By Craig Forcese

Full Professor
Faculty of Law

Email: cforcese[at]uottawa.ca

Twitter: @cforcese

 

Most Recent Blog Postings

 Books


On 20 October 2014, a terrorist drove his car into two members of the Canadian Armed Forces, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Two days later, another terrorist murdered Corporal Nathan Cirillo before storming Parliament. In the aftermath of these attacks, Parliament enacted Bill C-51 — the most radical national security law in generations. This new law ignored hard lessons on how Canada both over- and underreacted to terrorism in the past. It also ignored evidence and urgent recommendations about how to avoid these dangers in the future.

For much of 2015, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach have provided, as Maclean’s put it, the “intellectual core of what’s emerged as surprisingly vigorous push-back” to Bill C-51. In False Security, they show that our terror laws now make a false promise of security even as they present a radical challenge to rights and liberties. They trace how our laws repeat past mistakes of institutionalized illegality while failing to address problems that weaken the accountability of security agencies and impair Canada’s ability to defend against terrorism.

Public Law: Cases, Commentary, and Analysis (2015, 3/e; 2011, 2/e; 2006, 1/e), Craig Forcese and Adam Dodek (managing eds), is the only text of its kind devoted exclusively to public law in Canada. Using carefully selected case excerpts, this text demonstrates concepts, principles, and theory in a direct and accessible manner. Cases are presented with insightful author commentary, offering a compelling, cohesive introduction to the subject of public law.

More Canadians are riding bicycles than ever before, but did you know that riding your bike in Canada is now almost as heavily regulated as driving your car?

Whether you are one of more than 200,000 Canadians who commute by bike, the parent of a child with her first two-wheeler, a veteran racer, or a recreational rider, the chances are you will need this book. In Every Cyclist’s Guide to Canadian Law (2014), Craig Forcese and Nicole LaViolette, both law professors and avid cyclists, provide a comprehensive overview of Canadian law for bicycles — covering rules of the road, purchasing and using bicycles, what to do in the case of an accident or a stolen bike, starting up your own cycling club, racing your bike, and much more.

International Law: Doctrine, Practice, and Theory (2014, 2/e; 2007, 1/e), John Currie, Craig Forcese, Joanna Harrington, and Valerie Oosterveld, is an innovative and unique volume which crosses the traditional boundaries between textbook, casebook, and scholarly monograph. The book is designed primarily as an introduction to the system and substance of international law. It is also a convenient and comprehensive reference work on the most important aspects of this burgeoning field.

The book includes introductory materials on the nature, history, and theory of international law from an international relations, as well as a legal, perspective. Carefully selected and edited primary materials — including treaties, UN documents, and cases — take readers to the very sources of the rules and principles that comprise modern international law. Extensive and critical commentary on, and analysis of, these primary materials guide the reader to an understanding of the rules, their strengths and weaknesses, and their place in the international legal system. Descriptions of contemporary real-world situations provide concrete context to the discussion.

Terrorism, Law and Democracy: 10 Years after 9/11 (2012), Craig Forcese and François Crépeau (eds) is a collection of papers presented in Montreal at the 2011 CIAJ annual conference for judges, practitioners, academics and other professionals. Chapters by judges, lawyers, professors and practitioners focus on contemporary challenges in Canadian anti-terrorism law and practice.

The Laws of Government (2010 2/e; 2005 1/e), Craig Forcese and Aaron Freeman, is a comprehensive legal treatise on the law of Canadian democracy. This book is a one-stop-shop for an area of law and policy that is emerging quickly. Almost every year, Parliament has had to deal with controversies involving electoral reform, political fundraising rules, ethics and conflict of interest, access to information, judicial appointments, parliamentary reform, and minority governments, to name a few. The book grapples with these contemporary issues.

Each chapter deals with a discrete area in the law of democratic governance, providing a detailed account of the relevant legal and policy issues and exploring the nature and likelihood of law reform. It includes original empirical research on judicial and non-judicial governor-in-council appointments, lobbying, and legislative productivity in Parliament.

The Human Rights of Anti-terrorism (2008), Nicole LaViolette and Craig Forcese (eds), contains timely explorations of some of the most important issues facing the international community today. The book is a collection of papers by internationally- recognized scholars and thinkers from across Canada and around the world to a June 2006 colloquium on Human Rights and Anti-terrorism held in Ottawa. The colloquium grappled with the interrelationship between anti-terrorism, human rights, and international humanitarian law. The Ottawa Principles on Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights, which grew out of deliberations at the colloquium, are included here along with ten Chapters which not only supplement and explain the foundations of the Ottawa Principles, but also provide readers with substantive critiques of topics related to human rights and anti-terrorism more generally.

National Security Law (2007), Craig Forcese, is a comprehensive handbook that focuses on the law and legal instruments governing the Canadian state’s response to events that jeopardize its “national security.” Specifically, these are events or plausible threats with the potential to inflict massive injury on life and property in Canada – terrorism, natural disasters and epidemic disease, and foreign attacks and domestic insurrections.