The Guardians of Quasi-Constitutional Legislation

One of the interesting features of the quasi-constitutional statutes identified by the Supreme Court of Canada is that many of them create institutions to ensure their effective implementation. Some of these take the form of administrative bodies, while others are officers that report to Parliament. These institutions and offices are key to the implementation of quasi-constitutional statutes. But they are also key to implementing the constitution itself. Quasi-constitutional statutes implement constitutional imperatives; it stands to reason, then, that the institutions that oversee them are also engaged in constitutionally significant activity. In this paper I consider the implications of this conclusion for our understanding of the role of administrative bodies and Officers of Parliament in the constitutional state.