Social Science and Humanities Evidence in Charter Litigation: Lessons from Carter v Canada (Attorney General)

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Constitutional Law, Law and Society, assisted dying, humanities evidence, litigation, social science evidence, Carter v Canada (Attorney General)


Carter v Canada (Attorney General) is a Canadian case that famously struck down the Canadian Criminal Code prohibitions on euthanasia and assisted suicide (now known collectively as medical assistance in dying or MAiD). The most significant issue in the Carter case was that of the status of MAiD. However, this case is also interesting to explore in relation to the issue of the use of expert evidence from social science and humanities researchers. In this paper, I offer reflections as an academic trained in philosophy and law but not expert in the use of social science and humanities evidence in litigation. As someone who was inside the litigation but outside the generation of the evidence, I seek to bring a perspective that may be useful to practitioners who might be thinking about working with academics and academics who might be thinking about getting involved in constitutional litigation that relates to their field of study.


From Selected Works of Jocelyn Downie

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