Shawcross Doctrine

There has been a lot of back and forth about the Shawcross Doctrine which, as I read it, permits an Attorney General to seek input from other actors when faced with a decision. Various of the witnesses, Mr. Wernick in particular, have asserted that this doctrine permits robust discussions with the AG regarding these decisions.

During her appearance before the Justice Committee Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (professor at several law schools and a former judge) described, appropriately I think, the limits on the doctrine. As she points out if the discussions are an attempt to persuade the AG to take a position then raises questions about the rule of law.  She made the particular assertion that the purpose of these communications is to provide the AG with information, not to get her to change her mind.

Author: Tom Jarmyn