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Report No. 99

2.9. Professor McWhinney's views.-

It may be of interest to mention that at the request of the Member-Secretary of the Commission. Dr. Edward McWhinney, the eminent constitutional jurist1 was good enough to forward to the Commission his views of the Questionnaire. This is what he says in regard to Q. 21 (which sought views as to whether there should be imposed a time limit on oral arguments).

Q. 21. Certainly, the permitting of unrestricted oral arguments-often lasting hours or days-is an historically,-derived affectation of "Anglo-Saxon", British-patterned tribunals and increasingly unsuitable and irrelevant to busy modern Supreme Courts".

We should, of course, mention that in his reply on Q. 22 (written briefs) Dr. McWhinney, while stating that written briefs would improve the quality of counsel's argumentation and of the final court decision making, has added the following rider:-

"Of course, limitations on the length of written briefs may also be useful, to encourage succinctness and reduce unnecessary padding of briefs."

1. Letter from Dr. McWhinney, Q.C., Professor of International Law and Relations, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. Canada (18 January, 1981).

Oral and Written Arguments in the Higher Courts Back

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