SENIOR PARTNER AT BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
PROFESSOR OF LAW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR
WHAT DOES ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
There are many elements of a robust civic society: a vital one is accountability. The exercise of any power brings with it the need to be accountable. Governments must be accountable to the governed. So a critical function of those concerned with civil liberties is to ensure the responsible exercise of political power.
But all actors in civic society — legislators, courts, corporations, organizations, the media, and individuals — must be committed to the justifiable exercise of power and must be prepared to account for its use. The means of accountability may differ — judges are not journalists. But the duty is shared in common. We must all hold each other accountable. We must all recognize that each of us is accountable.
How to achieve this goal is a central problem for liberal democratic societies. Yet we must always remember that millions have perished so that this duty would be recognized. The quest for accountability is a huge challenge even as it is a cherished privilege for a free people.