Steven Chaplin


Steven Chaplin

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Steven has been a member of the Ontario bar since 1987.  He has earned an LLM (Osgoode) along with a BA (Queen’s), and LLB (Queen’s). He has practiced in both the federal public sector as well as in private practice in Ottawa. He was most recently employed as Senior Parliamentary Counsel for the House of Commons.  In that position he was responsible for advising the House of Commons, its Speaker, Members, Committees and Administration on numerous administrative and constitutional law questions particularly in the area of parliamentary privilege, including independence of Members of Parliament and the House of Commons from the executive branch and the courts. He has appeared before the Supreme Court, the Federal Court, and the Federal Court of Appeal in cases relating to the protection of the constitutional independence of the House of Commons. 

He was and remains an active member of the Association of Parliamentary Counsel of Canada and has presented numerous papers at their annual meetings. He is a Deputy Executive Editor of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.



A Review of Beyond Brexit: Towards a British Constitution, Vernon Bagdonar, 2019, I.B. Tauris, London, forthcoming JPPL

“Hey Court, It’s Me, the Legislature, speaking—Can you hear me? : Towards a True Dialogue between Courts and the Legislature” forthcoming JPPL (summer 2019)

“To Impeach or Not to Impeach? That is the Question” (2019) 13 JPPL 887

Review of The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150, David Smith in (2018) 12 JPPL 241

“Parliament as the Pierre Angulaire of the Canadian Constitution”, presentation at The Canadian Confederation: Past, Present and Future conference, University of Montreal, May 2017

“Political and Parliamentary Accountability as an Aspect of Public Law”, (2016) 10 JPPL 277

Quick Comments (case comments) on Friends of the Earth v. Attorney General for Canada; George v. Attorney General for Canada; R. v. Lavigne; and Villeneuve v. Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, [2009] 3 Canadian Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 343.

“Witnesses before Parliamentary Committees”, Law and Parliament Conference, Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law, Toronto, ON, November 2009.

House of Commons v. Vaid: Parliamentary privilege and the constitutional imperative of the independence of parliament”, [2008] 2 Canadian Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 198.  [cited in Chagnon v. Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec, 2018 SCC 39]

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