Judicial Minimalism at the Alberta Court of Appeal: Failing Students by Taking a Pass on the Charter

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Using Pridgen v University of Calgary to ground its analysis, this paper seeks to address the following question: “What is the appropriate approach when a judge is presented with a Charter issue?” In dialogue with this question, this paper provides a brief outline of the decisions in Pridgen, describes both the American debate over judicial minimalism and the more limited Canadian scholarship, and concludes by evaluating the methodologies of the judges in Pridgen and the role of judicial minimalism in Canadian judicial decision-making.

This paper was presented at the Constitutional Law Symposium in September 2012.

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