Social Media Magazine

Review Series: ‘Mighty Judgment’ by Philip Slayton

Posted on the 20 September 2021 by Cendrinemedia @cendrinemedia

Many of you may not know it, but I was a digital journalist and reviewer for several years in the 2010s.

When, the website for which I wrote closed, all my work went offline. Fortunately, I had saved copies of many of my articles to an old external drive that I recently uncovered. After going through my files, I realized that some of the books, documentaries and music I had discussed deserved a re-share.

So here we are. Welcome to my Review Series! Every two weeks, I'll post a "new" review on the blog.

Let's start with Philip Slayton's excellent book titled Mighty Judgment.

Review Series: ‘Mighty Judgment’ by Philip Slayton

The Supreme Court is Canada's court of last resort. There is nowhere to go afterwards.

Philip Slayton, Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life.

The Supreme Court is the most important body of law of any country. It takes major legal decisions and is often instrumental in shaping the way society evolves.

And yet, most people do not know much about it. In fact, they are totally unaware of the names of its main actors. In Canada, the current Supreme Court Justices are Beverly McLachlin, Ian Binnie, Louis Lebel, Marie Deschamps, Morris Fish, Rosalie Abella, Louise Charron, Marshall Rothstein, and Tom Cromwell.

In 2015, four of Canada's Supreme Court judges will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75. There will be no democratic election to decide who replaces them. Only one person, the prime minister, will have his or her say in the appointments.

With that idea in mind, Philip Slayton has written a book that educates and enlightens Canadians as to the past, present and future of one of the most 'secretive' institutions in their country. Divided into two main parts, Mighty Judgment first deals with some of the major decisions handed down by the Supreme Court since 1982-the year when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force. The second part gets a little more personal, featuring interesting details on the lives of the current judges.

The strength of Mighty Judgment lies in its approachability. The extensive amount of facts, quotes, anecdotes, and article extracts is presented in a manner that is very reader-friendly and easy to understand.

However, Mighty Judgment would not be as interesting as it is without Slayton's talent for the written word. The lawyer in him clearly masters linguistic nuances, while favoring a style that will appeal to experts in the legal field and laymen alike.

Mighty Judgment offers great insights into the inner workings of Canada's Supreme Court. Reading it will help you understand how you can help shape its future-and the future of the country at large.

More about Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life

Publication date: April 16, 2011
Publisher: Allen Lane Canada
ISBN: 978-0-67006-927-9

About Philip Slayton

Philip Slayton is the author of Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada's Legal Profession, Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life, Bay Street: A Novel, Mayors Gone Bad, How To Be Good: The Struggle Between Law and Ethics (with Patricia Chisholm), The Future of Tennis (with Peter Figura), and Nothing Left to Lose. A Rhodes Scholar, he served as a law clerk on the Supreme Court of Canada before joining the law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon. He retired as a senior partner in 2000.

Slayton writes for Canadian Lawyer magazine and divides his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.


This review was originally written in 2011.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog