Nearly every common law jurisdiction in the world has adopted a charter or bill of rights. Yet adopting a new rights document creates, rather than resolves, many fundamental constitutional questions. Should constitutional rights be relevant in private disputes? Does every political question need a constitutional or judicial answer? Should courts and legislatures equally participate in addressing the scope of which issues are to be considered constitutional?
Judicializing Everything? illustrates how debates surrounding these persistent judicial questions are best understood as part of an ongoing clash between distinct forms of constitutionalism on and off the bench. Mark S. Harding canvasses the perennial debates within the field of constitutional studies and provides novel ways of understanding key disagreements between judges and scholars alike. Despite important formal differences between rights documents in Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, Judicializing Everything? shows that there are also considerable similarities in the kinds of cases, arguments, and legal outcomes in the three countries. As political life becomes increasingly constitutionalized and judicialized, this important book sheds light on the persistence of debates over bills of rights and their interpretation.
About the author
Mark S. Harding is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph.