Speaking Truth to Power? The Search for Bureaucratic Independence
University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 55, pp. 1-60, 2005
61 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2005
For government to be effective and to serve the public interest, politicians and bureaucrats must often work in tandem, hand in glove, especially in the development and implementation of public policy. At such times, the separation between the political and the bureaucratic functions is fluid and porous, and the executive branch of government is characterized by the interdependence of these political and bureaucratic spheres. At other times, a virtually impenetrable wall insulates the bureaucratic from the political sphere, as in the context of prosecutorial discretion in the criminal justice context. The questions across these various governmental settings are these: How independent should public servants be from the government of the day, and how can this independence be assured? This article seeks to address these questions about the nature and scope of bureaucratic independence, examine its sources in Canada's constitutional order, and explore its implications for public law and public administration.
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