The Law of Democratic Governing, 2nd Edition

Gregory Tardi

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The Law of Democratic Governing, 2nd Edition is a follow-up to Volume II of the original version of the book. It first establishes a comprehensive method of examining the workings of democratic government and governance by systematically classifying the institutions and processes of the modern state. It then examines each of the major aspects of democratic governing through the judgments of courts, as well as through other sources such as rulings by the Speaker of the House of Commons and case studies drawn from governmental practice. The book concentrates on Canadian examples. However, it also draws on material from the U.S., the U.K., Commonwealth and other jurisdictions around the world.

This book can serve as a useful companion to The Theory and Practice of Political Law, now also in its 2nd edition. Both books emphasize the importance of the linkages and interactions among public law, public policy and politics, united in the subject matter of political law.

New in this edition:

New Chapters:

  • The Accountability to Law of Heads of State and Government
  • Democratic Government and Politics in the XXIst Century

Discussion of the following Supreme Court of Canada decisions, among others:

  • Definition of “Law”: Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students – British Columbia Component, Supreme Court of Canada; July 10, 2009, 2009 SCC 31.

The Greater Vancouver Transit Authority and BC Transit established a policy of permitting commercial, but not political, advertisements on their vehicles.This case concerns the ability of government entities to disregard individuals' right to political expression in public places by means of policies.

  • Political Activities - R. v. Cawthorne, Supreme Court of Canada; July 22, 2016, 2016 SCC 32.

In the course of a prosecution of a seaman for offences pursuant to provisions of the National Defence Act, the Supreme Court of Canada was called upon to examine the notion of prosecutorial independence.This analysis opened the way for the Court to draw the necessary distinction between the concepts of "political" and "partisan".

  • Inclusion of Aboriginals in Canadian Statehood - Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), Supreme Court of Canada; April 14, 2016, 2016 SCC 12.

In this case, the applicants sought three declarations including whether Métis and non-status Indians fall within the concept of "Indian" in the sense of the 1867 constitutional definition.

  • Political Speech About Public Figures by Third Parties - B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association v. British Columbia (Attorney General), Supreme Court of Canada; January 26, 2017.

The Supreme Court considered whether small-scale election advertising in the form of homemade signs, bumper-stickers and T-shirts should render an association liable to registration pursuant to s. 239 of the Election Act.

  • Preparation of Legislation - Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), Supreme Court of Canada; October 11, 2018 2018 SCC 40.

This case involved consideration of whether there the government has a duty to consult with First Nations groups in the preparation and drafting of legislation.

  • Major Economic Issues - R. v. Comeau, Supreme Court of Canada; April 19, 2018, 2018 SCC 15.

This case concerned the constitutional aspects around restrictions on importing alcohol across provincial boundaries.

  • Role of Lawyers in Government / Professional Ethics - Green v. Law Society of Manitoba, Supreme Court of Canada; March 30, 2017 2017 SCC 20.

This case involved the validity of continuing professional development requirements for lawyers in Manitoba.


Practice Area:
Government Agencies and Programs


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