Research Paper Number


Subsequently published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

Document Type


Publication Date



Patriation Reference; Laskin; Estey; constitutional law; judicial impartiality; Chief Justice


This review discussed the allegations in Frederic Bastien's book La Bataille de Londres, to the effect that two Supreme Court of Canada judges had improper communications with British and Canadian authorities before and after the hearing of the Patriation Reference. It analyzes in detail the five incidents upon which the allegations are based, and finds that the author's interpretation cannot be supported in four of them because of faulty interpretation of the evidence or incomplete research. The fifth incident, in which Chief Justice Laskin met with the English attorney general, is found to have been arguably inappropriate judicial behaviour, but to have no effect in law on the ultimate decision in the Patriation Reference. In addition, more recent evidence tends to confirm that no "leaks" to the Canadian government occurred while the Court was writing its decision.