As Canada's final court of appeal, the Supreme Court is a crucial component of the country's legal system. Yet, for much of its almost 140-year history, the highest court in the land dwelled in relative obscurity. More than thirty years since the advent of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which transformed the court's function and thrust its work into the national spotlight, many of us are still in the dark about the Supreme Court's role -- in part because there has been relatively little empirical investigation into how the institution works. In Governing from the Bench, Emmett Macfarlane draws on interviews with current and former justices, law clerks, and other staff members of the court to shed light on the institution's internal environment and decision-making processes. He explores the complex role of the Supreme Court as an institution; exposes the rules, conventions, and rms that shape and constrain its justices' behaviour; and situates the court in its broader governmental and societal context, as it relates to the elected branches of government, the media, and the public. At once enlightening and engaging, Governing from the Bench is a much-needed and comprehensive exploration of an institution that touches the lives of all Canadians.Emmett Macfarlane is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
Emmett Macfarlane is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.