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Lecture 10

POLB50 Lecture 10.doc

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Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

POLB50 Lecture 10 November-15-12 3:05 PM Cue Column: Note-Taking Area: The Courts • Charter - very important • Court system ○ Supreme court  Provincial courts of appeal □ Prov superior courts □ Prov courts  Federal court of appeal □ Fed court  Fed admin tribunal □ Tax court ○ Interpret law of land ○ Supreme court  Can also strike down  Political repercussions □ Challenge parliamentary supremacy □ Laws - democratically elected Supreme court hears reference cases □  Feds ask supreme court for help; what's going on -- constitutional law • Charter politics ○ Relationship between supreme court and charter ○ Increased  Courts have huge say  Court would decide, not legislation • Are courts good for democracy? ○ Should these be set by courts? ○ Supreme court not democratic institution  Judges not elected but have lot of power on policy issues  Case against: judges should not make policy □ Move aggressively to judicial policy  Should not be in business of making policy or writing law  Goes against constitutional democracy in Canad a  Power of courts grown substantially ◊ Going towards judicial supremacy □ Paradox of liberal constitutionalism:  Courts may pose largest threat to constitution democracy ◊ Where is check on courts? □ Move to courts to try to affect change □ Court party  Feminist groups, environmental groups  Trouble: groups get funding from taxpayers ◊ Not lobbyist groups ◊ Not being involved in systems weakens parliamentary democracy  Case for: protectors of minority rights □ Benefits Canadian society for minorities □ Rights culture driven by charter has positive effect because courts can check executive power □ Sobriety check POLB50 Page 1 because courts can check executive power □ Sobriety check □ Tension between executive and judiciary (parliament vs. courts)  Judicial dialogue
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