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 Substack and on CanLII.

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Michel Foucault assessing freedom of conscience in Madness and Civilization
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 … Continue reading A prolegomenon on freedom of conscience

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 … 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 … 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 … 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. … Continue reading Taking the time for wellness v. fostering the spirit of wellness

Oversight awry: municipal police and elected oversight bodies, part II

Elected oversight of municipal (or provincial) police forces is, as I indicated in my previous post, a difficult system by which to enforce standards on police. Foremost among the difficulties of this system: the relative … Continue reading Oversight awry: municipal police and elected oversight bodies, part II

Oversight awry: municipal police and elected oversight bodies, part I

The problem and our typical solution This analysis of police supervision in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States will appear in two parts. The first part breaks down the problem with civilian policing … Continue reading Oversight awry: municipal police and elected oversight bodies, part I

Quebec flag

Quebec protects language: the best defense is a good offense

Quebec calls for greater language protection for Canadian federal enterprises The Parliament of Quebec and the Bloc Québecois have formally requested an extension of cooperative federalism to Quebec language protection. ‘Cooperative federalism’ is a legal principle that … Continue reading Quebec protects language: the best defense is a good offense

University education: teach narratives, not hard skills

The quality of Anglo-American university education is eroding, and the Government of Ontario this past week confirmed its rapidly decaying state. With its rapidly ageing motto, ‘open for business,’ finally maturing, the Minister of Colleges … Continue reading University education: teach narratives, not hard skills

Gobbets! Criminal police & Canadian healthcare

A couple thoughts for your edification, thoughts only unified by a wretched malaise about the lack of detail and creativity that too often creeps into public discourse. The first presents a method to prosecute Canadian … Continue reading Gobbets! Criminal police & Canadian healthcare

The original Canadian Parliament building with the Victoria Tower, all of which burnt down in 1916.

Colonial illness haunts Canada’s Parliament

Democracy Watch, an organization that works toward empowering Canadians and Canadian democracy, again turned to Federal Court to challenge the Canadian judicial appointments process. The organization’s frequent turns away from democratic institutions like Parliament speak … Continue reading Colonial illness haunts Canada’s Parliament

Photo credit: Charles Paul Hoffman

Nova Scotian House of Assembly does not sit for nine months

The Nova Scotia House of Assembly has ground to a standstill for the nine months that COVID-19 has raged throughout the world. I contend that this legislative inaction can either be attributed to the hyper-politicization … Continue reading Nova Scotian House of Assembly does not sit for nine months

The United Kingdom Parliament, arguably the home of conservatism

Preservatives and conservatives in a technological society

Don your futurist caps and peer into a political reality in which technology accelerates the speed at which society changes; what role is left for conservatives? The political, deliberative realm that we sometimes trust to … Continue reading Preservatives and conservatives in a technological society

A law school classroom overlooking a hallway, a common site for legal education.
Photo credit: CanadianJurist

For less specialist legal education

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the United Kingdom’s statutory regulator for one branch of the legal profession, has done away with the requirement for a university degree in law, which news has caused me to … Continue reading For less specialist legal education

How to short circuit Donald Trump’s election suits: use a bill of peace to bring them into a single court

President Donald Trump has petulantly refused to accept the results of the American 2020 presidential election. His campaign and the Republican Party have filed almost a dozen lawsuits in Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, with more on … Continue reading How to short circuit Donald Trump’s election suits: use a bill of peace to bring them into a single court

David Hume pondering his problem of induction

Dicey’s ghost walks free

David Hume’s is-ought problem is oft-forgotten in Canadian political and legal circles, and it bears some repetition. We often forget the value of deduction in an algorithmic age, for computers and the science from which … Continue reading Dicey’s ghost walks free

The Law Society of Ontario’s founding legislation.

Law society of Ontario’s authority: public powers misunderstood

Visitors have the right to supervise and correct the affairs of a charitable corporation. The Law Society of Ontario had visitors mentioned in its charter, but this mention was removed. Does the visitor still exist? If so, what might that mean for the profession?

Back to basics in collective agreement drafting to improve labour relations

A new take on collective agreement drafting for better labour relations

I have not encountered specialized collective agreement drafting on my journey through labour relations. It would be nice to see these professionals become a reality.

A representation of the confined living conditions over which the visitor is required to lord

Opening the black box: the law and prison visitors

Visitors have all the rights of an executive, a legislator, and a judge. The three branches of government combine in a single person. If this law applies to prisons, judges can exert their powers as judges and as visitors to correct abuses in the prison system. This law then supplies a novel set of remedies to situations not covered by private nor public law.

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