BEYOND THE FLIGHT FROM CONSTITUTIONAL LEGALISM: RETHINKING THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL POLICY POST-CHARLOTTETOWN

Sujit Choudhry

Abstract


A decade after the demise of the Charlottetown Accord in 1992,1 one of the most visible features of federal-provincial relations is the replacement of constitutional with non-constitutional policy instruments to secure many of the same ends — what I term the “flight from constitutional legalism.” Instead of constitutional amendments, the instrument of choice is the non-legal, intergovernmental accord. The leading examples are the Social Union Framework Agreement2 and the Agreement on Internal Trade,3 which in differing levels of detail set out both a normative framework and an institutional architecture to manage the Social Union and the Economic Union, respectively.


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