The persuasion of social and political thought: Reading into the Canadian judicial system
LE3 .A278 2013
Bachelor of Arts
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the reasons behind which judges make the decisions they do. It will be argued that social and political influences may have the potential to shape and guide the judicial decision-making process. The application of elite theory helps to understand why judges may act outside the norms of judicial impartiality, as a means to preserve judicial authority and respect the social and political values of Canadian citizens. Exclusively focusing on the child pornography case, R. v. John Robin Sharpe, this thesis will examine the conflict between rights and values, and which course of action will best promote the overall good of society. Moreover, a counterfactual analysis will be employed as a means of explaining the Supreme Court’s decision. To conclude, this thesis analyses the role of judges in interpreting Canadian laws alongside changing values and growing liberalism.
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