LWSO 203 Lecture Notes - Judicial Activism, Law
SchoolUniversity of Calgary
DepartmentLaw and Society
Course CodeLWSO 203
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Role of Judges and Lawyers
1) Judges’ Roles
Give legal answers according to legal principles
Oversee government functioning
The role of overseeing government legislation since 1867. Since the
constitution act, it’s the courts role to make sure they are making laws in
their area of power. Also to make sure they are acting in accordance with
the Canadian Charter.
1 – acting in their legislative powers, 2 – in accordance with the charter
Reflecting a specific set of values back to the community
Law making function
What is the appropriate role of judges in society? Common law and the
law of judges and role of judges in government oversight.
Common law – making decisions that change/create law.
Constitutional aspect – the courts oversight of the government – they also
change laws (changes to assisted suicide and apportion – in order to make
sure it’s with accordance with the Charter). Our elected representatives are
supposed to represent us, however judges aren’t accountable to us – they
aren’t elected. Huge controversy – judicial activism – how active and how
far should they go in making laws when they aren’t democratically
2) Selection Process
Constitution Act 1867, s. 96: federal executive appoints superior court judges
Constitution Act 1867, s. 101: federal executive appoints federal court judges and
general court of appeal for Canada
Provincial Inferior court judges are appointed by the provincial government.
3) Judicial Independence
1701 Act of Settlement
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