Dr Grégoire Webber

Dr Grégoire Webber

Visiting Fellow

Department of Law

About me

Grégoire Webber is Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law at Queen's University (Canada) and Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Department of Law, where he was an Associate Professor until 2014. He is a graduate of McGill University with bachelors of civil law and common law and of the University of Oxford with a doctorate in law. Dr Webber clerked for Justice André Rochon of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to joining the LSE, Dr Webber was senior policy adviser with the Privy Council Office (the Canadian equivalent to the Cabinet Office), where he advised the Government of Canada on matters of constitutional policy with a focus on electoral and parliamentary reform.

Dr Webber is co-founder and Executive Director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, which provides free advocacy advice to counsel appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a qualified barrister and solicitor with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has been a visiting professor at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II).

Research interests

  • Constitutional law and theory
  • Human rights law and rights theory
  • Legal and political theory

External activities

Associate Editor, Constitutional Systems of the World

Barrister and Solicitor, Law Society of Upper Canada

Executive Director, Supreme Court Advocacy Institute

Member, Study of Parliament Group

Member of the Editorial Committee, Modern Law Review

 

Books

Proportionality and the Rule of Law: Rights, Reasoning, Justification (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (edited with G. Huscroft and B.W. Miller)

To speak of human rights is to speak of proportionality. Proportionality has been received into the constitutional doctrine of courts in continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, South Africa, and the United States, as well as the jurisprudence of treaty-based legal systems such as the European Convention on Human Rights. This volume brings together many of the world’s leading constitutional proponents and critics of proportionality to debate the merits of proportionality, the nature of rights, the practice of judicial review, and moral and legal reasoning.

click here for publisher's site (USA)


 

The Negotiable Constitution: On the Limitation of Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback edition 2012)

In matters of rights, constitutions tend to avoid settling controversies. With few exceptions, rights are formulated in open-ended language, seeking consensus on an abstraction without purporting to resolve the many moral-political questions implicated by rights. The resulting view has been that rights extend everywhere but are everywhere infringed by legislation seeking to resolve the very moral-political questions the constitution seeks to avoid. The Negotiable Constitution challenges this view. Arguing that underspecified rights call for greater specification, Grégoire C. N. Webber draws on limitation clauses common to most bills of rights to develop a new understanding of the relationship between rights and legislation. The legislature is situated as a key constitutional actor tasked with completing the specification of constitutional rights. In turn, because the constitutional project is incomplete with regards to rights, it is open to being re-negotiated by legislation struggling with the very moral-political questions left underdetermined at the constitutional level.

click here for publisher's site


 

The Limitation of Charter Rights: Critical Essays on R. v. Oakes (co-edited with L.B. Tremblay) (Montreal: Thémis, 2009)

Twenty years after the Supreme Court of Canada's famous decision in R. v. Oakes (1986) interpreting the limitation clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the meaning, role, and normative foundation of the analysis for justifying the limits of constitutional rights remain controversial. The critical essays in this volume interrogate the central question raised by this limitation clause: what general conditions must be satisfied before a constitutional right's limit constitutes a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?

 

Articles