Osgoode Hall Law Journal

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Public law scholarship in the common law tradition often aims at elucidating a connection between law and constitutional values like equality, due process, and the rule of law. However, in their quest to reveal the morality of public law, common lawyers often focus their attention on judicial interpretations of constitutional values to the exclusion of other sources of constitutional jurisprudence. The author argues that the traditional fascination with courts as the primary or exclusive arbiters of constitutional values should be tempered and supplemented by recognizing the valuable contributions of administrative officials who interpret and enforce constitutional norms when exercising statutorily delegated legal authority. By drawing attention to the contributions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal in advancing equality rights, the author argues that recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada which recommend judicial deference to reasonable, proportionate, and contextually sensitive administrative decisions concerning human rights, instead of resorting reflexively to correctness review, will serve to strengthen the moral unity of Canadian public law.

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