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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Behind Closed Doors

The Law and Politics of Cabinet Secrecy

A defense of cabinet secrecy in democratic societies. 
In an era where government transparency and accountability are considered fundamental values, does Cabinet secrecy still have a place? The legal and political rules that protect the confidentiality of collective decision-making at the highest level of the state executive have come under increasing scrutiny. In Behind Closed Doors, Yan Campagnolo argues that cabinet secrecy is essential to responsible government, even while its statutory safeguards may be unconstitutional. Comparing practices in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, this comprehensive study proposes a new, middle way between total transparency and confidentiality in the cabinet.

300 pages | 6 x 9

Law and Legal Studies: The Constitution and the Courts

Political Science: American Government and Politics


"Yan Campagnolo’s excellent book is rigorous, learned, very well written, clear, and to the point. It is a must-read for scholars as well as public officials and judges."

Suzanne Comtois, Université de Sherbrooke

Table of Contents

Foreword / The Honourable Louis LeBel
1 Cabinet Secrecy and Constitutional Conventions
2 Cabinet Secrecy and Common Law Public Interest Immunity
3 Cabinet Secrecy and Statutory Public Interest Immunity
4 Cabinet Secrecy and the Rule of Law
Notes; Selected Bibliography

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