Date of this Version
Court Review, Volume 51, Issue 4 (2015)
In my first column I chose a very specific topic (recusal on the basis of reasonable apprehension of bias) that easily flowed over our shared border. In this column, I intend to significantly broaden the analysis.
Here I will examine what I describe as an evolution (or revolution) that is occurring in the manner in which Canadian trial judges render judgment and how they are reviewed on appeal. Interestingly, this evolution is entirely free of any statutory basis. I hope it will provide American judges some insight into what is expected of their Canadian counterparts and cause them to consider how the Canadian experience relates to their own work and standards.
THE SCOPE OF THE ANALYSIS
A column does not provide space for a review of an entire judicial system. So I intend to look at two changes that highlight how Canadian judging is evolving, under the following headings:
1. the requirement for reasons; and
2. the potential death of demeanour as a basis for the assessment of the credibility of witnesses.
Let us start with the requirement for reasons.