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Stare Decisis, The Charter and the Rule of Law in the Supreme Court of Canada

This sole-contributor volume analyzes the theory and practice of stare decisis (the legal principle of determining points of law according to precedent) in the Supreme Court of Canada, focusing on its role, function, and development in constitutional adjudication under the Charter.
Publication Language: English
Book
$125.00
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Softcover | 480 pages

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ISBN/ISSN: 9780433506096

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"...an important and timely contribution to the subject."
Hon. Morris J. Fish, C.C., Q.C., retired puisne justice, Supreme Court of Canada (2003-2013)

"Lawrence David’s illuminating and comprehensive study of the Canadian Supreme Court’s practice... contribut[es] ...to our thinking about fundamental questions generated by contemporary practices of constitutional review."
Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School



Stare Decisis, The Charter and the Rule of Law in the Supreme Court of Canada is a sole-contributor volume that analyzes the theory and practice of stare decisis (the legal principle of determining points of law according to precedent) in the Supreme Court of Canada, focusing on its role, function, and development in constitutional adjudication under the Charter. Evaluating the Court’s methodology in revisiting its own precedents, author Lawrence David advances an original taxonomic classification drawing on essential and contemporary scholarship in Canadian and American constitutional law. The volume also includes an appendix on how the empirical analysis for the work was conducted.

Features of This Book

  • Preface by eminent legal scholar Mark V. Tushnet of Harvard Law School
  • The first comprehensive study of the Supreme Court of Canada’s practice of stare decisis under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Extensively researched, with hundreds of applicable cases synthesized, including the 2019 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov
  • Examines in depth key aspects of the Supreme Court of Canada’s practice of stare decisis including:
    • The history and evolution of stare decisis in the Supreme Court of Canada 1875-present
    • The reasons for or against departing from precedent
    • The role of dissenting and concurring opinions in the practice of stare decisis
    • Vertical stare decisis before and after Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford
    • The nexus between stare decisis and the rule of law in Canada

Recommended Reading For:

  • Judiciary / Judicial Education Programs – to encourage reflection and insight into the theory and practice of stare decisis in Canada
  • Litigation Lawyers – to encourage and anticipate departures from precedent
  • Law Libraries – as a general reference on the law of stare decisis
  • Law Professors – as assignment in upper-level law classes and seminars on constitutional law or legal theory

Stare Decisis, The Charter and the Rule of Law in the Supreme Court of Canada is a collection of papers developed out of the Supreme Court Law Review, Second Series.

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Table of contents

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Horizontal Stare Decisis and the Charter in the Supreme Court of Canada

Part III: Vertical Stare Decisis and the Canadian Judicial Hierarchy

Part IV: The Two-Output Model of Judicial Review and Charter Precedent in the Supreme Court of Canada

Part V: Charter Precedent and Constitutional Meaning

Part VI: Charter Precedent and Constitutional Decision Rules

Part VII: Stare Decisis and the Application of Meaning to Rules

Part VIII: Remedial Rules and Horizontal Stare Decisis

Part IX: Stare Decisis and the Rule of Law

Part X: Conclusion

Appendix: Empirical Tables