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Law Judicial Power

Governing from the Bench

The Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role

by (author) Emmett Macfarlane

Publisher
UBC Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2012
Category
Judicial Power, General, Constitutional
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780774823500
    Publish Date
    Dec 2012
    List Price
    $95.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780774823524
    Publish Date
    Dec 2012
    List Price
    $34.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780774823517
    Publish Date
    Jul 2013
    List Price
    $34.95

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Description

In Governing from the Bench, Emmett Macfarlane demystifies the inner workings of the Supreme Court of Canada. Drawing on interviews with current and former justices, law clerks, and other staff members of the court, Macfarlane sheds light on the institution’s internal environment and decision-making processes. He explores the complex role of the Supreme Court as an institution; exposes the rules, conventions, and norms that shape and constrain its justices’ behaviour; and situates the court in a broader governmental and societal context. At once enlightening and engaging, Governing from the Bench is a much-needed and comprehensive exploration of an institution that touches the lives of all Canadians.

About the author

Emmett Macfarlane is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. He is a regular contributor to Maclean's, the Globe and Mail, and the Institute for Research on Public Policy's Policy Options.

Emmett Macfarlane's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Macfarlane describes the aim of his book as being to “open the black box”; suffice it to say that he has done so masterfully by synthesizing earlier research and supplementing it with his own extensive work. He has produced not a meditation on how Supreme Court judging should work, but an empirical examination of how it does work, with important contributions from the point of view of the participants themselves ... Governing from the Bench is a gem of a book for anyone seeking to understand how power is exercised by the judiciary — an audience that should include everyone.

Literary Review of Canada, January-February 2014

Macfarlane has made an original foray into the intricacies of Supreme Court decision making. Governing from the Bench has gone to considerable lengths towards opening the Supreme Court’s “black box,” and in doing so has brought historical institutionalism into the mainstream of the study of Canadian law and politics. I highly recommend it.

Canadian Journal of Political Science

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