Recorded Seminar: “Rectifying Injustice: Battles that Need to Be Fought Again”


Recorded: 4 November 2022, 58 minutes

The doctrine of stare decisis is a cornerstone of our legal system. It provides predictability and allows all parties to know the answer to important legal questions. But it can also entrench injustice. When a Supreme Court decision sets down a new rule, it provides a firm and seemingly unshakable way of looking at a legal problem. Unfortunately, Supreme Court precedents are not easily challenged, and they can have hugely negative ramifications for criminal defendants. Sometimes the residual unfairness created by a particular precedent can linger for decades.

In this seminar, Professor Sankoff explains why it is sometimes important to challenge the established orthodoxy and provide a tool kit for how this can be done. Then he provides eight examples of rules that are causing injustice to accused persons, and advocate for lawyers to rectify them by bringing legal challenges that contest the status quo.