An Alternative Approach to New Public Management in the Administration of Justice

20 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017

Date Written: January 30, 2008


This paper examines tensions in the administration of justice in Canada. These tensions arise in part from what the author describes as a ‘tripartite’ responsibility for the courts system, split between two levels of government and the judicial and executive branches. It also identifies increased tensions in recent years resulting from the introduction of ‘New Public Management’ approaches to public administration.

The author asserts that democratic principles like rule of law or access to justice may trump the imperatives of New Public Management in some circumstances. As an example, the paper examines Canadian court decisions that have limited government's use of court fees as a revenue generating mechanism. The author concludes by suggesting the application of an administrative law approach to determine “who’s in charge” in the justice system, to reduce tensions and resolve conflict, and as an alterative approach the New Public Management in the administration of justice.

Keywords: Courts Administation, Public Administration, Rule of Law, Access to Justice, Judicial Independence, New Public Management

JEL Classification: D73, E62, G18, H11, H41, H71, H77, H83, K19, K40

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Thomas, An Alternative Approach to New Public Management in the Administration of Justice (January 30, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Harrison (Contact Author)

Queen's University ( email )

Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

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