In Governing from the Bench, Emmett Macfarlane demystifies the inner workings of the Supreme Court of Canada. Drawing on interviews with current and former justices, law clerks, and other staff members of the court, Macfarlane sheds light on the institution's internal environment and decision-making processes. He explores the complex role of the Supreme Court as an institution; exposes the rules, conventions, and norms that shape and constrain its justices' behaviour; and situates the court in a broader governmental and societal context. At once enlightening and engaging, Governing from the Bench is a much-needed and comprehensive exploration of an institution that touches the lives of all Canadians.
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Macfarlane describes the aim of his book as being to "open the black box"; suffice it to say that he has done so masterfully by synthesizing earlier research and supplementing it with his own extensive work. He has produced not a meditation on how Supreme Court judging should work, but an empirical examination of how it does work, with important contributions from the point of view of the participants themselves ... Governing from the Bench is a gem of a book for anyone seeking to understand how power is exercised by the judiciary - an audience that should include everyone. -- Bob Tarantino * Literary Review of Canada, January-February 2014 *
Macfarlane has made an original foray into the intricacies of Supreme Court decision making. Governing from the Bench has gone to considerable lengths towards opening the Supreme Court's "black box," and in doing so has brought historical institutionalism into the mainstream of the study of Canadian law and politics. I highly recommend it.
-- Dave Snow, University of Calgary * Canadian Journal of Political Science *