Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies


Several prominent legal academics in Canada, notably W.P.M. Kennedy, E. Russell Hopkins, J.A. Corry, John P. Humphrey, John Willis, and Jacob Finkelman, argued that the modem Canadian state required the use of government tribunals and boards as a method of implementing policy. As we shall see, the arguments of these authors reflected an important shift in how Canadian legal professionals thought about the law. This article will explore the shifting attitudes within the Canadian legal academy about administrative law between 1930 and 1941. This article will also explore why this change in attitudes occurred, and whether these academics affected the broader Canadian legal community's views about the modem administrative state. These issues will be discussed in a five-part analysis. Section one outlines how Canadian legal professionals considered administrative agencies before 1930. Section two indicates the importance of the Depression to the re-evaluation of administrative law. Section three identifies the major Depression-era legal writers in Canada who discussed the emergence of the regulatory state. In section four, this paper compares and contrasts the major themes of these authors. Finally, section five assesses how the contents of Canada's legal journals at the end of the 1930s indicates a broadening acceptance of administrative law. It will be shown that these academics critiqued traditional ways of thinking about the relationship between citizen and state, and undermined the formalist view of the law, but in the end were less successful in providing an intellectual framework for the future development of Canadian administrative law.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.