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Mark Harding

Position: 

Graduate Fellow 2015-16

Biography: 

Mark Harding is a PhD candidate specializing in Canadian politics and political theory in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. He received his MA from the University of Calgary and his BA from St. Thomas University.

Research Activities: 

Debating Dialogue: Judicial Review and Elected Responses in Commonwealth Regimes

Within liberal democracies, bills of rights have become the prominent mechanism for rights protection. However, there are many different models of bills of rights, the merits of which are subject to debate. My research concerns the extent of “inter-institutional dialogue” between courts and legislatures in Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand in order to provide empirical evidence for how different models of rights protection affect democratic governance. My dissertation assesses the relationship of the formal structure of rights protection to the reality of political dialogue within each case country. I analyze how judicial power grows in a manner currently overlooked within the literature. In each case country, the judiciary uses the bill of rights to revise other areas of law. This takes place when the bill of rights is used to update common law rules and to reinterpret statutes. This process raises questions about the appropriate division of labour between courts and legislatures.

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