The Crest Affair: Judicial Independence and Yukon’s Supreme Court


  • Hon. Ronald Veale Supreme Court of Yukon
  • Andrea Bailey Whitehorse



Judicial Independence, Yukon, Supreme Court


The Yukon’s 1986 “Crest Affair” has entered into local legal lore as a contest about judicial independence. It was that and more. In addition to galvanizing the general public to take note of the Yukon courts as an independent institution, the resulting proceedings before the Law Society of Yukon resolved a live question about the professional obligations of the Yukon Minister of Justice as a member of the bar. As well, the Crest Affair is simply a good story, given that it took place at a time of conflict between the Yukon’s Minister of Justice, the Senior Judge of the Yukon Supreme Court, and the president of the Law Society. In the context of a small jurisdiction with outspoken personalities and robust local media, the Crest Affair led to lively public debate and generated a significant amount of news coverage, some of which is recounted here. ...

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Author Biographies

Hon. Ronald Veale, Supreme Court of Yukon

Chief Justice

Andrea Bailey, Whitehorse

... legal counsel with the Yukon Department of Justice. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any views and opinions of the Yukon Department of Justice or the Government of Yukon.