Administrative Law Matters

Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.


2023 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium: “The Legitimacy of the State”

The topic for the 2023 edition of the Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium was “The Legitimacy of the State”: The legitimacy of contemporary liberal democratic states is in a state of flux. Managing the effects of globalization, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and fighting escalating inflation have prompted serious questions about public administration in the […] Read more


Context, Reasonableness Review and Statutory Interpretation: Mason v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2023 SCC 21

After a hiatus of nearly four years, the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday applied the reasonableness standard for the first time since Vavilov and the companion case of Canada Post. The decision in Mason v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2023 SCC 21 (Jamal J for the majority; Côté J concurring) is significant as far as […] Read more


Notwithstanding Administrative Law?

The ‘notwithstanding’ clause of the Constitution of Canada (contained in s. 33 of the Constitution Act, 1982) provides as follows:  33 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a […] Read more


Maybe it Does Matter, After All

I recently highlighted Professor Andrew Green’s paper on the effect — or not! — of Supreme Court of Canada decisions in administrative law. I am happier to report that a new paper published in Canadian Public Administration by David Said comes to the conclusion that the Court’s decisions can be significant: “Navigating entangled terrain: The […] Read more


Administrative Tribunals in Canada: Constitutional Subordinates or Equal Partners?

I have posted a new paper to SSRN, “Administrative Tribunals in Canada: Constitutional Subordinates or Equal Partners“, a chapter in a forthcoming edited collection on Administrative Tribunals in the Common Law World. Here is the abstract: In this Chapter, I explore the tension between two propositions in Canadian public law. On the one hand, administrative […] Read more


Clarity on the Challenges for Systemic Challenges: Canadian Council for Refugees v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2023 SCC 17

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Canadian Council for Refugees v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2023 SCC 17 sets out some important principles about challenges to government action at the intersection of constitutional and administrative law. On balance, I think the decision limits the potential for systemic challenges to complex statutory and regulatory regimes […] Read more