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Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Keywords

Canada. Supreme Court--Statistics; Judicial statistics; Appellate courts--Statistics; Canada

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study presents a descriptive statistical analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada's first one hundred Charter of Rights decisions (1982-1989). Charter appeals now constitute one-quarter of the Court's annual caseload. The Court has abandoned the judicial self-restraint that shaped its pre-Charter civil liberties jurisprudence. It has upheld rights claimants in 35 percent of its decisions and declared nineteen statutes void. Seventy-five percent of the Court's Charter work dealt with legal rights and criminal justice, but more provincial statutes were declared invalid than federal. After an initial period of consensus, the Court divided into identifiable voting blocs, with wide discrepancies between different Judges' support for Charter claims. In three respects-composition of docket, success rate, and nullification of statutes- the Canadian Supreme Court closely resembled its American counterpart.

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Courts Commons

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