Award Winners

The Class Actions Controversy:
The Origins and Development of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act

By Suzanne Chiodo

Winner of the 2019 Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History

Shortlisted for the Speaker’s Book Award 2019

The Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992 represented a major innovation in civil procedure. Suzanne Chiodo’s book is the first to analyze comprehensively the history of this highly significant legislation. It looks at the origins of representative proceedings in equity, the rise of modern-day class actions around the world (particularly in the United States and Quebec), and at the debates about the Ontario legislation. The book presents an in-depth analysis of the political and social influences that shaped this momentous legal change. It explains for the first time how the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee Report in 1990 pulled together so many divergent interests where previous attempts had failed. With the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Act upon us, and the Law Commission of Ontario currently reviewing it, this is a timely contribution to a current debate as well as an instructive historical analysis.


“The publication of this book could not be more timely. . . . In this groundbreaking publication, Suzanne Chiodo provides the first in-depth analysis of the history of the Class Proceedings Act, 1992 and the political and social influences that shaped it. . . . As an experienced class actions lawyer, Ms Chiodo provides important and practical insights that will better inform our understanding of the current law and the reforms that are required. . . . It is a must-read for class actions lawyers and judges, and, indeed, anyone interested in public policy and civil litigation. . . . [A] seminal publication.” — Justice Edward P Belobaba, Superior Court of Justice — Ontario (From the Foreword)

“Chiodo puts all these events in their full social and political context, and the reader can sense the excitement of the legal activists who saw class action design. . . . [She] writes . . . with a terrific ‘you are there’ immediacy. . . . [H]er obvious regard for her audience reflects this, as does the breadth and depth of her research.” — Craig E Jones, QC, barrister and professor of law at Thompson Rivers University

Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid That Reshaped the Right to War

By Craig Forcese

Winner, 2019 Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship, The American Society of International Law

In the middle of night on 29 December 1837, Canadian militia commanded by a Royal Navy officer crossed the Niagara River to the United States and sank the Caroline, a steamboat being used by insurgents tied to the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada. That incident, and the diplomatic understanding that settled it, have become shorthand in international law for the “inherent right to self-defence” exercised by states in far-off places and in different sorts of war. The Caroline is remembered today when drones kill terrorists and state leaders contemplate responses to threatening adversaries through military action.

But it is remembered by chance and not design, and often imperfectly.

This book tells the story of the Caroline affair and the colourful characters who populated it. Along the way, it highlights how the Caroline and claims of self-defence have been used — and misused — in response to modern challenges in international relations. It is the history of how a forgotten conflict on an unruly frontier has redefined the right to war.


“This book is, today, the most comprehensive and accurate analysis of the often-misrepresented Caroline incident. It is a scrupulously researched recounting of the incident using a multi-disciplinary approach of history, international law, political science, and international relations. The attack upon the Caroline became the big bang moment in international law that created, as insightfully described by Forcese, the meme for how states use military force in anticipatory self-defence. He advances several important observations, including that the Caroline could be viewed as the archetypal example of a state using military force against non-state actors on the territory of another state that is unwilling or unable to stop unlawful activities of the non-state actors. This example persists today and directly informs the passionate debates about the use of military force against non-state actors, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda. The book will quickly become a leading text on the topic. It will be of significant value to students, teachers, practitioners, and decision-makers. Moreover, it is simply a captivatingly good read about some of the rumbustious early times in Canada-US military, political, and legal history.” — Blaise Cathcart, QC, Major-General (Retired), Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces (2010–2017)

“Craig Forcese’s book on the Caroline affair is a tour de force. With the insight of a legal scholar, the instinct of a detective, and the thoroughness of a historian, he has traced the origins of a core principle in international law, starting with the attack in 1837 on the ship for which that principle is named. His highly readable account creates a rich context in which we can better understand the influence of the Caroline on the legal doctrine of self-defence as a justification (or a pretext) for war. Basing his argument on what really happened, he separates fact from fiction to contend that the Caroline principle has sometimes been put to broader use than its original purpose would justify.” — Allan Rock, PC, Minister of Justice of Canada (1993–1997); Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations (2003–2006)

“This is an excellent piece of scholarship. The story of the raid on the Caroline is exhaustively researched and beautifully told. Having taught about the incident for decades, and read all the standard academic articles, I appreciate how very much of a contribution this book will make.” — Professor Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia

