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pluralism and impartiality, judicial conduct


It is clear that the inevitable is upon us: as a society Canada is undergoing significant social change and law, as a social institution and mode of social interaction and regulation, cannot be immune to such changes. I want to suggest to you that these transitions are more than statistical - they are cultural and in that sense they will generate significant changes, indeed challenges, to our conventional ways of doing things. Change is of course somewhat unnerving, even disturbing or threatening, but I want to ask what sort of responses are available to us as we attempt to continue our commitment to the promotion of justice in Canadian society. Can we begin to imagine judicial perspectives and techniques that are forward looking and sensitive to cultural diversity - a pluralistic justice - or should we stick with a conception of justice that reflects the perspectives of those of us who have traditionally occupied positions of legal responsibility and power - that is, justice as just us?