Rarotonga, 2010

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Canadian Animal Law

Judicial Review - Public v Private - Introduction

The courts have required of judicial review jurisdiction that it not only seek a prerogative writ remedy [JRPA 2(1)1] - or a declaration or injunctions regarding statutory powers [JRPA 2(1)2] - but also that the matter be 'public'. The concept of 'public' is not defined in the JRPA or elsewhere in statute, it is a court-defined common law concept. A simple way to get a flavour for what is 'public' is in this sense to consider a government agency (say the Ministry of the Environment) engaged in a logistical activity - such as buying new computers (private), as opposed to engaging in an act central to it's political mandate, such as giving EPA approvals for a waste disposal site (public). The public-private distinction is often litigated, which indicates that there is no bright-line distinction between the two.

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