Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Debra Parkes]

Published In

Supreme Court Law Review

Document Type


Publication Date



Penal Policy, Canada, Supreme Court


The nearly three decades in which Beverley McLachlin was a member of the Supreme Court, including as Chief Justice, witnessed a number of shifts in Canadian penal policy and in the reach and impact of criminal law. During the Harper decade (2006 to 2015) in which the federal Conservatives enjoyed a majority government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, criminal justice policy took a turn toward the punitive. The federal government tore a page out of the American legislative handbook and sought to “govern through crime”, albeit in a more restrained Canadian style.

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