Prof. Kent Roach

Jackman Law Building
Room J446
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5 

Tel.: 416-946-5645

Kent Roach is Professor of Law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is a former law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Roach has been editor-in-chief of the Criminal Law Quarterly since 1998. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2013, he was one of four academics awarded a Trudeau Fellowship in recognition of his research and social contributions. In 2015, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2016, named (with Craig Forcese) one of the top 25 influential lawyers in Canada (change-maker category) by Canadian Lawyer.  He was awarded the Molson Prize for the social sciences and humanities in 2017.

He is the author of Constitutional Remedies in Canada (winner of the Owen best law book Prize); Due Process and Victims’ Rights (short listed for the Donner Prize for public policy), The Supreme Court on Trial (same); (with Robert J. Sharpe) Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (winner of the Dafoe Prize) and The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism (winner of the Mundell Medal); (with Craig Forcese) False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism (winner of the Canadian Law and Society Association best book prize);  Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley/Colten Boushie Case (short listed for the Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing); Remedies for Human Rights Violations: A Two-Track Approach to Supra-national and National Law (runner up for Canadian Council on International law book prize for 2020-21) and Canadian Policing: Why and How it Must Change (finalist for the 2022 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy and the 2023 Donner Prize for Public Policy.) He is also the author of the Criminal Law and Charter volumes in Irwin Law’s essentials of Canadian law series. His next book Wrongfully Convicted: Guilty Pleas, Imagined Crimes and What Canada Must Do To Safeguard Justice will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2023.  He is the co-editor of 13 collections of essays including Comparative Counter-Terrorism published by Cambridge University Press in 2015 and 3 casebooks  He has also written over 275 articles and chapters published in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in Canada.

Professor Roach has served as research director for the Goudge Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Patholology,  for the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, for the Independent Civilian Review of Toronto Police Missing Persons Investigations and for the public consultations resulting in A Miscarriage of Justice Commission report. He served as volume lead for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Report on the Legacy of Residential Schools  He was a member of the research advisory committees for the inquiry into the rendition of Maher Arar, the Ipperwash Inquiry into the killing of Dudley George and the Commission into the 2022 Public Order Emergency.  He has been a member of Canadian Council of Academies expert panels on policing and subsequently on Indigenous policing. He is also co-founder of the Canadian Registry of Wrongful Convictions at  

Professor Roach has won awards for his pro bono work and contributions to civil liberties. He has represented Aboriginal and civil liberties groups in many interventions before the courts, including Gladue, Wells, Ipeelee and Anderson on sentencing Indigenous  offenders, Latimer on mandatory minimum sentences, Stillman, Dunedin Construction,  Ward, Conseil Francophone and G v. Ontario  on Charter remedies, Golden on strip searches, Khawaja on the definition of terrorism, Williams and Chouhan on jury selection and Corbiere and Sauve on voting rights. 

B.A. - University of Toronto (1984)
LL.B. - University of Toronto (1987)
LL.M. - Yale Law School (1988)
Academic appointments
Co-Director Centre for Transnational Legal Studies, Winter 2020
Member of Canadian Council of Academies Task Force on Indigenous Policing (2017)
Director, Counter-Terrorism Law and Policy Group, Global Justice Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (2016)
General Reporter on Counter-Terrorism Law, XIX Comparative Law Congress, Vienna, 2014
Visiting Professor at the Centre for Transnational Legal Studies
Visiting and Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales
Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore
Editor in chief of the Criminal Law Quarterly (1998-present)
Awards and distinctions
Molson Prize in social sciences and humanities (2017)
Liberty Award by Canadian Civil Liberties Association (with Craig Forcese) (2017)
Canadian Law and Society Award for best book award (with Craig Forcese) (2016)
Reg Robson award for contributions to civil liberties (with Craig Forcese) (2016)
Appointed Member of the Order of Canada (2015)
Trudeau Fellowship (2013)
David Mundell Award for legal writing (2011)
TRC teaching award (2020)
Mewett Award for teaching (2008)
Lexpert Platinum Award for pro-bono work by a legal academic (2010)
JW Dafoe Prize for book that best contributes to understanding of Canada (with R.J. Sharpe) (2003)
Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada (2002)
Walter Owen Book Prize for best law book (1997)
Selected publications

Wrongfully Convicted: Guilty Pleas, Imagined Crime and What Canada Must Do To Safeguard Justice at

Canadian Policing: Why and How it Must Change (Toronto: Irwin Law, Delve Publishing, 2022) at

Criminal Law 8th ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2022) at

Remedies for Human Rights Violations: A Two-Track Approach to Supra-national and National Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021) at

Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case (Montreal: McGill Queens Press, 2019) at

(with Robert J. Sharpe) The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 7th ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2021) at

The Supreme Court on Trial: Judicial Activism or Democratic Dialogue revised edition (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2016) at

(with Craig Forcese) False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2015) at

The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism (Cambridge University Press, 2011) at

Constitutional Remedies in Canada, 2nd ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2013 as updated) at

Due Process and Victims’ Rights: The New Law and Politics of Criminal Justice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999) available at




Research areas
Charter of Rights
Comparative Law
Criminal Law 
National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law