Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: Supreme Court of Canada

  • The Changing Composition of the Canadian Supreme Court

    Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that Justice Marie Deschamps will retire from the bench on August 7, 2012. She was originally appointed on August 8, 2002. Justice Deschamps will therefore have served ten years on the high court.

  • The Conservative Consolidation in Canada

    As our colleague Ran Hirschl reported earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently filled two vacancies on the Supreme Court of Canada. With those two appointments, four is now the total number of Prime Minister Harper’s Supreme Court nominations since he ascended to power in 2006.

  • Two new Supreme Court of Canada Justices nominated

    Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just named his two nominees to fill the two vacant seats on the Supreme Court of Canada created with the stepping down of Justices Louise Charron and Ian Binnie from Ontario, who announced their departure earlier this year at the age of 60 and 72 respectively (mandatory retirement age is 75).

  • On this Day in the History of Comparative Constitutional Law

    On this day, we remember the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada: Bertha Wilson, born on September 18, 1923, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.  Justice Wilson was a comparativist. In two of the most controversial judgments issued during her tenure, she looked to American constitutional law and the American constitutional tradition to help her resolve a question of Canadian constitutional law. 

  • The Future of the Canadian Supreme Court-Part II

    We may soon have the chance to see how Richard Albert’s interesting prognostications regarding the future of the Canadian Supreme Court play out. Professor Albert’s recent predictions on this blog concerning the possibility that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may bring an unprecedented dose of American-style conservatism to the Court take on new urgency and force, now that Harper has secured a majority government and, above all, with today’s announcement that Justices Binnie and Charron will be retiring.

  • The Future of the Canadian Supreme Court

    Last week, Canada entered its 41st federal election. Voters will head to the polls in a few weeks on May 2. The contest will pit the incumbent Conservative Party, which held a minority in the last Parliament, versus the four major opposition parties: the Liberal Party, the separatist Bloc Québécois, the New Democratic Party, and the Green Party.

  • On this Day in the History of Comparative Constitutional Law

    Forty-two years ago today in 1969, Canada bade farewell to Ivan Rand, a former Associate Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, who passed away at age 84. In his judgments, Rand made frequent and effective use of foreign legal and constitutional materials to decide matters of purely domestic law.

  • American Miranda Rights in Canada

    In a judgment that is certain to breed controversy, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms “does not mandate the presence of defence counsel throughout a custodial interrogation” (R. v. Sinclair, 2010 SCC 35, para.

  • Bilingualism on the Supreme Court of Canada

    Should Canadian Supreme Court justices be bilingual? That question is the latest battleground in the enduring debate on language rights and representation in Canada. The Supreme Court Act requires that at least three of the nine Canadian Supreme Court Justices come from Quebec, which has historically been the heart of Canada’s French-speaking community.

  • Dueling Interpretations of American Law on the Canadian Supreme Court

    Yesterday, the Canadian Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in R. v. Morelli, a controversial case concerning whether a search warrant for a personal computer had been issued pursuant to defective information. The majority concluded that the authorities had obtained the search warrant on the basis of misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete information.