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Professor Carissima Mathen, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Courts usually decide cases: live disputes involving spirited, adversarial debate between opposing parties.  Sometimes, though, a court is asked to to answer questions in the absence of cases.  These proceedings are known as ‘references’ or advisory opinions.  References raise many important questions: about the judicial role, about the relationship between courts and those who seek their “advice”, and about the nature of law.  In her presentation, Professor Mathen will track the use of ‘references’,  and discuss how advisory opinions draw courts into the complex relationship between law and politics.

This event is free and open to the public.

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