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Canadian courts’ role in public policy has never been greater. In the last year, in constitutional cases alone, the Supreme Court has ruled on Employment Insurance benefits for parental and maternity leave, deportation of immigrants convicted of serious criminal offences, the ability of juries to use silence as evidence of guilt, provincial tobacco litigation statutes, remuneration for provincial court judges, Aboriginal logging rights and the right to participate in provincial resource decisions, pension rights for common-law spouses, media access to search warrants, roadside screening tests, the French-language education provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, whether government should fund certain treatments for autism, the legality of private health insurance, and the colour of margarine.

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