Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy


Louis LeBel

Document Type


English Abstract

In this lecture, the author addresses the appropriate role of the judge in society. Judicial independence and impartiality require that a judge seek to distance herself from the world, prior connections, conflicts of interest and social activism. Although judges may take judicial notice of certain facts, they are otherwise limited to the arguments of the parties to a dispute. Nevertheless, judges must be attentive and critical observers of the world, eager to learn and gain knowledge about the evolving nature of economic life, science, religion and all other issues in contemporary society because distance and impartiality from the world do not imply ignorance of it.