The Canadian Constitution in Transition

Richard Albert, Paul Daly, and Vanessa MacDonnell
February 2019
University of Toronto Press
ISBN 9781487523022


The year 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 1867 Constitution Act. Anniversaries like these are often seized upon as opportunities for retrospection. This volume, by contrast, takes a distinctively forward-looking approach. Featuring essays from both emerging and established scholars, The Canadian Constitution in Transition reflects on the ideas that will shape the development of Canadian constitutional law in the decades to come. Moving beyond the frameworks that previous generations used to organize constitutional thinking, the scholars in this volume highlight new and innovative approaches to perennial problems, and seek new insights on where constitutional law is heading.

Featuring fresh scholarship from contributors who will lead the constitutional conversation in the years ahead - and who represent the gender, ethnic, linguistic and demographic make-up of contemporary Canada - The Canadian Constitution in Transition enriches our understanding of the Constitution of Canada, and uses various methodological approaches to chart the course toward the bicentennial.

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About the Authors:

Paul Daly has won global recognition for his scholarship in the broad field of public law, the study of the norms and institutions of government. In particular, Professor Daly is an internationally established expert on the administrative state, which churns out thousands of decisions every day – touching all aspects of ordinary citizens’ lives, from life-or-death immigration decisions, to compensation for workers injured on the job, all the way to the content of cable television.

Using the resources of his University Research Chair in Administrative Law & Governance, Professor Daly will work to further enhance the relationship between the administrative state, individuals and the courts, understand the proper role of artificial intelligence in administrative law, and scrutinize the nature of legal controls on public power exercised by private entities such as Google and Facebook.
Professor Daly’s academic work has regularly been cited by Canadian courts and administrative tribunals — his award-winning blog, Administrative Law Matters, was the first ever blog cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. Fluent in French and English, Professor Daly is a highly sought-after public speaker and has spoken at a wide variety of academic conferences, professional development programs and judicial education seminars, and is an accomplished media performer (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Radio Canada and The Economist).

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Vanessa MacDonnell is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) and Co-Director of the uOttawa Public Law Centre. She is an expert in constitutional law, constitutional theory, comparative constitutional law, criminal law and the law of evidence. In 2019 she was selected for membership in the Global Young Academy.

Vanessa is currently completing a three-year, SSHRC-funded research project on quasi-constitutional legislation. Other recent projects focus on rethinking the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, evaluating Justice Suzanne Coté’s reputation as a dissenter on the Supreme Court of Canada, and examining the civil servant’s role in the implementation of constitutional rights. She has also written extensively on the role of the jury in contemporary criminal law.

Vanessa teaches or has taught criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, administrative law, a seminar on the Supreme Court of Canada, and a graduate course on the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on criminal law and procedure.

Click here to visit her Faculty web page.

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