Professor Puddister’s work assesses the intersection of law and politics, the interaction between political actors and the judiciary, and the judicialization of politics. More specifically, her work looks at the litigation behaviour of governments and instances where political actors rely on courts to make political and normative decisions. This work focuses on how judicial review can benefit elected officials, why political actors empower courts, and how litigation can be a viable political strategy. This research addresses the implications of this political actor—court relationship for democratic governance and judicial independence. Professor Puddister has also published work on Canadian politics and on police oversight, accountability, and the RCMP’s Mr. Big investigative technique.
Professor Puddister’s current work involves a comprehensive and strategic analysis of reference cases in Canadian appellate courts and government use of the reference power. This work analyzes how litigation can be used by political actors as a means to delegate decision-making and as a political strategy. This project documents multiple trends related to the use of constitutional reference questions over time, and the political and legal implications of abstract review in Canada.
Professor Puddister is interested in a wide range of issues related to courts, law and politics, comparative judicial politics, and criminal justice policy.