Throughout his study, Bushnell investigates the question of the absence of an independent judicial tradition in Canada and the development of distinct legal doctrine by the Supreme Court. He analyses the nature and cause of the lack of independent thought that makes the Court "captive" to inherited traditions and legal doctrines and prevents it from achieving its true potential within the Canadian legal system. Previous studies of the Court have concentrated on the years after 1949; by expanding the coverage to include the first three-quarters of a century of the Court's existence, Bushnell has uncovered a critical aspect of Canadian legal history.
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