Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Purposive Interpretation, Quebec, and the Supreme Court Act

(2013) 22:3 Constitutional Forum 15-26

12 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2013 Last revised: 29 Nov 2013

Michael Plaxton

College of Law, University of Saskatchewan

Carissima Mathen

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 23, 2013

Abstract

On 30 September 2013, the Prime Minister announced the nomination of Marc Nadon, a Federal Court of Appeal judge, to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Morris Fish. The announcement was accompanied an unusual supporting document: an opinion by a former Supreme Court Justice, The Honourable Ian Binnie. Asked whether the Supreme Court Act permits the appointment of Federal Court judges, Binnie wrote a brief memorandum arguing that it does – a conclusion endorsed by another former Supreme Court Justice, Louise Charron, and Professor Peter Hogg.

In this brief paper, we examine Binnie's approach to the interpretation of ss. 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Act. Though his interpretation of s. 5 is sound, we are less sure of his approach to s. 6. The text and legislative history of s. 6 suggest that there may well be a statutory barrier to Nadon's appointment. We also take the opportunity to reflect on purposive interpretation generally.

Keywords: statutory interpretation, Nadon, Binnie, Supreme Court of Canada, purposive interpretation

Suggested Citation

Plaxton, Michael and Mathen, Carissima, Purposive Interpretation, Quebec, and the Supreme Court Act (October 23, 2013). (2013) 22:3 Constitutional Forum 15-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344452

Michael Plaxton (Contact Author)

College of Law, University of Saskatchewan ( email )

15 Campus Dr
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N5A6
Canada
3069665894 (Phone)

Carissima Mathen

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
505
Rank
39,894
Abstract Views
3,494