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Autonomy, Subsidiarity and Solidarity: The Foundations of Cooperative Federalism

January 13, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm



Hugo Cyr, Université du Québec à Montréal

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Solarium (room FA2), Falconer Hall

84 Queen’s Park

What does the constitutional principle of federalism entail? Instead of a detailed set of specific rules, the principle of federalism relies on a series of principles that distinguish federations from other political forms. I propose that three such principles stand out from within our constitutional instruments and jurisprudence: autonomy, subsidiarity and federal solidarity. The combination of these three interrelated constitutional principles forms the normative structure that gives Canadian federalism its internal logic. And it is my contention that this internal logic is one of cooperative federalism. It is these principles that must guide the judiciary when it fulfills its special duty as “guardian of the Constitution”, and as such, as guardian of the principle of federalism.

Hugo Cyr, LL.B., B.C.L. (McGill), LL.M. (Yale), LL.D. (Université de Montréal). Full Professor, Director of Graduate Studies in Law, Faculty of Political Science and Law, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), is a member of the Quebec Bar and the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec (CRIDAQ). Hugo Cyr has been a law clerk to the Honorable Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada, a Visiting Researcher at the European Academy of Legal Theory, a Boulton Fellow at McGill University and a Schell Fellow at the Yale Law School. Professor Cyr teaches and conducts research in constitutional law and legal theory.

A light lunch will be provided.

Read the Paper here.


January 13, 2015
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm