Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Laws




Jason W. Neyers


This project develops an interpretive account of the single reasonableness standard as it has evolved in the Canadian Supreme Court case law since its introduction in New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir. My analyses show, contrary to the bulk of the academic commentary, that reasonableness is a clear and coherent standard of review. Specifically I show that in the eyes of the Court, interference owing to unreasonableness is required only when decisions are not justified in the context of the legal framework. Unjustified decisions demand interference because they are arbitrary in the sense that the powers of the state are exerted without regard for the accepted system of rules, meaning they undermine the rule of law. Once a justification has been confirmed to exist, however, all grounds for interference owing to unreasonableness have been extinguished because interference with a justified decision undermines the foundational democratic principle.