The Canadian Law of Judicial Review: Some Doctrine and Cases

119 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2017 Last revised: 28 Oct 2022

See all articles by David Stratas

David Stratas

Government of Canada - Federal Court of Appeal

Date Written: October 18, 2022


It is hard to find a useful, up-to-date summary of the Canadian law of judicial review. This summary attempts in a scholarly way to fill that gap.

It attempts to work at two levels: the level of basic concept and the level of detail.

First, it describes the basic ordering concepts in the Canadian law of judicial review. Then it proceeds to the three analytical steps to determine an application for judicial review: preliminary and procedural concerns, the merits of the judicial review (review for substantive defects and procedural defects), and remedies. Finally, it examines appeals from applications for judicial review.

Along the way, key Canadian cases are referenced and discussed. A few are critiqued. The cases include major Supreme Court of Canada cases that strongly influence the law and cases from other courts that offer further instruction on that law. Many of these cases are from the Federal Court of Appeal, the intermediate appellate court that decides more administrative law cases in Canada than any other appellate court.

Some cases from other jurisdictions are referenced and discussed for comparative purposes. Some academic commentaries and articles are also referenced and discussed.

To facilitate study, all cases and articles are hyperlinked to online full-text versions (where available).

The reader is warned that this is only a summary and regard should be had to its date. It is no substitute for competent, specific legal research on a particular issue. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this summary will enrich readers' understandings and stimulate them to consider, reflect upon and make their own valuable contributions to the doctrine.

Note: The summary will be updated from time to time. ***UPDATED OCTOBER 21, 2017 (up to and including Tran v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)*** ***Now updated to include Vavilov***

Keywords: Canadian law, administrative law, judicial review

Suggested Citation

Stratas, David, The Canadian Law of Judicial Review: Some Doctrine and Cases (October 18, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

David Stratas (Contact Author)

Government of Canada - Federal Court of Appeal ( email )

90 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H9

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