“Destroying the Caroline is a thorough historical and legal discussion of an important precedent in modern international law. Forcese’s work shows that state-level interpretations of the concept of self-defence have evolved over time, but in the end, the goals remain the same. The latter part of the book highlights contemporary debates about pre-emption, imminence, unwilling or unable standards, and the personalities involved. The book should appeal to students, teachers, practitioners, and decision-makers.” — Donata Krakowski-White, Judges’ Librarian, Province of Nova Scotia, Department of Justice, Halifax, Canadian Law Library Review (2019) 44:2

“As someone who has undertaken a major (although nowhere near this major) research project on the Caroline in the past – digging into original documents from the time and trying to make sense of the legal context that shaped and embedded elements of Webster’s famous formula in the customary international law that we continue to apply and contest today – it was a real pleasure to read Destroying the Caroline. I thought, unjustifiably self-importantly, that I ‘knew’ the Caroline, more so even than most scholars in the field. Forcese’s book makes it clear that I did not, or, at least, not well enough. My misunderstandings and gaps in knowledge about the incident were entertainingly revealed to me in the pages of this book. [ . . . ] Destroying the Caroline is now one of the leading works on the Caroline incident, and will be an invaluable resource for anyone engaging with it (or its legacy) going forward.” — James A. Green, University of Reading, Reading, UK, Journal on the Use of Force and International Law

“Overall, Destroying the Caroline is essential reading for jus ad bellum scholars. It broadens and deepens our understanding of what has become a central feature of our jus ad bellum discourse. It provides the foundation for critical reflection and debate on the curious and winding route through which the incident gained this status and on the utility of Webster’s formula today. And it addresses many of the central challenges in the jus ad bellum today in a thoughtful and provocative way.” — Tom Dannenbaum, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences

Edited by Caitlin Pakosh

Winner of the 2017 Walter Owen Book Prize

The clash of the scientific and legal cultures in the courtroom, though theoretically directed at finding the truth, is marked by tension. Forensic science — science applied to the legal context — advances rapidly and has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. In contrast, the law embraces finality in administering justice and struggles to change with evolving scientific knowledge. Improving the scientific literacy of the legal community, however, may help to mitigate this tension.

To that end, this guide provides criminal lawyers, defence and Crown alike, with a macroscopic view of multiple forensic science disciplines, specific to the Canadian legal system and written by Canadian experts. Facilitating further case-specific research, this guide seeks to reinvigorate dialogue and improve collaboration between the forensic and legal communities in Canada, and contribute to the effective functioning of a fair and reasonable criminal justice system.


“The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences, edited by Caitlin Pakosh…is an ambitious work that introduces readers to the key forensic sciences used in Canadian courts. … [It] provides a useful, accessible, and comprehensive introduction to the forensic sciences and their use in Canadian courts. This book is recommended for law students, criminal lawyers, and more generally to people interested in the forensic sciences and the law.” — Goldwynn Lewis, Canadian Law Library Review 42:3 (2017)

Canadian Maritime Law 2/e

Edited by Aldo Chircop, William Moreira, Hugh M. Kindred and Edgar Gold

Joint winner of the 2005 Walter Owen Book Prize (first edition)

Canadian Maritime Law is the leading scholarly text and reference work on maritime law in Canada. It covers the full scope of admiralty, shipping, and navigation issues in the Canadian and international contexts. Since the first edition, maritime law as legislated, judicially developed, and practised in Canada has evolved substantially. Four editors led a team of twenty-eight scholars, practitioners, and other field specialists from across Canada to produce a comprehensive text accompanied by extensive lists of legislation, international treaties, and cases, along with a detailed index.

For students and practitioners new to the field, the text uses plain language and defines all technical legal and shipping terms. For experienced legal and other practitioners, it affords the means to analyze maritime issues according to Canadian law, with due notice of its divergence from US and UK law and practice.

This text provides insights into the Canadian perspectives, content, experience, and practice in this field and will appeal to legal practitioners, government officials, academics, students, and all others engaged with the regulation of all types of navigation and shipping. Practitioners and scholars in other countries interested in international and comparative maritime law will also benefit from this fully updated work.

False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism

By Craig Forcese and Kent Roach

Winner of the 2016 Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize

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 this book, 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.


“This book is key to understanding Bill C-51. The authors rightly criticize provisions of the Act as endangering free speech, authorizing unnecessary disruption, and lacking oversight. Their quarrel is with the radical means to be employed by government agencies — almost guaranteeing court challenges — and with the absence of any effective anti-terrorism strategy. This is a valuable resource for anyone trying to get behind the political rhetoric to understand an important and complex issue.” — Ron Atkey, P.C., Q.C., first Chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee

“Professors Roach and Forcese take the reader on a comprehensive journey through Canada’s anti-terror efforts, providing invaluable depth, insight, analysis, and most importantly, their informed conclusions for the most effective ways forward.  This work is excellent.” — Sukanya Pillay, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association

“A vital threshold and fair-minded analysis of the excesses, inadequacies, assumptions, and judgments impacting the new national security laws in Canada; coherent, inclusive, and trenchant — not to be missed or set aside. Invaluable to all those who care about the right balance between freedom and security.” — Hugh Segal, former Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism

False Security offers a comprehensive and robust critique of Bill C-51, describes the current state of national security law and policy in Canada and suggests alternative approaches for responding to terrorism. This book is recommended for policy bureaucrats and students and scholars of national security law and policy.” — Goldwynn Lewis, Law Librarian, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Canadian Law Library Review 41:4 (2016)

Ethics and Criminal Law, 2/e

By David Layton and Michel Proulx

Winner of the 2003 Walter Owen Book Prize (first edition)

Ethics and Criminal Law is a comprehensive survey of the ethical issues facing criminal lawyers. Topics covered include: defending a client known to be guilty; choosing and refusing clients; decision-making in criminal litigation; the duty of confidentiality and its exceptions; conflict of interest; client perjury; interviewing and preparing witnesses; plea discussions; handling incriminating physical evidence; termination of the client-lawyer relationship; and the special duties of Crown counsel.

The second edition provides an invaluable update, with hundreds of new case citations, references to the latest commentary, and analysis of the new codes of professional conduct from Canadian law societies. It also explores new topics including whether an implied undertaking attaches to criminal disclosure; the Lyttle requirement that cross-examinations be conducted in good faith; communicating with testifying witnesses; law office searches post-Lavallee; client confidentiality and new technology; the benefits and pitfalls of defence counsel contacting a complainant; the propriety of defence investigations that focus on confidential informants or involve trickery; withdrawing from a case pursuant to Cunningham; the proper role of Crown counsel at the investigative stage of a proceeding; the scope of prosecutorial discretion after Krieger and Anderson; and the impact of Nixon on Crown counsel’s ability to repudiate a plea agreement.


“The most ambitious treatise published over the last decade is the Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law, by the late Justice Michel Proulx of the Quebec Court of Appeal and criminal lawyer David Layton, now of Vancouver and formerly of Toronto and Halifax. This 2001 treatise is widely recognized as a tour de force in its field, and is frequently cited by the Supreme Court and other courts. Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law bridges the first and second waves of Canadian legal ethics scholarship. Not only does it analyze particular ethical issues facing criminal lawyers, but it also directly tackles some of the most vexing matters in the field and prescribes its own solutions. For example, it provides the best treatment of the “Ken Murray problem” — a lawyer’s duties respecting physical evidence of a crime, an issue that, as we have seen, the law societies and the CBA have failed to address adequately. For this reason the book is praised, appreciated, and referenced by jurists, lawyers, and scholars across the country. An updated and revised edition is planned and will be eagerly received.” — Adam M. Dodek, “Canadian LegaL Ethics: Ready for the Twenty-First Century at Last,” 46 Osgoode Hall L.J. 1 2008

“Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law is a detailed and extremely helpful summary of this area of the law. While it focuses on criminal law, examining areas not likely to be found in broader surveys of ethics, it is not a book for criminal lawyers alone. It culls together enough information to provide insight on the subject of legal ethics more generally. Its specialization in one area and (and at the same time) its general applicability, as well as its clear writing and mastery of the authorities, make it a worthy addition to the slim-but-growing canon of Canadian publications on legal ethics.” — Jeremy Millard, “Book Review: Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law by the Honourable Michel Proulx and David Layton,” 60 U. Toronto Fac. L. Rev. 113 2002

“The authors candidly state that this text does not contain a complete list of answers to ethical concerns. They point out that they do not include issues such as speaking to the media and contact with witnesses. Through the discussion of the topics that are included, however, the authors provide general principles that lawyers can utilize to assist in their deliberations. . . . Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law is well-written, wide-ranging, thought-provoking, and useful. I would, without hesitation, recommend this text to any criminal lawyer seeking input on vexing ethical issues.” — Daniel L Mulligan, 27 Can. L. Libr. 118 2002

“It is a rare book that can appeal to both the scholarly and practical sides of the bar. It is a rare book that can become a true source of the law. It is a rare book that truly challenges the legal profession to do better while also providing it with the foundations for such reform. Ethics and Canadian Criminal Law is such a book.” — Kent Roach, 47 Crim. L.Q. 224 2002-2003

