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 Featured Title
Unjust by Design
Canada's Administrative Justice System
Ron Ellis  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 2/27/2013
ISBN: 9780774824774    

$34.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2013
ISBN: 9780774824781    

388 Pages

Law and Society series


About the Book

Shortlisted, 2013/2014 Donner Prize, The Donner Foundation

Canadian legislatures regularly assign what are truly court functions to non-court, government tribunals. These executive branch judicial tribunals are surrogate courts and together comprise a little-known system of administrative justice that annually makes hundreds of thousands of contentious, life-altering judicial decisions concerning the everyday rights of both individuals and businesses.

This book demonstrates that, except perhaps in Quebec, the executive branch’s administrative justice system is a "justice system" in name only. Failing to conform to rule-of-law principles or constitutional norms, its judicial tribunals are neither independent nor, in law, impartial. And they are only providentially competent.

Unjust by Design describes a system in need of major restructuring. Written by a respected critic, it presents a modern theory of administrative justice fit for that purpose. It also provides detailed blueprints for the changes the author believes would be necessary if justice were to in fact assume its proper role in Canada’s administrative justice system.

This book will provoke a serious debate within the legal profession, the administrative justice system, the executive and legislative branches of government, and hopefully within the public at large about the our administrative justice system and the reforms proposed in this book. The author has organized an interactive website, and invites all interested parties to go there to interact with the author and each other around these important issues. To facilitate free and frank discussions, the website will allow participants to elect to have their names held in confidence if they wish to do so.

About the Author(s)

Ron Ellis is an administrative law lawyer, teacher, academic, arbitrator, and former chair and CEO of a major administrative judicial tribunal. He has been teaching, speaking, and writing about administrative justice system issues for more than thirty years.

Table of Contents


1 Defeating the Rule of Law in the Administrative Justice System: Executive Branch Strategies and Tactics

2 Administrative Justice: Getting the Context and Terminology Clear, the Concepts Straight, and the Prescription Right

3 Administrative Judicial Tribunals: The Inside Story

4 Prelude to Reform

5 The Reform Proposal

6 Implementing the Reform Proposal: A Strategy for Change

7 Meanwhile, a Toolkit for Litigators

Select Bibliography


"Unjust by Design is a provocative, atypical, and passionate call for the improvement of the administrative justice system. It presents a unique perspective on the institutional, administrative context by someone with relevant experience and who presents a very elaborate platform for reform.”
-- Geneviève Cartier, Professor, Faculté de droit, Université de Sherbrooke

"This book has the potential to be very influential with any government willing to take on the task of creating an administrative justice regime that meets constitutional imperatives and, more generally, offers Canadians the prospects of a fair and independent regime for the adjudication of matters affecting their rights."
-- David J. Mullan, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, Queen's University

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Public Policy

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Unjust by Design 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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