Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Girard on Extrajudical Contacts and the Patriation Reference

Philip Girard, Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law, has posted A Tempest in a Transatlantic Teapot: A Legal Historian's Critical Analysis of Frédéric Bastien's La Bataille De Londres, which is forthcoming in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal 51:2.  Here is the abstract:    
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.