5 February 2015 - 7:30am to 5 February 2015 - 9:00am

Ottawa (Ontario)

Big Thinking /Trudeau Lecture on the Hill
Kent Roach, 2013 Trudeau Fellow (University of Toronto)
The lecture took place at 7:30 a.m. at the Parliamentary
Restaurant, Centre Block (6
th Floor), Parliament Building, Ottawa, Ontario

Judicial Activism and the Role of Courts in Providing Remedies

Courts throughout the world are becoming more active in providing remedies for violations of rights. In Colombia, the courts have heard over a million actions seeking healthcare remedies in recent years. Courts in the United Kingdom are re-interpreting, even re-writing laws to ensure compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.  Courts in South Africa and Kenya are struggling with the challenges of providing remedies for a broad range of socioeconomic rights, and in the United States, judges have ordered the release of prisoners as a way of dealing with unconstitutional conditions in prisons.

In Canada, the controversial Chaoulli decision on health care and recent cases on drug laws, prostitution, and assisted suicide suggest that remedial activism is active here as well.  Trudeau Fellow Kent Roach’s Big Thinking/Trudeau lecture will situate the experience of Canadian courts in ordering constitutional remedies within the experience of other democracies. Professor Roach will examine the strengths and weaknesses of courts vis-à-vis the legislature and the executive, and the effect of remedies on the separation of powers. He will also discuss past and future remedial challenges in such diverse areas as health care, police misconduct, prison conditions, and mandatory sentences.

Watch the lecture or read 2012 Trudeau scholar and JSD student in legal theory and human rights at New York University Emily White's Twitter account

Kent Roach

A specialist in constitutional law and human rights advocate, Professor Roach has made his mark through work on security certificates in the wake of the war on terrorism and redress for the abuses of the residential schooling system.

2013 Fellows