These brief remarks offer a few reflections on Chief Justice McLachlin’s contributions to the Supreme Court of Canada’s jurisprudence on the division of powers, based on cases where she authored or co-authored reasons for judgment. It is obviously daunting to try to comment on the jurisprudence of the longest-serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. But the task certainly repays the effort and only deepens one’s admiration for her many important contributions to Canadian law. In that spirit, these notes provide a few comments on Chief Justice McLachlin’s judicial philosophy and her contributions to legal federalism and legal education. I will argue that Chief Justice McLachlin’s federalism jurisprudence fairly reflects her self-described judicial philosophy as being scrupulously non-partisan and impartial. I will further suggest that her contributions to the doctrines of legal federalism, as seen in her interjurisdictional immunity rulings by way of example, brought greater stability, certainty, and clarity to the law. I will close by suggesting that the rigour and lucidity of her judicial writing have contributed significantly to legal education in Canada.
"Chief Justice McLachlin and the Division of Powers."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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