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 Featured Title
The Courts
Ian Greene  

$67.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 3/27/2006
ISBN: 9780774811842    

$27.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2007
ISBN: 9780774811859    

200 Pages

Canadian Democratic Audit series


About the Book

Academic and policy circles have been abuzz lately over whether unelected and unaccountable judges should play as great a role in policy making as they currently do. It was Canada's Supreme Court, for example, that decided in 2002 to extend voting rights to all prisoners. And when Parliament changed the definition of marriage to include gay and lesbian couples in 2005, it was reacting to decisions of provincial appeal courts. To understand this debate we need to appreciate the fundamentals of how courts operate. The Courts provides a well-informed account of the judicial system and its place in democratic life.

Ian Greene offers an insider's perspective on the role of judges, lawyers, and expert witnesses; the cost of litigation; the representativeness of juries; legal aid issues; and questions of jury reform. He also examines judicial activism in the wider context of public participation in courts administration and judicial selection and of how responsive the courts are to the expectations of Canadian citizens.

The Courts moves its examination of the judicial system beyond the well-trodden topics of judicial appointment, discipline, independence, and review to consider the ways in which courts affect daily life in terms of democratic principles. Although courts are often viewed as elitist and unaccountable, they are more valuable aspect of democratic practice than most citizens realize.

About the Author(s)

Ian Greene is a professor of political science at York University.

Table of Contents


1. Canada's Courts in Context

2. Public Participation in the Justice System

3. Inclusiveness

4. Responsiveness of Courts to Expectations: Independence, Behaviour, and Administration

5. Responsiveness of Judicial Decisions to Canadian Democracy

6. The Courts and Democracy

Discussion Questions
Additional Reading
Works Cited


The key strength of this work is that it helpfully refocuses the debate by assessing whether the Courts are living up to reasonable democratic expectations in relation to this “decision-making” function with as much detail and thoroughness as it carries out this task in relation to the Court’s somewhat sexier “policy-making” function…the book is easy to digest and comprehend due, in part, to its well planned structure.
— David Erdos, Victoria University of Wellington, Law and Politics Book Review, vol. 16, no. 9

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Political Science
Political Science > Canada

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of The Courts from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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