Publication Name

The Originalism of F.R. Scott


Few figures have impacted 20th century Canadian history and thought as deeply as F.R. Scott. Although many remember Scott today as a socialist, nationalist, civil libertarian and poet, few remember him as an originalist. After defining various schools of originalism, I argue that Scott implicitly espoused two types of originalism: intentionalism and framework originalism. As an intentionalist, Scott treated the Framers’ purposes and objectives as paramount in interpreting the British North America Act of 1867. As a framework originalist, Scott contended that the Framers established a constitutional architecture fully capable of meeting the challenges of future centuries. Scott’s originalism contains broader lessons both for contemporary originalist theory and Canadian constitutional theory.




Originalism, Canadian Constitutional Law, Canadian Constitutional Theory, Legal History, F.R. Scott


Constitutional Law | Law | Legal History