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Seeking the Court's Advice


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reference Cases as a Mix of Law and Politics1 Origins and Implications of the Reference Power2 Contestation and Reference Cases3 Routine Politics and Nonroutine Litigation: References after 19494 "It's Always a Little Bit of Politics": Why Governments Ask Reference Questions5 Why Not Refer Everything? The Padlock Act and Blasphemy6 Seeking the Court's Advice and the Delegation of Decision MakingConclusion: A Legal Solution to Political ProblemsAppendix A: Canadian Reference LegislationAppendix B: Reference Case ListNotes; References; Index

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The first comprehensive analysis of the Canadian reference power, Seeking the Court's Advice examines how policy makers use the courts strategically to achieve political ends.

About the Author

Kate Puddister is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph. She has written on a wide range of topics related to law and politics, Canadian politics, and criminal justice policy. Her work has appeared in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Canadian Public Administration, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism.


this is an excellent book that completely fills a major and unfortunate lacuna in the academic literature. It is well organized, well written, thorough and balanced, and it winds up with recommendations for better squaring the practice with judicial independence concerns.A first book, you say, and by a very junior author? It certainly doesn't read that way-this is a polished work of mature scholarship. I recommend it highly.

-- Peter McCormick * Canadian Journal of Political Science *
[Puddister] manages to provide a superb and comprehensive analysis of the development, evolution, and purposes of the reference power. -- Emmett Macfarlane, associate professor, University of Waterloo * The Review of Constitutional Studies *

...Seeking the Court's Advice will likely affect the way the power is exercised and conceived of by governments, interveners, and courts.

-- Jennah Khaled, JD, Osgoode Hall Law * Osgoode Hall Law Journal *

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