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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

What Do We Mean By "Judicial Independence"?, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2003

What Do We Mean By "Judicial Independence"?, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this article, the author argues that the concept of "judicial independence" has served more as an object of rhetoric than it has of sustained study. He views the scholarly literatures that treat it as ships passing in the night, each subject to weaknesses that reflect the needs and fashions of the discipline, but all tending to ignore courts other than the Supreme Court of the United States. Seeking both greater rigor and greater flexibility than one usually finds in public policy debates about, and in the legal and political science literatures on, judicial independence, the author attributes much of ...


The Secession Reference And The Limits Of Law, Richard Kay Dec 2002

The Secession Reference And The Limits Of Law, Richard Kay

Richard Kay

When the Supreme Court of Canada issued its judgment on the legality of "unilateral" Quebec secession in August 1998 many Canadians did not know what to make of it. The Court held that the only lawful way in which Quebec might depart the Canadian federation was through one of the amendment mechanisms provided in the Constitution Act 1982. It thus affirmed that Quebec could not secede without the agreement of at least the Houses of the federal Parliament and some number of provincial legislative assemblies. Prime Minister Chretien declared the next day that the judgement was a "victory for all ...