The Laws of Government

The Legal Foundations of Canadian Democracy

Table of contents

CHAPTER 1: Introduction
CHAPTER 2: Constitutional Basis for Canadian Democracy: An Overview
CHAPTER 3: Voting, Elections and the Selection of Members of Parliament
CHAPTER 4: The Selection, Tenure and Dismissal of Unelected Officials
CHAPTER 5: Parliament, Democracy and the Legislative Process
CHAPTER 6: Parliament, Cabinet, Democracy and Responsible Government
CHAPTER 7: Democracy, Ethics and Governance in the Public Interest
CHAPTER 8: Lobbying, Democracy and Governance in the Public Interest
CHAPTER 9: Information and the Currency of Democracy
CHAPTER 10: Democratic Governance in Times of Emergency
CHAPTER 11: Democratic Accountability in a Globalized Confederation
CHAPTER 12: Concluding Thoughts on the Law of Canadian Democracy
APPENDIX 1: The Public Administration of Canada
APPENDIX 2: Statistical Trends in Law-Making
Table of Cases
About the Authors


The Laws of Government 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. In the past year alone, 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 book is intended as a rigorous legal resource, but one that is accessible to a non-legal audience. It has multidisciplinary appeal, incorporating public administration and political science themes. The Laws of Government is essential reading for journalists, elected officials, public servants, lobbyists and all who are interested in politics and Canadian democracy.


". ..a magisterial tome by scholars Craig Forcese and Aaron Freeman. This book is a digest of democracy, explaining the ways and means of electoral reform, access to information, minority parliament, and political ethics. Rigorous and incisive, it explains how government works. "

- Andrew Cohen, The Ottawa Citizen, December 27, 2005