Common Law Section

Common Law Section Faculty
Contact Information
Fauteux Hall
57 Louis Pasteur St
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5

General Information:
(613) 562-5794
(613) 562-5124


(613) 562-5800 ext.3270
(613) 562-5124

Colonel (Ret'd) Michel W. Drapeau, O.M.M., C.D.

Part-time Professor


OMM, CD, LL.L., LL.B. (Ottawa), Bar of Ontario

Michel William Drapeau was born and raised in Sillery, Province of Québec. Prior to joining the legal profession, Professor Drapeau served 34 years in the Canadian military, retiring in 1993 in the rank of Colonel as the Director, National Defence Headquarters Secretariat as well as Secretary, Armed Forces Council.  He graduated from the civil law program in 2009 and the common law program in 2000. He clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada under the supervision of the Honorable Gilles Létourneau. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2002. In 1999, he was named Adjunct Professor. 

Professor Drapeau is currently in the private practice of law in all areas of administrative law, in particular, military law, access to information and privacy law, human rights law, employment law (grievances, workplace harassment) as well as civil litigation. (  He has appeared before the Federal Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, the Ontario Superior Court and a host of administrative tribunals. He is a member, of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War. He served on the Board of Governors, Collège militaire royal (Saint-Jean, Québec) from 2007 to 2012. Professor Drapeau now serves on the Board of Directors, Saint-Paul University.

Professor Drapeau lectures on Access To Information And Privacy Law (Common Law Section (French)) and Canadian Military Law (Common Law Section (English) at the Faculty of Law at the undergraduate and graduate levels. P
Me Drapeau has authored or co-authored the following legal texts.

  1. Canadian Military Law:
    • Co-author with the Honorable Mr. Justice Gilles Létourneau of Military Justice in Action,2011, Thompson Carswell.
    • Co-author with the Honorable Mr. Justice Gilles Létourneau of the Canadian Military Law Annotated, 2006, Thompson Carswell, Toronto.
    • Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (4 ed.) Military Law, 2010, Thompson Carswell, Toronto.
    • Author of a comprehensive article titled ''Sentencing under the National Defence Act: Perspectives and Musings of a former soldier'', published in the Canadian Bar Review in August 2003.
    • Author of an article on the Law of Armed Conflicts: «What Happens when Canadian Soldiers Commit Crimes Abroad», prepared as part of a research project in International Criminal Law sponsored within the conference The Highway to the International Criminal Court: All Roads lead to Rome hosted in 2003 by the Faculty of Law, Université of Montréal and the Canadian Institute of the Administration of Justice whose proceedings were published by Les Éditions Thémis.
  2. Federal Access to Information and Privacy Law:
    • Co-author with Me Marc-Aurèle Racicot of Federal Access to Information and Privacy Legislation – Annotated published by Thomson Carswell, Toronto. This book first published in 2002 is now in its eleventh edition. It is published in both hard cover and as a loose-leaf supplemented edition.
    • Co-author with Me Marc-Aurèle Racicot of Protection of Privacy in the Canadian Private and Health Sector published by Thomson Carswell, Toronto. This book first published in 2006 is now in its seventh edition.
    • Co-author with Me Marc-Aurèle Racicot of Fundamentals of Privacy and Freedom of Information in Canada, 2010, published by Thomson Carswell, Toronto.
    • Co-author with Me Marc-Aurèle Racicot of Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (4 ed.) Privacy and Freedom of Information, 2010, published by Thomson Carswell, Toronto.
  3. Intellectual Property Law. 
    • Co-author with Me Daniel S. Drapeau of ''The Taming of John Doe Orders by the Federal Court of Canada'', published in the Spring of 2001, in the Canadian Intellectual Property Review.
    • Co-author with Me Daniel S. Drapeau of ''A Canadian-Wide Solution to Counterfeiting: The John Doe Order'' which was published in June 2001, in Trademark World - London, UK.

He is a graduate of the CF Command and Staff College (Toronto) 1975; the U.S. Armed Forces Staff College, U.S. National Defence University (Norfolk, Virginia) 1977; the U.S. Army Military Comptrollership School (Indianapolis) 1978; and, the National Defence College (Kingston Ontario) 1988. In 1984, Col. Drapeau was seconded to the then Department of Secretary of State to act as Deputy Coordinator, Royal Visit to Canada by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Upon retirement from the Canadian Forces, Colonel Drapeau accepted a two-year appointment at the executive level within the Federal Public Service. Reporting to the then Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff, he served as Acting Director General Corporate Management Services at National Defence Headquarters.

In recognition for ''outstanding military service'', in 1990 Colonel Drapeau was named to the Order of Military Merit in 1990. He also holds also the Canadian Forces Decoration, First and Second Clasp. In 1993, Colonel Drapeau was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in recognition of his ''significant contribution to Canada''. In 2003, he was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth ll. In 2012, for his important contribution to the welfare of veterans, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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Last updated: 2009.12.15