Professor Yan Campagnolo’s book on cabinet secrecy honoured by the Quebec Bar Foundation

Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Fondation du Barreau du Québec (FBQ) has announced that Professor Yan Campagnolo’s 2020 book, Le secret ministériel : théorie et pratique (Presses de l’Université Laval), has earned an honourable mention in the 2021 legal writing competition in the monograph category.

Le secret ministériel is the first complete examination of the subject of cabinet secrecy in Canada. It explores the inherent tension between government transparency and the need to preserve the confidential nature of cabinet proceedings. The idea for the book was born when Professor Campagnolo was working as a lawyer in the Privy Council Office and the public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair was making headlines. In this context, he began pondering the idea of cabinet secrecy, which is based on constitutional conventions, common law and certain obscure provisions of federal legislation. Realizing that the concept was quite vague and that effective recourses against claims of cabinet immunity were lacking, Professor Campagnolo decided to clarify the concept and reconsider its framework. He chose to make it the subject of his doctoral thesis at the University of Toronto. Now in its published form, the book provides an in-depth analysis of cabinet secrecy from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives with reference to British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian cabinets.

The prizes for the best monographs were presented to Professor Eric H. Reiter of Concordia University for Wounded Feelings, published by University of Toronto Press in 2020; and to Professor Louise Langevin of Laval University for The right to reproductive autonomy of women: between freedom and constraint, published by Éditions Yvon Blais in 2020. An honorable mention was also awarded to Professor Amissi Melchiade Manirabona of University of Montreal for Introduction to the law of victims of crime in Canada, published by LexisNexis in 2020.

In February, Le secret ministériel was named the runner-up for the 2020 Walter Owen Book Prize, awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research.

The FBQ has held its legal writing competition on an annual basis since 1984, rewarding legal writers who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to legal discourse.  Click here to learn more about the annual competition (in French).

Congratulations to Professor Campagnolo on this distinguished achievement!

Click here to read more about Le secret ministériel : théorie et pratique.

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