"The hungry judges soon the sentence sign And wretches hang that jurymen may dine."— Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock; Canto III, L1. 21-22
This acidic observation is the cynical answer to what remains one of the great mysteries of the law: how do judges arrive at their decisions? The impression of many is that the courts do whatever they wish to do with cases that come before them.
Some criticize "judicial imperialism," "government by the judiciary," and even judicial "dictatorship." Judges have certainly been given additional powers by our new Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but is the legal system out of control? This book explains the forms of reasoning judges use when deciding how the law applies in particular cases.