A Culture of Justification

<EM>Vavilov</EM> and the Future of Administrative Law

By Paul Daly
Categories: Law & Legal Studies, Law & Society, Political Science, Legal History
Series: Landmark Cases in Canadian Law
Publisher: UBC Press
Hardcover : 9780774869089, 272 pages, August 2023
Paperback : 9780774869096, 272 pages, August 2023
Ebook (PDF) : 9780774869102, 272 pages, August 2023
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780774869119, 272 pages, August 2023

Table of contents


1 Why Is Administrative Law So Complicated?

2 A Deep Dive into Judicial Review

3 The Dunsmuir Decade

4 The Big Bang

5 Vavilov Hits the Road

6 Unresolved Issues after Vavilov


Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index of Cases; Index


Canadian administrative law was bedevilled for many decades by uncertainty and confusion. In 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada sought to bring this chaos to an end in its landmark decision Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v Vavilov. In A Culture of Justification, Paul Daly explains why Canada’s administrative law was uncertain and confusing, and he assesses the proposition that Vavilov provides a roadmap to a brighter future. Looking at administrative law from its historic origins in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, identifying the complexity of its underlying structure, and describing divergent judicial attitudes to the growing administrative state, Daly builds a framework for understanding why multiple previous reform efforts failed and why Vavilov might very well succeed. This engaging study shows readers how a newly emerged “culture of justification” allows courts and citizens to insist on the reasoned exercise of public power by the administrative state.


Professor Daly successfully makes the case that Vavilov has provided significant clarity to the judicial review process.

- Ian Mackenzie, Slaw Magazine