41 Queen's L.J. 73 (2015-2016)
Defeat and Ambiguity: The Pursuit of Judicial Selection Reform for the Supreme Court of Canada

handle is hein.journals/queen41 and id is 91 raw text is: 

Defeat and Ambiguity:

The Pursuit of Judicial Selection

Reform for the Supreme Court of


Erin Crandall*

    The more important a court, the more controversial its judicial selection system tends to
be. This is especially true for Canada's Supreme Court. The prime minister's nearly unchecked
power over judicial selection has been the focus of longstanding complaint. Yet, despite a general
acceptance that change is needed, formal reform-either constitutional or statutory-has proven
elusive. This article discusses the question of why Canada has been unsuccessful at reforming the
Supreme Court's system ofjudicial selection. It analyzes the unsuccessful efforts at constitutional
change undertaken from the 1970s to 1990s and compares these attempts at reform to the judicial
selection system of the High Court of Australia over the same time period. This article also
considers how the longstanding ambiguity concerning the Supreme Court's constitutional status
has affected more recent efforts a t reform, a nd the consequences forfuture reform after the Court's
affirmation of its constitutional entrenchment in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss 5 and 6.

I Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Acadia University. Thanks to Christopher P
Manfredi, Jacob T Levy, Matthew Hennigar, Jeffrey A Sachs and the anonymous reviewers
of this journal who all offered helpful feedback on earlier versions of this project. A special
thanks goes to Richard Albert who provided the opportunity to be part of this issue. Part
of this research was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Qu6bec: Soci6t6 et culture
(FRQSC) in the form of a post-doctoral fellowship.

E. Crandall

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