Publications

Sentencing Guidelines for Canada: A Re-Evaluation

Canadian Criminal Law Review 22, no. 3 (2017): 275-295.

Abstract: The current federal Liberal government should analyze the experience of England and Wales when exploring alternatives to mandatory minimum sentences. Sentencing guidelines of the variety used in England and Wales can contribute to consistent sentencing practice while still retaining significant judicial discretion. This study examines the factors that Canadian policymakers should consider in their deliberations using interviews with sentencing guideline drafters, the judiciary, and other criminal justice experts in England and Wales.

[Published by Thomson Reuters; Available on Westlaw].

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Publications

Bylaw Battles: Explaining Municipal-Provincial and Municipal-Federal Win-Rates

Samuel Mosonyi and Dennis Baker, “Bylaw Battles: Explaining Municipal-Provincial and Municipal-Federal Win-Rates,” Canadian Journal of Urban Research 25, no. 2 (2016): 11-22.

Abstract:

Municipal bylaws are routinely contested in court on the grounds that they are “ultra vires” or beyond the legal authority of the municipality. Many of these challenges allege that the municipal exercise of power infringes on federal or provincial powers as assigned by ss. 91 and 92 of the British North America Act, 1867. These conflicts have not been systematically studied and we address this lacuna by surveying the reported cases of municipal-federal and municipal-provincial conflicts in the LawSource database of Canadian judgments. Our preliminary finding—that challenges on federal grounds are much more likely to succeed than those on provincial grounds—requires an explanation. After factoring some disparities in the case sets (including a disproportionate number of zoning cases in the provincial context), we argue that the persistent difference in win-rates is due to a greater acceptance of municipal autonomy in the provincial context (despite their origins as “creatures of the province,” a number of provincial statutes have granted broad authority to many municipalities) whereas the federal conflicts run more clearly against constitutionally-defined interests. We conclude by considering this asymmetry and its significance for Canadian multi-level governance.
Full text here.
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Publications

Enquiry, Engagement and eLearning: Three Perspectives on a Student-Centred, Online, Enquiry-Based Course

Jacqueline Murray, Natalie Giesbrecht, and Samuel Mosonyi, “Enquiry, Engagement and eLearning: Three Perspectives on a Student-Centred, Online, Enquiry-Based Course,” Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching 6 (2013): 34-40.

Abstract:

In the 2011 Winter semester, the University of Guelph engaged in a pedagogical experiment: an online first-year seminar. This article is a conversation about the learning journey that surrounds this seminar, as experienced by three participants: Jacqueline Murray (JM), Professor of History and Director of the First-Year Seminar Program (FYS); Natalie Giesbrecht (NG), Manager, Distance Education and a Distance Learning Specialist; and Samuel Mosonyi (SM), an undergraduate student who was enrolled in the course. We reflect upon the online seminar and discuss the technology and pedagogy, student learning experience, and process of online interaction. We conclude that this seminar, an innovation in both enquiry-based learning and first-year seminars, is arguably comparable with classroom-based offerings.

Full text here.

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