L'AUTORITE DES OBITER DICTA DE LA COUR SUPREME
AbstractIn 1980, in Sellars, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a decision which was interpreted by several members of the legal profession as establishing the principle of the binding effect of certain obiter dicta of the Court. The binding effect of a decision of the Supreme Court, which was formerly limited to the ratio decidendi, would in the future extend to obiter dicta shared by a majority of judges. Such, at least, is the principle which was admitted and adopted by the majority of Canadian appellate courts and by a significant number of lower courts. The purpose of this article is first to trace the emergence of what can be called «the Sellars principle». Subsequently, we will attempt to identify certain factors which explain the establishment of this principle in Canadian law. Finally, we will discuss the question whether, as of now, obiter dicta of the Supreme Court must be considered as persuasive or binding.
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