A visual representation of The Judicious Sasquatch

A blog about history and public policy with a focus on power relationships in Western polities.

The Blog

The Judicious Sasquatch reconciles states’ monopoly on legal power with local preoccupations. Most of our lives are spent in a local context, but the policies that can come from local, community-based sources often clash with national concerns that, in many situations, result in national concerns dominating the narrative.

National news and creeping consolidation of social media have mimicked state control over legal authority, which again creates problems for local expression. The new national and international monopolies on power can, or so the Sasquatch thinks, be balanced with attention to local, particular power structures.

The Goal

The Judicious Sasquatch aims to stimulate and inspire your thinking about local policy issues. It aims to illicit strong reactions followed by reasoned debate. It pushes policy ideas in new, unexpected directions.

One a more personal note, my objective is to delve into nooks and crannies that don’t often see the light of day. There are myriad curiosities that have been forgotten or dismissed by policy wonks, lawyers, and academics. My posts cut against the grain in this sense. I hope that they inform you and let you take a different perspective on the issues confronting our societies.

Learn more about the author of The Judicious Sasquatch.

N.B. Some posts also appear on CanLII.

Hey there!
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive Judicious Sasquatch content in your inbox most every week.

The Judicious Sasquatch doesn’t spam! Ever.

Conscience and equity derive in part from Greco-Roman law and culture.

A broader honour for our Crown?

This piece is released as part of a broader book project currently soliciting funds via Kickstarter. Aequitas sequitur legem: equity follows the law, which concept expresses the victory of common law over its equitable counterpart. There is good reason for this win, for the ancient law of equity was administered by the Lord Chancellor, a … Continue reading A broader honour for our Crown?

Sir John A. Macdonald’s diploma, Barrister at Law, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Articling students: unionize against the LSO

This post is cross-posted to CanLII. The Law Society of Ontario occupies a special place in most lawyers’ hearts, and much talk has sprung up in recent years about how that special place first forms, then concatenates. One reason that springs to mind among the next crop of legal advisers is that articling students are … Continue reading Articling students: unionize against the LSO

The confused Canadian approach to conscience

The Canadian approach to conscience is, as the title suggests, confused. Conscience is often only paid scanting attention in judge-made law because its legal and social meaning is obscured by its most common manifestation. Courts adjudicating on issues relating to religious rights, or balancing the rights of a religious person or group against another minority’s interest, often touch on conscience as a facet of religion.

Michel Foucault assessing freedom of conscience in Madness and Civilization

A prolegomenon on freedom of conscience

One’s conscience is received by legal institutions and ethicists alike as the centre for moral decisions, yet the freedom to have a conscience is often interpreted in terms of religious belief. This interpretation is, of course, borne from conscience’s long association with religion: Canada’s governors were, for example, instructed to ‘permit Liberty of Conscience, and the free Exercise of all such modes of Religious Worship as are not prohibited by Law’.

An analogy for aviation medicine: old planes are cool, but scratch the surface and you often find the need to repair its systems.

People are looking to fly, but aviation medicine falls short

This post is cross-posted on CanLii. A significant danger when governing safety-sensitive occupations is lapsing into anecdotal evidentiary practises to justify rigid rules. The danger inherent in anecdotes is their subjectivity, which is often clothed in the guise of fact: a rule’s legitimacy depends on the safety that it provides, which in turn must relate … Continue reading People are looking to fly, but aviation medicine falls short

Arbitrators are able to exercise their conscience in decision-making similar to judges' powers in equity.

The arbitrator’s conscience and revivified legal pluralism

This post is cross-posted on CanLII. International and domestic arbitration is becoming an attractive dispute resolution service, and it is one that allows parties to chose the law under which their rights are established. As this form of law becomes increasingly popular, the limits of arbitral jurisdiction will be tested. International and domestic law on … Continue reading The arbitrator’s conscience and revivified legal pluralism

Time for full-time: give doctoral candidates a salary

Canadian doctoral candidates, who study in relative obscurity to advance the state of knowledge, are poorly remunerated (if they are remunerated at all). More doctoral candidates are receiving their degrees at the present time than ever before: federal and provincial funding agencies simply do not have the resources to keep up with demand. Nor do … Continue reading Time for full-time: give doctoral candidates a salary

Taking the time for wellness v. fostering the spirit of wellness

The University of Ottawa’s Wellness Week, which aims to help students and staff mind their own mental health during a self-declared mental health crisis, falls well short of a useful response to mental health concerns. Then again, a recent University report promises a ‘cross-university wellness strategic framework’. If such a framework is going to work, … Continue reading Taking the time for wellness v. fostering the spirit of wellness

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Hey there!
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive Judicious Sasquatch content in your inbox most every week.

The Judicious Sasquatch doesn’t spam! Ever.