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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

By the Court

Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

By the Court

Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

Any court watcher knows that the Supreme Court of Canada delivers some of its major constitutional judgments in a “By the Court” format. This transformative approach abandons the common law tradition of attributing decisions to individual judges. By the Court is the first major study of these unanimous and anonymous decisions and features a complete inventory, chronology, and typology of these cases. Peter McCormick and Marc Zanoni explore the origins, purposes, and potential future of “By the Court,” framing this practice as uniquely Canadian, and the most dramatic form of a modern style that highlights the institution and downplays individual contributions.


268 pages

Law and Society


Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

1 What are By the Court decisions?

2 The Supreme Court of Canada Takes to the Constitutional Stage

3 Why Decision Presentation Formats Matter

Part 2: The Road to By the Court Decisions

4 Originality: Nothing to Copy

5 Uniqueness: A Global Common Law Survey

6 Early History: The “Minor Tradition”

7 Emergence: The Birth of the “Grand Tradition”

Part 3: The Modern By the Court Decisions

8 Inventory and Chronology of Decisions

9 A Typology of Decisions

10 Why These Cases?

Part 4: Conclusion

11 The Meaning and the Future of the By the Court Format

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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