Skip to content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Deadline: Call for Papers – December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

The State of Canada’s Constitutional Democracy

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, St. George Campus – February 27, 2016

The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights invites papers for its upcoming conference examining the state of Canada’s constitutional democracy. Dramatic changes have taken place in recent years at the national level in respect to the day to day functioning of our constitutional democracy. These changes impinge on the separation of powers, the rule of law and the supremacy of the constitution.

Examples include:

  • the operation of the House of Commons and the Senate and the functioning of committees in both Houses in respect to the quality of deliberation, reflection on questions of constitutionality generally, and in respect to specific policy areas such as national security and crime and punishment, as it impacts on mental health, violence against women,
  • the expansion and increased powers of the PMO
  • the appointment process to the Senate and the Supreme Court
  • the stance taken by the government to some aspects of the Constitution and the judiciary,
  • the government’s approach to information creation, retention and dissemination as well as sources of expertise and scientific knowledge, as it impacts on public policy areas such as health, climate change, resource development, Aboriginal education, women’s equality
  • the Court’s role to strike down legislation and critique government action and the government’s response to this such as the aftermath of the PHS case, Bedford and Carter, and the SCC’s declaration in Khadr.
  • the professional ethics applicable to the work of government lawyers in a more politicized environment
  • Our interest is examining these changes is to assess their impact on the norms and processes stipulated by our written Constitution as well as by fundamental constitutional principles and conventions.

This symposium is part of a broader analysis by the Asper Centre of the state of the rule of law and Canada’s constitutional democracy comprising background papers and additional workshops that will result in a final report.The papers will be utilized as the central themes on various panels across the one day symposium and selected conference papers will be considered for publication as part of a special issue of the National Journal of Constitutional Law. Authors of papers chosen for presentation will be notified by January 1, 2016 (extended). Papers for distribution at the conference must be submitted by February 6, 2016.

The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights is a centre within the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law devoted to advocacy, research and education in the areas of constitutional rights in Canada. For more information about the Centre go to

For those interested in participating, please send an abstract (max: 250 words) of your intended paper with a 1-2 paragraph biography to: Cheryl Milne at


Deadline for Submissions: December 14, 2015 (EXTENDED)



December 14, 2015