason University, author of Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada

    Here finally is a book that unveils the politics that infuse Canadian courts and their decisions... and warns us of the effects of a judicialized politics on our democratic traditions.


    Leslie A. Pal, Carleton University

    This important book by Morton and Knopff significantly advances the understanding of why and how judicial power is shrinking the scope of democratic decision-making in all contemporary democracies.... It should be a wake-up call for Canadians and others who still believe that one of our most important rights is to have a say in setting the conditions under which we live, work, and raise our children.


    Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School

    This is a splendid book, even better than the authors' Charter Politics (1992). It rockets along, combining balanced scholarship and philosophical insight with breathtaking readability.


    Janet Ajzenstat, McMaster University

    This is a terrific book: important, compelling, uncompromising. Knopff and Morton prove beyond a reasonable doubt that post-Charter courts are not just fiddling at the margins of our laws, they are re-making them wholesale. For anyone who cares about Canada's future, this is a must read.


    William Watson, McGill University

    Morton and Knopff have given comparativists just what they need to know to fit the judicial politics of Canada into a more general picture of the "judicialization" of politics. Their account is also an essential building block in constructing a general theory of constitutional judicial review because they track the move of a constitutional court long concerned with "federalism" issues into civil rights and liberties matters.


    Martin Shapiro, University of California, Berkeley
  • Author Information

    F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff received their PhDs from the University of Toronto and have both taught at the University of Calgary for the past twenty years. Their previous books include Charter Politics (1992), Morgentaler v. Borowski: Abortion, the Charter, and the Courts (1992), Human Rights and Social Technology: The New War on Discrimination (1989), and Federalism and the Charter: Leading Constitutional Decisions (1989, with Peter Russell).



    F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff received their PhDs from the University of Toronto and have both taught at the University of Calgary for the past twenty years. Their previous books include Charter Politics (1992), Morgentaler v. Borowski: Abortion, the Charter, and the Courts (1992), Human Rights and Social Technology: The New War on Discrimination (1989), and Federalism and the Charter: Leading Constitutional Decisions (1989, with Peter Russell).

  • Table of contents

    Part I: Introduction

    The Charter Revolution

    The Role of Judges

    The Court Party

    Part II: Judges and the Charter

    Judicial Discretion

    Core Values

    Textual Innovations

    Original Intent, Traditional Understandings

    Oracularism

    Part III: The Court Party

    Unifiers

    Civil Libertarians

    Equality Seekers

    Social Engineers

    Postmaterialists

    The Elitism of the Court Party

    Part IV: The State Connection

    Secretary of State Funding

    Court Challenges Program

    Funding for Aboriginal Rights Litigation

    Academic Research Funding

    Legal Aid

    Provincial Law Foundations

    Part V: The Jurocracy

    Courts

    Administrative Tribunals

    Government Legal Departments

    Law Reform Commission of Canada

    National Judicial Institute and Western Judicial Education Centre

    Part VI: Power Knowledge: The Supreme Court as the Vanguard of the Intelligentsia

    Administrative Support

    Rights Experts

    Advocacy Scholarship

    Part VII: What's Wrong with the Charter Revolution and the Court Party

    Notes

    List of Cases Cited

    Select Bibliography

    Index

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