Advanced Public Law

Course number: LAW 3980

Constitutional law, administrative law and international human rights law are all aspects of public law – the repository of norms that define the relationship between individuals and the state and between the constituent parts of the state itself. These areas of law do not exist as watertight compartments but intersect with each other on many levels. Lawyers in private practice seeking remedies for clients and government counsel advising Ministries or agencies on how best to implement public programs must draw on all of these areas of public law and understand the connections between them.

From that perspective, this course provides students with a fuller appreciation and knowledge of several topics of interest and importance for Canadian public law, including the changing boundaries of public law in our “shrinking” state, the scope and meaning of judicial, administrative and bureaucratic independence, and the role of international human rights norms in Canadian constitutional and administrative law. Executive legislation, the role of the Attorney General and the concept of public inquiries will also be touched upon. Although focused on Canadian public law, the course will draw from the public law experience of kindred jurisdictions.

Evaluation for this course will primarily be based on a research paper (worth at least 75%). Students will also be required to complete a short comment on the readings for two classes and an in-class presentation on their proposed research paper. Finally, students will also be assessed based on their general participation.

INSTRUCTOR: Gerald Heckman

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