In June 2004 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Chaoulli v.Quebec (Attorney General) and Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia (Attorney General). at issue in Chaoulli was the constitutionality of legal restrictions on the private provision of health care; at issue in Auton was the constitutionality of British Columbia’s decision not to fund a specific treatment for autism within its public health care system. Chaoulli and Auton are the most visible manifestations of an increasingly common phenomenon: The use of rights-based litigation as an instrument of health care policy reform. This paper focuses on Auton as an example of legal mobilization. It explores three key questions about the phenomenon of planned, strategic litigation: How these cases enter the judicial system? Under what conditions are they likely to be successful? What is the impact of winning — or losing — on the broader policy environment? the paper concludes with some general comments on the use of litigation for health care policy reform.
Manfredi, Christopher P. and Maioni, Antonia.
"Reversal of Fortune: Litigating Health Care Reform in Auton v. British Columbia."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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