Day: October 28, 2014

Book Review – Issues in Civilian Oversight of Policing in Canada

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By Sarah Roussel-Lewis


Issues in Civilian Oversight of Policing in Canada
By Ian D. Scott
Toronto: Carswell, 2013
357 pp


The hot topic in recent years has been police involvement in public high-profile events, as there always seem to be a negative outcome. The public is becoming more critical than ever of their authority figures and demanding more transparency from organizations. Ian D. Scott, a former director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, gathered several contributors from the legal/police community to create an essential textbook on police oversight issues in Canada.

From their website:

“The book contains the collected works of the editor and ten contributors, all leaders in this area, on issues of civilian oversight of policing in Canada. It provides both an overview of police oversight agencies in all provinces, as well as the RCMP and military complaints system, and discussions on specific topics such as the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, other legal mechanisms of accountability of police use of force, litigation as a vehicle for police reform, off-duty police misconduct, political regulation of the police, and original research on the criteria for independence in civilian led investigations of the police.”

Of particular interest, as it is the most recent event, is Chapter 7 “Civilian Oversight and the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto”. Nathalie Des Rosiers and Graeme Norton lay out a thought provoking essay about the accountability of the ordeal. The resulting challenges brought to light the weakness of policing in Ontario, and of Canada. They conclude that although this issue requires more scrutiny, there are many other instances of policing failures that go unnoticed in Canada.

Lawyers and members of the public looking to read essays on the issue of policing oversight should stop by and check out this textbook. Call number: BJ 1533 .S34 2013 R. As we have often had requests to expand our selection of material on policing, we would appreciate any suggestions for the library in the comments.


In the Legal Sourcery book review, new, thought-provoking, and notable library resources are reviewed. If you would like to read any of the resources reviewed, please contact our library at or (306) 569-8020. Let us know if there is a book you would like reviewed.