Administrative Law Matters

Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.


The Little Appointing Provision That Couldn’t Quite: Prairies Tubulars (2015) Inc. v. Canada (Border Services Agency), 2021 FC 36

Over the years, s. 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867 has enjoyed a remarkable evolution. It has been the little appointing provision that could: its handful of words about the process for appointing judges to the superior courts have, by judicial exegesis, created forests of jurisprudence on the limitations on legislative power to encroach on […] Read more


Tales from the Public-Private Divide: Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, 2021 SCC 7

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, 2021 SCC 7 touches on a couple of issues arising at the intersection between public and private law. The case was about contractual discretion. M contracted with W to provide waste removal and transportation services. For many years […] Read more


Regulations and Reasonableness Review

When I originally drafted my paper on “Unresolved Issues after Vavilov“, I left out the standard of review of regulations. Frankly, having discussed the matter in a couple of webinars in the first half of 2020, I thought the matter was settled. The decision of the Divisional Court upholding Ontario’s lockdown regulations in Hudson’s Bay […] Read more


Leading Works in Public Law: de Smith’s Judicial Review of Administrative Action (Stevens & Sons, London, 1959)

I have uploaded my chapter for Leading Works in Public Law to SSRN. Here is the abstract: In his classic text, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, Professor de Smith drew out from the prerogative writs a body of general principles relating to judicial review of administrative action. Published in 1959, de Smith’s book wove a […] Read more


The Canadian Judiciary and COVID-19

Later this year, starting next month, Verfassungsblog will be running a symposium on the law and politics of the pandemic. I’m contributing a piece on Canada. Here are some thoughts, building on a book chapter I wrote last summer. The role of the judiciary has been relatively passive. Monsanto v. Canada (Health), 2020 FC 1053 […] Read more