Dalhousie Law Journal


contextual approach, Supreme Court of Canada, judicial analysis, accountability, jurisprudence, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, law


Over the past few years, the "contextual approach" to law has acquired considerable cachet in juridical discourses across the country. In the Supreme Court of Canada, contextualism is now the new standard of judicial analysis and accountability This article analyzes a decade of Supreme court jurisprudence on Charter interpretation, statutory interpretation and the common law in order to fully explicate what contextualism in law is, where it came from, and how it has achieved its current pre-eminent status. The future promise of the contextual approach is also here canvassed through a dialectical engagement with postmodernist concerns respecting inherent legal indeterminacies.

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