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B.A., LL.B. (Ottawa), Ph.D. (Cambridge), of the Law Society of Upper CanadaFrançois Larocque studied philosophy before graduating from the common law French program in 2000. He clerked both at the Court of Appeal for Ontario (2000-2001) and at the Supreme Court of Canada (2001-2002), working successively for the Honourable Justices Charron, Borins, Goudge, Labrosse and Arbour.
A Commonwealth Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, Ricard Fellow and Honorary Prince of Wales Scholar, Larocque began his doctoral research in 2002 at the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) under the joint supervision of professors James Crawford and Philip Allott. His thesis examined the jurisdiction of national courts in civil proceedings for serious violations of international law.
Dr. Larocque has published in the areas of philosophy of law, Canadian legal history, civil liability, human rights and international law. He is currently most active in three areas of research:
1. Civil Liability for grave breaches of international human rightsBuilding on his doctoral research, Dr. Larocque remains most interested in the field of transnational human rights litigation, that is, civil actions in the domestic courts of one country in relation to grave human rights violations that occurred in another country. This broad area of concern blurs the conceptual boundaries that once separated international and domestic law on one hand, and public and private law on the other. Specific areas of interest include the development of international torts, universal jurisdiction, the law of State immunity, forum non conveniens, and other prudential considerations. He is the author of "Civil Actions for Uncivilsed Acts" (Irwin Law, 2010) the first Canadian treatise on transnational human rights litigation. In addition to his academic research on the subject, Larocque has intervened as counsel in Bouzari v Islamic Republic of Iran (CA Ont), Kazemi v Islamic Republic of Iran (QSC, QCA), Club Resorts v Van Breda (SCC). Larocque has also testified as an expert witness before the House of Commons Sub-Committee on International Human Rights on issues relating to transnational human rights litigation.
2. The expanding tort of misfeasance in public officeJointly with Dr. Erika Chamberlain of UWO, Dr. Larocque is leading a groundbreaking SSHRC-funded study (3-year SRG) of the expanding tort of misfeasance in public office, a private cause of action against a public official who acted unlawfully with either the deliberate intention to harm a citizen, or knowing disregard for injury to a citizen. In what circumstances should private citizens be permitted to sue elected politicians and government officials for the wrongful exercise of their powers? In examining this overarching question, specific themes will be canvassed, including the tort’s origins at common law, comparative models of liability in civil law jurisdictions; policy objectives and implications of holding public officials liable in tort for private wrongs; and possible future directions of the tort’s expansion to cover abuses of public authority covered by international norms.
3. The Constitutional rights of French-language minorities in Western CanadaDr. Larocque is currently leading pioneering research on the constitutional protection of the language rights of French-speaking minority communities in Western Canada. In research funded in part by the Law Foundation of Ontario, he is shedding new light on the constitutional compact between the Imperial government, Canada and the inhabitants of Rupert’s Land, that led to the creation of the Western provinces.
François Larocque was born and raised in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario.