THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA AND TRIBUNALS - DEFERENCE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS: A RECENT PHENOMENON OR A RETURN TO BASICS?
AbstractOver the last twenty years, the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada has in general afforded the administrative process considerable room for manoeuvre. Deference to the judgment and choices of administrative tribunals and other statutory authorities has been the accepted norm. Many have assumed this represented a novel development. In this paper, the author argues that there is reason to question this assumption. An examination of the Court's decisions from the very first year of its existence to the abolition of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1949 reveals a number of significant examples of judicial restraint in the scrutiny of administrative decision-making both by way of judicial review and statutory appeal. These examples at the very least suggest the need for more sustained research into the early history of judicial review of administrative action in Canada.
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