University of the Pacific

 

Event Title

Leadership and Strategic Change on the Supreme Court of Canada

Location

Biology Building, Room 101

Start Date

21-11-2019 6:00 PM

End Date

21-11-2019 7:00 PM

Description

In the age of polarized political discourse in the United States, American citizens and judicial elites could learn from examining the leadership style of Chief Justice McLachlin, who led the Canadian Supreme Court from 2000-2017. This lecture will begin by discussing some basic facts about Canada and the Canadian Supreme Court and then use theories of strategic behavior and leadership change to exam-ine patterns of majority voting, opinion authorship, ideological voting, and panel size across the three modern chief justices (1973-2014). While Chief Justice Lamer and Dickson displayed clear patterns of task leadership, Chief Justice McLachlin exhibited both task and social lead-ership patterns, which is highly uncommon. As the first female to lead a common-law high court, these findings are worthy of scholarly atten-tion. She was able to foster a far more collegial and unified court than her predecessors, and her efforts were indicative of a leader who un-derstood the importance of collegiality despite increasing panel sizes and the growing political role of the Court in Canadian society in re-cent years.

Speaker Bio

Cindy Ostberg is a Professor in the Political Science Department and the Pre-law advisor at Pacific. She earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in Anthropology and her Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University in Political Science. She came to Pacific in 1994 and subsequently helped develop the Pacific Legal Scholars Program, which she has directed since it was created in 2007. She teaches classes in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Courts and Judicial Behavior. Over the last 20 years, she has done extensive research systematically exploring judicial behavior on the Canadian Supreme Court, and has published numerous articles and books addressing such topics as strategic decision-making, freshman effects, attitudinal conflict on the Canadian Court, gender effects, and leadership styles. Her most recent publication includes a book she co-authored with Matthew E. Wetstein titled, Value Change in the Supreme Court of Canada. She is currently working on a book analysing the impact of Chief Justice McLachlin on the Canadian Supreme Court from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 21st, 6:00 PM Nov 21st, 7:00 PM

Leadership and Strategic Change on the Supreme Court of Canada

Biology Building, Room 101

In the age of polarized political discourse in the United States, American citizens and judicial elites could learn from examining the leadership style of Chief Justice McLachlin, who led the Canadian Supreme Court from 2000-2017. This lecture will begin by discussing some basic facts about Canada and the Canadian Supreme Court and then use theories of strategic behavior and leadership change to exam-ine patterns of majority voting, opinion authorship, ideological voting, and panel size across the three modern chief justices (1973-2014). While Chief Justice Lamer and Dickson displayed clear patterns of task leadership, Chief Justice McLachlin exhibited both task and social lead-ership patterns, which is highly uncommon. As the first female to lead a common-law high court, these findings are worthy of scholarly atten-tion. She was able to foster a far more collegial and unified court than her predecessors, and her efforts were indicative of a leader who un-derstood the importance of collegiality despite increasing panel sizes and the growing political role of the Court in Canadian society in re-cent years.