Review of Donald R. Songer, 'The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination' (University of Toronto Press, 2008)

University of Toronto Law Journal, 2009

U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-07

8 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2009 Last revised: 17 Sep 2009

See all articles by Benjamin Alarie

Benjamin Alarie

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 26, 2009

Abstract

Donald R. Songer, an American political scientist, highlights in the introduction of his recent book, 'The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination,' that he is not Canadian and has no legal training. Readers inclined to be uncharitable might take this admission as evidence that Songer is ill-suited to carry out the task of analyzing the Supreme Court of Canada in a subtle or careful way. The unfairness of such a snap judgment is obvious. Indeed, anticipating this concern, Songer himself claims that his 'outsider' status possibly confers the advantage of 'a perspective that may be somewhat different from those of ‘insiders’ and thus help to cast new light on some recurring themes in discussions of the Supreme Court of Canada' (p. 11). This may well be the case; after all, many Canadian observers and commentators have criticized the legitimacy of the Court’s decision-making in particular cases or its role more generally out of a normative distaste for the results of the Court’s toil. Songer himself claims to be in a position to be able to avoid these normative concerns. This book review assesses the extent of Songer's success in casting new light on the Supreme Court of Canada with the benefit of a more disinterested and external perspective.

Suggested Citation

Alarie, Benjamin, Review of Donald R. Songer, 'The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination' (University of Toronto Press, 2008) (June 26, 2009). University of Toronto Law Journal, 2009; U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1427250

Benjamin Alarie (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

Jackman Law Building
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-946-8205 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utoronto.ca/faculty-staff/full-time-faculty/benjamin-alarie

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
133
rank
206,318
Abstract Views
1,076
PlumX Metrics