The Courts, Ian Greene, The Canadian Democratic Audit Series;
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2006, pp. xvii, 182.
This book is another welcome addition to the Canadian Democratic Audit
Series. It sets out to assess the democratic credentials of Canada's
judiciary—a most significant branch of government in post-1982
Canada. The book's approach is refreshing in several respects.
Instead of the traditional focus on the well-rehearsed debate over the
questionable democratic credentials of judicial review, the book attempts
to evaluate the adequacy of the Canadian court system in relation to three
basic tenets of democracy: participation, inclusiveness, and
responsiveness. Unlike most accounts of Canadian political institutions,
it pays due attention to elements of the court system beyond the Supreme
Court of Canada. In so doing, Greene is able to assess more accurately
whether the Canadian judiciary as a whole is living up to that set of
reasonable democratic expectations.