Archive for the ‘Rule of Law’ Category

Yaniv Roznai, “Revolutionary Lawyering? On Lawyers’ Social Responsibilities and Roles during a Democratic Revolution”

August 14, 2013

Yaniv Roznai (Ph.D. Candidate, London School of Economics – Law Department) has posted “Revolutionary Lawyering? On Lawyers’ Social Responsibilities and Roles during a Democratic Revolution”, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2013. Here’s the abstract:

Do lawyers have any social responsibilities during a revolution? If so, what are they? Does the lawyer hold any special roles in revolutionary times? This article discusses these questions, which raise thorny theoretical and practical dilemmas. According to the article, revolutions in the Western world and the legal profession are linked. Therefore, the article describes the historical role lawyers have played in the great revolutions which have created stable liberal traditions based on the idea of “rights”: The Glorious English Revolution of 1688-1689 and the American and French Revolutions of the end of the 18th century. Moreover, the article deliberates on the characteristics of lawyers which support conservatism and oppose revolutions and vice versa. It then presents the conflicting duties which are imposed upon lawyers during revolutions. On the one hand, the lawyer has an obligation to preserve the legal order and the rule of law. This obligation may entail a duty to act in a counter-revolutionary manner. On the other hand, the lawyer has obligations to improve the legal system and to promote the rule of law. These may entail actions which support the revolutionary values or goals, especially in a democratic revolution. Lastly, the article considers the practical role of lawyers during a revolution, inter alia, in public speaking and assisting in drafting the basic documents of the new legal order. Even in times of revolutions that seek to collapse the existing legal order, the legal milieu is of great importance. The revolutionary lawyer plays a significant role in preserving and creating the temporary, transitional and new legal orders. According to the article, the participation of lawyers in a revolution strongly influences the legitimacy of the existing legal order and necessarily the legitimacy of the revolution itself.

A copy of the paper is available for download via SSRN here.

Supreme Court of Canada Denies U.S. Government Leave to Appeal in Abdullah Khadr Extradition

November 3, 2011
Abdullah Khadr

Abdullah Khadr (Colin Perkel / THE CANADIAN PRESS via

The Supreme Court of Canada  today denied the  U.S. Government’s application for leave to appeal in Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the United States of America v. Abdullah Khadr (Ont.) (Criminal) (By Leave) (34357) Coram: Binnie / Deschamps / Rothstein (without costs).

For a backgrounder, see my earlier post: Ontario C.A. upholds stay of U.S.A.’s extradition request for Abdullah Khadr.

Fergal F. Davis on “Lord Neuberger and the Diceyean Bushel”

June 13, 2011

Fergal F. Davis (ARC Laureate Fellowship: Anti-terror laws & the democratic challenge; University of New South Wales (UNSW)) has posted “Lord Neuberger and the Diceyean Bushel” . The abstract reads:

On 6 April 2011, Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, delivered the second Lord Alexander of Weedon Lecture. In it he revisited the awkward tension which exists between the “notion of supremacy of the democratically elected legislature and the rule of law”. While the topic approached is one of controversy, the learned Master of the Rolls adopted a position which is essentially orthodox – namely that Parliament remains supreme despite membership of the European Union, the existence of the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg and the Human Rights Act, 1998 (HRA). To describe Lord Neuberger’s position as orthodox is not intended to be a criticism. His suspicion of judicial supremacy is welcome and equally agreeable is his statement against judicial passivism. However, two problems emerge: firstly, the contention that Parliament remains supreme is difficult to sustain once it is subjected to anything beyond the most formal level of analysis; secondly, and more importantly, by returning to the orthodox Diceyean perspective he risks stifling potentially significant constitutional innovation contained within the HRA. This article will argue that the orthodox position advanced by Lord Neuberger needs to be set aside and a position equally respectful of the democratic legitimacy of Parliament, but more conscious of the role of the courts in contentious areas, should be adopted.

The Maher Arar Story: Infographic

June 1, 2011

The following is an infographic on the extraordinary rendition of Canadian citizen Maher Arar. It was created by JESS3 ™   –  a creative interactive agency in collaboration with Amnesty International  in celebration of Amnesty’s 50th anniversary, which passed over the weekend, and details the appalling conditions that Arar faced in a Syrian prison after being detained by U.S. authorities.

Here’s the infographic, which was released under a Creative Commons license, so you should feel free to share it however you please:

This is just one of five infographics  released yesterday with Amnesty. You can view the others here:

H/T: Chris Cassidy, J.D. at JESS3 ™   –  a creative interactive agency

Trust, but verify: Why reasons are required in leave application process

May 9, 2011
Supreme Court of Canada

Image via Wikipedia

In today’s Canadian Lawyer article, “Trust not reasons, required in leave application process: A response to Philip Slayton“,  Jean-Marc Leclerc responds to Phillip Slayton’s Canadian Lawyer article entitled Justice is in the details.  Slayton’s key argument rests on lack of judicial transparency: (more…)

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