Whether deciding on fundamental principles of common law, interpreting the articles of constitutions, or making sense of the explosion of human rights, courts, especially the higher and supreme courts, are called on to decide issues of importance for the common good and for the rights and interests of individual persons.

In performing this role, courts operate under principles of independence, which means they are neither directly responsive nor directly accountable to the political process. How then do judges decide cases, especially hard cases? What are the underlying principles, the informal guidelines, the constraints and limitations?

In this lecture, Justice Robert J Sharpe, of the Ontario Court of Appeal will consider further the judicial process, the kinds of arguments and reasons that count, the constraints under which they must operate. It will be followed by a workshop the following day, where a round-table of academic and judicial experts will explore the discussion further.

Robert J. Sharpe holds an LL.B. from the University of Toronto  and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He has written many books and scholarly articles and has reported judgements as a trial and appellate judge in a wide variety of areas.

To register, please visit www.fljs.org/events