Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chief Justice of Canada Reflects on 10 Years in Office

In an interview in the most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly , Canada's Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin reflected on her first ten years as the top judge of the country and discussed which issues she thought would be prominent in upcoming years:

"Asked to highlight one or two judgments she worked on which give her personal satisfaction as a jurist, she identifies the ground-breaking per curiam commercial law ruling in BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, 2008 SCC 69, and R. v. Grant, 2009 SCC 32, the criminal law trilogy she and Justice Louise Charron laboured on for the best part of a year to reconfigure the analytical framework for the exclusion of evidence under the Charter."
The article emphasizes the efforts made undcer McLachlin to provide "judgments that offer, and promote, clarity, certainty and predictability in the law":

"According to court statistics, from 2000 to 2008, overall 74 percent of the McLachlin Court’s judgments were 'unanimous' in the result (but not necessarily without concurring opinions). This is about the same as the 72 percent unanimity rate for the Lamer Court from 1991 to 1999. "

"Notably, however, the Supreme Court’s concurring judgments (which the Bar generally detest for muddying the jurisprudential waters) dropped by nearly one-third during the past decade, according to previously unpublished court statistics obtained by The Lawyers Weekly. "

"Thus 19 percent of the Lamer Court’s unanimous judgments had one or more concurring opinions, as compared to 13 percent for the McLachlin Court—a 32-percent drop, the data reveal. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:14 pm


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