This book examines the way in which judges in the top courts of nine different common law countries go about developing the law by devising new principles to allow themselves to be innovative and justice-oriented, and to ensure that human rights are universally protected.
The book surveys the decisions of these top courts over the last generation to determine how 'judicially active' they have been. It seeks to compare and contrast the different experiences and to identify the principles in accordance with which the various courts have decided to develop the law. How do they interpret legislation? What use do they make of standards derived from other countries or from international law? How willing are they to make law in areas which are traditionally the
preserve of elected politicians?
The contributors are all experts in their own jurisdictions and have already published widely in the field of judicial activism. The jurisdictions covered include Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The chapter on the judicial work of the House of Lords anticipates the transformation of that institution into the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009 and the book as a whole suggests that there is plenty of scope
for that new court to learn from other common law supreme courts about the appropriate limits of judicial creativity.
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Brice Dickson is currently the Professor of International and Comparative Law at Queen's University Belfast. He previously served for six years as the Chief Commissioner of Northern Ireland's Human rights Commission, a key institution tasked by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 with promoting and protecting the human rights of everyone in that jurisdiction and with advising on the content of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. Brice Dickson has also taught at the
Universities of Ulster and Leicester and has published widely on human rights law, public law, French and German law and the role of judges in society. He has acted as a consultant on many human rights missions around the world and is centrally involved in advising the British Council on its work on
human rights and governance.
1. Introduction ; 2. The High Court of Australia ; 3. The Supreme Court of Canada ; 4. The Supreme Court of India ; 5. The Supreme Court of Ireland ; 6. The Supreme Court of Israel ; 7. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of New Zealand ; 8. The Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa ; 9. The House of Lords ; 10. The Supreme Court of the United States
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