6100 ESSAY.ASG. Winter 2010

6100 ESSAY.ASG. Winter 2010 - YORK UNIVERSITY PPAL 6100...

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YORK UNIVERSITY PPAL 6100 Canadian Constitutional and Administrative Law Winter 2010 Major Essay Assignment This essay assignment consists of a policy study that focuses on a particular court case. You can chose to write on one of the cases you have already researched for one of your oral presentations, or which you have written upon in your case analysis assignment. Alternatively, you can write on one of the cases indicated below. The essay assignment is worth 35% of the final grade. The expected length of this written assignment is roughly 12-15 pages . It is due April 1. No extensions are allowed except under exceptional circumstances . Policy Study A policy study focusing on a court case is meant to answer several interrelated questions: why did this particular case arise; how did the court dispose of the issue (who won and what reasons did the court give for its decision); and what were the consequences of the decision. Constitutional and administrative law cases arise for many reasons. Sometimes they result from an individual calculation, i.e. someone doesn’t like the way a law or administrative action affects him or her and decides that there is a chance of successfully arguing in court that the law or administrative action is unconstitutional or a breach of the norms of administrative law. In such a calculation the individual is trying to use the law principally for his or her own advantage. On the other hand, a case might be brought forward strategically as part of a public interest campaign on the part of some group which thinks that a court victory will lead to a desired policy change. Sometimes constitutional cases come about because one level of government believes its jurisdiction is being encroached upon by another level of government. Sometimes they are part of a government’s strategic political manoeuvring designed either to forestall another level of government form acting in some way, or to rationalize inactivity on the part of the government that initiated the court proceedings. Just as the question of legal mobilization (what causes an issue to be brought to court) can produce various answers, so too can the question of political impact (what are the concrete policy consequences of the judgment in the case you are studying).
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