Dr. Rainer Knopff
BA (McMaster) MA, PhD (University of Toronto)
Public law, civil liberties and political thought.
Associate Dean (Research)
Author, co-author, or co-editor of several books, including Human Rights and Social Technology: The New War on Discrimination, with T.E.Flanagan; Federalism and the Charter: Leading Constitutional Decisions, with Peter H. Russell and F. L. Morton; Charter Politics, with F. L. Morton; Parameters of Power: Canada's Political Institutions, with Keith Archer, Roger Gibbins, and Leslie A. Pal; and The Charter Revolution and the Court Party, with F. L. Morton. Current projects include Courting Controversy, a book that explores the rhetorical strategies used by courts to manage highly contentious public issues.
The Charter Revolution presents an updated synthesis of the argument that Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff advanced throughout the1990s, 2 namely that the rise of judicial power in public policymaking following the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms3 has put too much power in the hands of interest groups, especially those on the left, and thereby threatens the democratic fabric of Canada. These interest groups (gay and lesbian rights organizations, feminist groups, poverty activists and civil libertarians, among others) use Charter litigation to further their policy agendas, and because of this, are said to constitute the "Court Party." This "Party," according to Morton and Knopff, has succeeded in advancing its policy agenda,because several key actors in the judicial process sympathize with its goals and support its efforts. These actors include most notably, the lawclerks of the Supreme Court of Canada, federal bureaucrats in charge of funding activist litigation, and law professors. Together, this allegedcabal has hijacked the Supreme Court and transformed it into a venue for advancing unpopular left causes to the exclusion of public participation and public scrutiny.
The directors of the Canadian Justice Review Board come from various walks of life and occupations. We represent a broad range of Canadians who are concerned about the state of the justice system.