search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
Governing from the Bench
The Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role
Emmett Macfarlane  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 12/5/2012
ISBN: 9780774823500    

$34.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2013
ISBN: 9780774823517    

264 Pages

Law and Society series


About the Book

As Canadaís final court of appeal, the Supreme Court is a crucial component of the countryís 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 courtís function and thrust its work into the national spotlight, many of us are still in the dark about the Supreme Courtís 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 institutionís internal environment and decision-making processes. He explores the complex role of the Supreme Court as an institution; exposes the rules, conventions, and norms that shape and constrain its justicesí 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.

About the Author(s)

Emmett Macfarlane is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.

Table of Contents



1 Studying Judicial Behaviour
2 The Evolution of the Court and Its Justices
3 Setting the Stage: Exploring Court Processes Leading to Decisions
4 The Decision: Collegiality, Conflict, and Consensus
5 A Question of Competence: Examining Judicial Policy Making
6 The Court in Government and Society: Dialogue, Public Opinion, and the Media




"While the importance of the Supreme Court has grown considerably in the Charter era, far too little is known about it. Well-written and highly readable, Governing from the Bench contributes significantly to our understanding of the court and its work."
-- Grant Huscroft is a professor in the Faculty of Law at Western University

"Providing fresh material -- including interviews with justices and law clerks -- within a role-based framework, Emmett Macfarlane paints a very clear picture of the Supreme Court as an institution."
-- Lawrence Baum, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Political Science

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Governing from the Bench 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

© 2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure