Judges and Religious-Based Reasoning: A Response to Ginn and Blaikie
Constitutional Forum Constitutionnel, Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 15, 2012
11 Pages Posted: 31 May 2013 Last revised: 6 Jun 2013
Date Written: March 31, 2012
This paper is a response to Diana Ginn and David Blaikie’s claim that under certain circumstances it would be acceptable for Canadian judges to rely on religious-based reasoning. Given judges’ role as state representatives this paper argues that they cannot use religious-based reasoning in their decisions under any circumstances. The need for judicial neutrality is particularly important in modern, secular, multicultural democracies like Canada. Further, this paper argues that comments from the Supreme Court of Canada show that religious freedom means accommodation not support. Consequently Canadian judges are precluded from relying on religious-based reasoning and must frame their decisions in terms that are accessible to all.
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