Leonid Sirota teaches constitutional law at the Auckland University of Technology Law School. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law, McGill University and the New York University School of Law. His main interests are Canadian constitutional law, other areas of public law and legal theory.

Articles by this author

About not voting

It is said that voting is a duty, and that those who don't do it make "excuses." It is said that that those who don't fail to honour those who died or are dying fighting for …

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Antonin Scalia and the challenge of originalism

The death of Antonin Scalia, probably the best-known judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, has provoked an outpouring of reactions, including in Canada. Justice Scalia famously, or notoriously, championed―and had helped develop―the idea that the …

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Challenge to oath to the Queen, RIP

The Supreme Court has denied leave to appeal in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Canadian citizenship oath, meaning that the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario which found the oath constitutional, McAteer …

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Democratic reform vs the Charter

Co-blogger Emmett Marfarlane has given us an instructive, in-depth, look at the mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould. If this mandate is carried out, the government of Canada will …

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How not to criticize the supreme court

As the CBA National Magazine's excellent Yves Faguy notes on its blog, "charges of judicial activism [directed at the Supreme Court of Canada] are back in vogue." He links to a couple of examples. Yet …

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Law of Democracy Symposium at UofO

Since our kindly editor, Dan Gardner, encourages us to "publicize conference," I would like to put in a word for a Symposium on "The Changing Landscape of Canadian Electoral Law" organized by the Ottawa Law …

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Le droit et les droits

Dans un article publié dans Policy Options ce mois-ci, Linda Cardinal et Rémi Léger vilipendent l'arrêt Caron c. Alberta de la Cour suprême, qui a statué que la province n'était pas sujette à des obligations constitutionnelles …

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Recommended reading on mandatory voting

While co-blogger Derek Antoine has recently argued that "we need to stop talking about mandatory voting," it would appear that Barack Obama is not reading Policy Options. (I trust that Dan Gardner, our editor, is working on that one!) …

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So much to do

Sean Fine outlines many of the "justice-" (or at least law-) related files that will require the incoming government's attention. Some of these are quite urgent, such as assisted suicide legislation and ongoing court challenges …

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Supreme Misconceptions

After hockey, our favourite national pastime is finding the differences between Canada and the United States, and bragging about them to ourselves. Any subject is fair game for this, and our respective Supreme Courts certainly are. …

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The Charter is of no party

One does not disagree with those one admires without some trepidation. And so it is disquieting to me that I feel compelled to dissent, in part, from Grégoire Webber's yesterday's post describing the Liberal Party of Canada …

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The notwithstanding clause’s toxic legacy

It was Saskatchewan’s NDP Premier Alan Blakeney who insisted that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contain a provision that would allow elected officials to set aside judicial decisions regarding its import. To the …

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There will be no Harper revolution

His government appointed hundreds of judges, including eight to the Supreme Court. It required new appointees to the Supreme Court to submit to televised questioning by a parliamentary committee. It clashed with the Chief Justice …

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Third Parties and Democracy 2.0

First of all, apologies to Policy Options readers for my long silence. Shameless self-promotion may not be the ideal way to break it, but here it is. I wanted to discuss, briefly, an article of …

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What to do about "judicial activism"

According to a report by Tim Naumetz in the Hill Times, the "judicial activism" meme was played out at the Manning Conference today, in presentations by Dwight Newman and Rainer Knopff. Mr. Naumetz does not …

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