Proportionality and the Rule of Law: Rights, Reasoning, Justification (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (edited with G. Huscroft and B.W. Miller)
To speak of human rights is to speak of proportionality. Proportionality has been received into the constitutional doctrine of courts in continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, South Africa, and the United States, as well as the jurisprudence of treaty-based legal systems such as the European Convention on Human Rights. This volume brings together many of the world’s leading constitutional proponents and critics of proportionality to debate the merits of proportionality, the nature of rights, the practice of judicial review, and moral and legal reasoning.
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The Negotiable Constitution: On the Limitation of Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback edition 2012)
In matters of rights, constitutions tend to avoid settling controversies. With few exceptions, rights are formulated in open-ended language, seeking consensus on an abstraction without purporting to resolve the many moral-political questions implicated by rights. The resulting view has been that rights extend everywhere but are everywhere infringed by legislation seeking to resolve the very moral-political questions the constitution seeks to avoid. The Negotiable Constitution challenges this view. Arguing that underspecified rights call for greater specification, Grégoire C. N. Webber draws on limitation clauses common to most bills of rights to develop a new understanding of the relationship between rights and legislation. The legislature is situated as a key constitutional actor tasked with completing the specification of constitutional rights. In turn, because the constitutional project is incomplete with regards to rights, it is open to being re-negotiated by legislation struggling with the very moral-political questions left underdetermined at the constitutional level.
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The Limitation of Charter Rights: Critical Essays on R. v. Oakes (co-edited with L.B. Tremblay) (Montreal: Thémis, 2009)
Twenty years after the Supreme Court of Canada's famous decision in R. v. Oakes (1986) interpreting the limitation clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the meaning, role, and normative foundation of the analysis for justifying the limits of constitutional rights remain controversial. The critical essays in this volume interrogate the central question raised by this limitation clause: what general conditions must be satisfied before a constitutional right's limit constitutes a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?