“As with the first edition of Ethics and Criminal Law, Layton & Proulx’s treatise continues to fill what would otherwise be a gap in legal ethics literature. The authors have, in this regard, managed to write a book that is highly conceptual and scholarly, while at the same time being pragmatic and prescriptive. Unlike some texts, this book is not a series of positivistic summaries of the “state of the law”, but thoughtfully engages with the theoretical and normative underpinnings of the various ethical rules they discuss, whether they concern the defence of the factually guilty, the application of the “cab-rank rule”, or the “lawyer-control model” of decision-making. [ . . . ] The second edition of Ethics and Criminal Law is a thought-provoking account of legal ethics that provides a vital reference for anyone involved in the practice or study of criminal law, be they judges, lawyers, scholars or students. Like the first edition, which has regularly been cited favourably by courts and regulators, the second edition of book not only offers guidance to practitioners, but will almost certainly contribute to the betterment of the professional and ethical standards that govern the legal profession in Canada.” — Micah B. Rankin, 63 Crim. L.Q. 261-262 2017

Pension Law, 2/e

By Ari Kaplan and Mitch Frazer

Winner of the 2007 Walter Owen Book Prize (first edition)

The second edition brings pension law up to date with consideration of recent cases such as Re Indalex, in which the Supreme Court of Canada examined how to allocate the risks of an employer’s insolvency among its creditors. This edition tracks the shift of the law of trusts within pension jurisprudence from “classic” trusts to “modern” trusts; the reform of minimum pension standards; new plan design legislation being offered to respond to decreasing pension plan coverage among the Canadian workforce; the development of target benefit plans; and innovative plan designs such as New Brunswick’s new “shared risk” plan model.

The book will be an invaluable resource for anyone who needs to understand this complex legal and regulatory environment including lawyers, human resources officers, plan administrators and trustees, actuaries, accountants, public servants, and union officials.

The Conduct of Public Inquiries

By Ed Ratushny

Winner of the 2011 Walter Owen Book Prize

Public inquiries have played a prominent role throughout Canadian history. Commissions of inquiry have contributed to the development of diverse public policies such as public broadcasting, universal health care, bilingualism and multi-culturalism, free trade, and employment equity. But it is in extraordinary circumstances that their unique investigative features are required: the conviction and imprisonment of innocent people; mining disasters; the murder of hundreds of Canadians through the bombing of an international flight; corruption on the part of government officials; or impropriety on the part of a former prime minister.

This book is the first comprehensive, integrated, and thorough exposition of the public inquiry as a governmental, legal and social institution. It examines the legal framework, the role of the commissioner and legal counsel, the rights and obligations of individuals who may be affected and its relationship to government, the media and the public. It analyzes the entire process from its inception through every stage to and after the final report.

Guidance and advice are provided at every step with graphic illustrations from past inquiries, such as the conduct of commissioners, ranging from exemplary to egotistical and arrogant. Difficult problems are analyzed such as the conflicting role of commission counsel, who must appear to be impartial but may have to engage in aggressive cross-examination. Practical solutions to such problems are also proposed.


“. . . launching a commission of inquiry is a risky process—a bit like sending a ship out to sea. You don’t know where it will go, how long it will take, how much it will cost or what it will bring back. And trying to relocate a ship lost at sea and bring it back to port can be a costly experience (especially if the captain is not in a hurry to come home).” — N IPAC, Commissions of Inquiry in Canada: Lessons Learned from Recent Experience, Peter Larson Associates, Quoted at page 130

Expert Evidence In Criminal Law, 2/e: The Scientific Approach

By Alan D. Gold

Joint winner of the 2005 Walter Owen Book Prize (first edition)

Expert Evidence in Criminal Law: The Scientific Approach by Alan D. Gold is the first and only Canadian book on expert evidence entirely from a scientific perspective.

The book is written in plain language, making it easily accessible to lawyers and judges approaching the topic for the first time. At the same time, it contains all the principles and knowledge needed to expose bogus experts and junk science and to reduce inflated expert evidence to its proper valuation.

Everything from forensic identification evidence, including fingerprints and toolmarks, to psychological and psychiatric evidence, such as post traumatic stress syndrome, are discussed and evaluated according to the rules of science and the deficiencies and weaknesses of the evidence are demonstrated in detail.

The book has been thoroughly updated in this new edition to reflect developments in both the law and science.


“Expert Evidence in Criminal Law: The Scientific Approach is without doubt… the most valuable book for criminal counsel and the judiciary to have been printed in the last few years.” Hon. Gilles Renault, For the Defence, January 2004

“The reference to criminal law in the title of this book may be misleading. The book is essential reading for all civil litigators too.” Earl A. Cherniak, Q.C.

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