Pas de Deux: Deference and Non-Deference in Action

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Standards of Review, Judicial Deference, Canada, Dunsmuir v New Brunswick


Chapter 9 introduced the complexities of the law on identifying the appropriate standard of review where an administrative decision is subject to judicial oversight. The present chapter revisits the law on the standards of review, shifting the focus from the application of the selected standard to the decision under review. It inquires, in particular, into the signposts that have been erected in and after Dunsmuir to direct the conduct of judicial review on a correctness or reasonableness standard, although it also asks what guidance may be drawn from the pre-Dunsmuir case law on these matters. The question driving this chapter's inquiry into the meaning and application of the standards of review is, therefore, "What is required of adminsitrative decision-makers in order to satisfy the expectations of substantive legality?"