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Both lionized and vilified, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé has shaped the Canadian legal landscape – and in particular its highest court. The second woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the first from Quebec, she was known as “the great dissenter” on the bench, making judgments that were applauded and criticized in turn.
L’Heureux-Dubé’s innovative legal approach was anchored in the social, economic, and political context of her cases. Constance Backhouse employs a similar tactic. Rather than focusing exclusively on her high-profile cases and jurisprudential legacy, sheexplores the socio-political and cultural setting in which L’Heureux-Dubé’s career unfolded, while also considering her personal life.
This compelling biography covers aspects of legal history that have never been so fully investigated, enhancing our understanding of the judiciary, the creation of law, the distinctive socio-legal environment of Quebec, the experiences of women in the legal profession, and the inner workings of the top court.