Dalhousie Law Journal


courts, judicial review, expertise, delay, bias, reputation, Supreme Court of Canada, lawyers, public opinion


Expertise, bias and delay arguments are shifting the focus of judicial review from the legality of administrative decisions to the reputation of administrative decision- makers. These grounds measure the skill, objectivity and efficiency characteristics that define administrators' reputations. They make it possible for courts to consider these reputations, even if only by way of unarticulated judicial notice, when deciding judicial review applications. After setting out the theory of expertise, bias and delay implicit in recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions, the author concludes that courts must use less impressionistic measures in judging these concepts, lawyers must present more concrete reputational evidence in arguing them, and administrators must become more sensitive to their impact on public opinion.

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