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The Damoclean Sword of Enforcement Discretion

President Obama recently announced a significant policy of non-enforcement of immigration law aimed at protecting the position of illegal immigrants who are on a ‘pathway’ to citizenship. There is an excellent symposium at Jack Balkin’s blog, accessible here. Simply put, President Obama’s argument is that the legislative branch has not allocated sufficient resources to apply […] Read more

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Procedural Fairness: a View from 20,000 Feet

Should courts defer to administrative decision-makers on procedural matters? As things stand (for the most part), judicial intervention is warranted whenever a decision-maker fails to live up to judicially developed conceptions of fairness. But this judicial supremacy sits uneasily with the modern, context-sensitive duty of fairness. Historically, automatic intervention whenever a decision-maker deviated from the […] Read more

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Doing Reasonableness Review: Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission v. Allen, 2014 NLCA 42

There is a fascinating review of Canadian administrative law on reasonableness in Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission v. Allen, 2014 NLCA 42. A received benefits for a workplace injury. These benefits were capped at 80% of actual earnings. A then retired and was to receive benefits “equal” to the pension he would have received. […] Read more

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Filling in the Blanks: EllisDon Corporation v. Ontario Sheet Metal Workers’ and Roofers’ Conference and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 586, 2014 ONCA 801

Here is an interesting variant on the ‘reasonable decision but dodgy reasoning’ problem I have raised recently: what if an administrative decision-maker takes a decision that is supported by statutory authority, but fails to mention the statutory authority in question? This is the scenario in EllisDon Corporation v. Ontario Sheet Metal Workers’ and Roofers’ Conference […] Read more

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Wargaming Financial Regulation

Several years ago, in a review of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s excellent review of the 2008 financial crisis, Too Big To Fail, I suggested: Enough is now known about humans’ cognitive tics to start trying to tame them. What if the regulators of financial institutions were required to undergo intensive and ongoing training in behavioural economics […] Read more

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The Law of Unintended (Standard of Review) Consequences: Kanthasamy v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FCA 113

My post on Febles v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 SCC 68 has attracted many comments. Some readers are sympathetic to the Supreme Court of Canada. And, indeed, one may wonder what the practical effect is of standard-of-review discussions that sometimes border on the metaphysical. Should the Supreme Court of Canada not focus on resolving […] Read more