Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Privy Council Blogging

Things have been a bit quiet here. Quiet enough to have driven away all my readers, except the loyal spambots (thanks guys!). This is a common enough tradition in blogging. At some point, the demands of family, work and healthy outdoor activities make even the most opinionated loser wonder about the value of arguing with anonymous people on the Internet about politics. There is a more active Canadian legal blogosphere than back when I started in 2006. So not much comparative value for the Pithlord. Still, and against my better judgment, I am going to try to reboot this thing.

Management has decided on a niche marketing strategy. I am going to try to blog all the Canadian constitutional decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council between Confederation and the abolition of appeals to the throne in 1949.

Some spambots and accidental googlers may wonder why I am narrowing the focus of the brand so much. After all, Pith & Substance once wandered over larger terrain, for example by triumpahtly predicting the victory of Fred Thompson in the 2008 Republican primary and presciently expressing optimism about the fiscal responsibility of the Ontario Liberals. Well, you are just going to have to come up with that level of analysis for yourselves from now on, spambots. I have my reasons.

The good folks at BAILII have put the JCPC's decisions online. However, they are still image documents. I don't complain, but I think the relative availability of SCC cases on the Internet may give a lopsided view of the constitutional development of this country. I don't claim this is a centralist plot to subject provincial autonomy under the jackboot of Ottawa.

But just in case, I would like to do my bit to make the cases more accessible to google. I also think that going through them in chronological order shows that the JCPC's jurisprudence was a lot more coherent than it is given credit for. Readers are invited to judge for themselves.

If there are any.