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The role the courts should play in Canada's political system is a long-simmering issue. Ever since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982, Canada's courts have been empowered to strike down any legislation held to contravene Canadians' basic rights. While any number of court rulings since that time have caused a stir in legal political circles, in the past several years judicial decisions have attracted the attention of a broader public. Landmark rulings on a range of controversial issues, from aboriginal claims to gay rights, have captured the headlines and catalyzed public debate over the merits of judicial power.;The controversy raises challenging questions about the role of a powerful judiciary in a democracy. In ""Judicial Power and Canadian Democracy"", a series of essays commissioned by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, some of Canada's foremost commentators - academics, politicians, and Supreme Court judges themselves - take up the debate. Some tangle over the pivotal question: should judges have the decisive say on issues involving entrenched rights that have profound implication for the policy preferences of elected bodies? Others examine related issues, including Supreme Court appointment procedures, interest group litigation, the historical roots of the notwithstanding clause, and the state of public opinion on Canada's courts.;Those interested in the power of the judicial branch should find much in this collection to stimulate fresh thinking on issues that are likely to remain on the public agenda for years to come.