Judges are not lawmakers, but they play an extraordinary part in the Canadian constitutional democracy. To influence a parliamentary framework under the lead of law to work, we require unbiased, autonomous mediators. We require autonomous authorities to settle issues relating to the electoral process. We require autonomous judges to arbitrate citizens’ cases that the legislature has ridiculously disregarded their rights. A state that acknowledges the executive and legislative powers, requires establishments to choose when those powers are exceeded. These organizations are the courts. Mirroring this essential objective, the Constitution of Canada, like those of most modern nations, ensures the basic autonomy of the courts and the judges. “While the court must also be sensitive to the limits of its role as judicial arbiter and not interfere unduly with the roles of the other branches of governance, the judicial crafting of remedies will vary according to the right at issue and the context of each case: the advancement of democratic ends should not be accomplished by undemocratic means.” (Hutchinson, 2004)
They decipher the law, survey the proof exhibited, and control how hearings and trials unfurl in their courts. Most imperative of all, judges are fair chiefs in the quest for equity. We have what is known as an ill-disposed arrangement of equity – lawful cases are challenges between restricting sides, which guarantees that confirmation and legitimate contentions will be completely and powerfully displayed. The judge, nonetheless, stays over the shred, giving a free and fair-minded appraisal of the actualities and how the law applies to those realities. The judiciary needs to translate and apply the law alongside the constitution and to give fair-minded mediations of debate between the state and people, amongst people, and between various levels of government inside the state.
Canada’s Court System
The Canadian judiciary consists of four levels of court. Each type of court has its own
jurisdiction, which means that it has the authority to decide specific types of cases:
1. Provincial and territorial (lower) courts.
2. Provincial and territorial courts of appeal.
3. The federal court system
4. The Supreme Court of Canada
In a democracy, the judiciary has four main responsibilities. These includes formulating the rule of law through the interpretation and application of law, settling disputes, checking legality and being a player in state politics. To accomplish these four duties, the basic principles of a liberal democratic state must be upheld along with the principles of a legal democracy and state. The judiciary protects the citizens should their duly elected representatives in the legislature choose to undertake such actions that violate constitutional rights of anyone in the society. The involvement of other branches of government in workings of the court should be as limited as is possible. In instances where any rule is deemed unsuitable constitution also delineates the process of amending the constitution.
As a democratic society, we have seen earth-shattering changes in the relationship amongst people and the state. The judiciary has the information and experience to make enormous commitments to the support and proceeding with development of the democratic society. The part of the courts as resolver of debate, translator of the law and protector of the Constitution, requires that they be totally separate in authority and function from every single participant in a democratic framework. “The judiciary has a different relationship with the public. It is accountable less to the public’s opinions and more to the public interest. It discharges that accountability by being principled, independent, and impartial. Of all the public institutions responsible for delivering justice, the judiciary is the only one for whom justice is the exclusive mandate.” (Abella, 2000)
The sanctioning of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 widely extended the power of the courts in Canada. With the Charter in place, the courts could arbitrate not just upon the division of powers between various levels of government, but additionally upon the constitutionality and legality of laws established by Parliament and the provincial lawmaking bodies. “The adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 has greatly increased the number of such cases. The recognition of same-sex marriage, the existence and scope of Aboriginal rights, the legality of assisted suicide, the constitutionality of the offence of possession of pornography and the appropriate sentence for ‘mercy killing’. These are but a few of the charged issues that our judges have been obliged to tackle in the two decades since the Charter was adopted.” (McLachlin, 2003)
Abella, R. S. (2000). The Judicial Role in a Democratic State. 1999 Constitutional Cases Conference.
Hutchinson, A. C. (2004). Judges and Politics: An Essay From Canada. Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference, 25(9), 271.
McLachlin, B. (2003, 9 1). Retrieved from policyoptions: http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/canadian-universities/the-judiciarys-distinctive-role-in-our-constitutional-democracy/