Unjust by Design – Canada’s Administrative Justice System

Published by UBC Press
Author: Ron Ellis [S. Ronald Ellis, LLB, PhD, LSM]

UBC Press Summary

Unjust by Design

Unjust by Design describes a system of administrative justice in transcendent need of major restructuring. Written by a respected critic, it presents a modernized theory of administrative justice fit for that purpose. It also provides detailed blueprints for the changes the author believes would be necessary if the rule of law were to in fact assume its proper role in Canada’s administrative justice system.

Published in 2013 by UBC Press and one of five books short-listed for the 2013 Donner Prize – the award for best book on public policy by a Canadian.

For extended excerpts of Unjust by Design see UBCpress.ca and SLAW.ca

Reviews of Unjust by Design

By Geneviève Cartier, Professor, Faculté de droit Université de Sherbrooke:

Unjust by Design is a provocative, atypical, and passionate call for the improvement of the administrative justice system.  It presents a unique perspective on the institutional, administrative context by someone with relevant experience and who presents a very elaborate platform for reform.

By David Mullan, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University:

This book has the potential to be very influential with any government willing to take on the task of creating an administrative justice regime that meets constitutional imperatives and, more generally, offers Canadians the prospects of a fair and independent regime for the adjudication of matters affecting their rights

By B.C. Supreme Court Justice T. M.  McEwan:   

In  a speech to the  Pro Bono Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on April 25, 2013, Mr. Justice McEwan  recommended five books to his audience which he said he had “found useful in shaping my own appreciation of the challenges [to the justice system] we face”. The fourth of these was “Unjust by Design” which Justice McEwan described as:

a recent study by Ron Ellis, a Canadian lawyer, concerning recent trends in Administrative Law, including the removal of court adjudication or court-like adjudication to administrative tribunals without the necessary tools or independence to perform  their work adequately

You can read the entire speech by clicking on this link: Speech – Access Pro Bono Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast – April 25 2013.

This review is also cited in this site’s Featured News.

LRC Review

In its June 2013 issue (page 28-29), the LRC published a two-page review of Unjust by Design, written by Toronto lawyer Bob Tarantino.  It is a positive review in which the author offers  only two suggestions: one, that I write a second book on the same subject but suitable for the non-expert public, so that we can have a proper revolution; and two, that I give particulars of what happened in Quebec that justifies my exempting that province from my general criticism.

OBA, Public Lawyers Section Newsletter Review

“The Adjudicator Has No Clothes… “

In the July 2013 issue of the OBA Public Sector Lawyers Newsletter, Voy T. Stelmazynski, Ontario Labour Relations Board Solicitor, has published a very  readable, very positive, review of Unjust by Design, including this:

“Ron Ellis has written a thoughtful, provocative and eminently readable examination of the state of tribunal justice in Canada. Unjust By Design is at once an autobiography, an anecdotal history, a scholarly critique and a challenge. … “

You can read the review in pdf by clicking on this link: The Adjudicator Has No Clothes

CBA Review

In Intra Vires, the Canadian Bar Association National Administrative Law Section Newsletter (July 2013 issue)  one finds a review of UBD by Mike Stephens from BC in which “anyone remotely interested in the current state of administrative justice in Canada” is urged to read the book, a book which Mr. Stephens calls “a comprehensive and thought-provoking work”.

Blacklock’s Reporter

Issue No. 44, September 9, 2013

Review of Unjust by Design: DAVID V. GOLIATH

The Review, written by Holly Doan, may be found here.

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