Political Science 101
R. v. the Canadian Parliament:
Reconciling the Supreme Court and Parliament
POLI 100 - 001
The University of British Columbia
The Supreme Court of Canada is the final court of appeal in Canada; it has ultimate say in cases and all of its decisions are binding and final1. Over the years, the Supreme Court has become more active within Canadian society, playing a major role in determining the social, cultural, political, and legal landscape of Canada. As a major institution within Canada, it must operate alongside various other institutions, such as Parliament, effectively and efficiently. Though the Supreme Court and Parliament may not always agree on issues, they must learn to work together and respect each other in order to maintain peace, order, and cohesion in the country.
In this paper, I will argue that Parliament should not attempt to outmaneuver the Supreme Court in order to achieve its mandate.
I will argue that while possible, Parliamentary intervention into the judicial process creates a slippery slope and thus should be avoided. I maintain that Parliament should respect and preserve the authority and integrity of the Supreme Court.
An Overview: Judicial Powers v. Parliamentary Powers
The Supreme Court of Canada is quite literally the supreme court of the land. It is the final court of appeal in Canada: while decisions in lower courts may be appealed up the judicial hierarchy, once a case reaches the Supreme Court, the decision that is reached by the panel of justices is final and binding. In fulfilling its role, the Supreme Court of Canada needs to be incredibly careful. The justices must ensure that they considers all implications of their decisions so as not to upset the general public [too much]. It can be argued that once...