PAUL CEYSSENS, B.A., LL.B.
Paul Ceyssens graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, in 1986, and is a member in good standing of the Bar of British Columbia (1987). Paul began private practice on Saltspring Island in 1998, and is a partner with Ceyssens & Bauchman. His practice is 100% on the solicitor’s side of the profession. He provides advisory legal services in most provinces across Canada, restricting his practice to general employment law and human rights law, and police-related legal issues. His practice in the area of police-related legal issues is on behalf of police oversight bodies, police management, individual police officers, police associations, governments and members of the public. Much of his work in the policing area involves advice regarding prominent conduct-related issues (complaints and discipline), and matters in which accommodation and other human rights issues arise. He also has extensive experience with governments and police employers across Canada in the formulation of policy.
From 1990 until 1998, Paul was a member of the Legal Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General. Much of his practice involved police-related legal issues, including providing advice to the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ministry’s Policing Services Division and the Ontario Police Commission. He also practiced in the area of general employment law and human rights law, representing the Government of Ontario and its employees in formal complaints under the Human Rights Code, and providing legal advice to the Independent Investigations Unit, which investigated complaints under the Ontario Public Service Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.
Carswell Legal Publications published Paul’s treatise Legal Aspects of Policing in 1994. Now published by Earlscourt Legal Press (of which Paul was a founding principal), the two-volume looseleaf text addresses constitutional and legal status of the police, police duties, civil liability, discipline procedure, discipline offences, the public complaints process and related issues. He writes updates to the text on a regular basis. Legal Aspects of Policing has been cited by courts of law in several jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as administrative tribunals and labour arbitrators. Paul coauthors the Ontario Police Services Act, Fully Annotated (Earlscourt), of which the 2017 Edition is the most recent. His short paper “Police Civil Liability – The Satellite View” was published in issue 121 (2009) of The Verdict.
In the 1990s, Paul designed “Legal Issues in Policing,” a distance-education course offered by the College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University, and taught the course for three years. The course surveys the legal regulation of policing, emphasizing police civil liability and the complaint and discipline process. Paul has continued to assist Dalhousie in updating the course materials.
Paul also lectures regularly across Canada on the legal regulation of policing, and the management of legal risk. He has conducted full-day or half-day training sessions, or appeared on conference panels, for lawyers, university audiences, police regulators, police forces and police associations.