Research at UVic Law

Dr. John Borrows
UVic Law professor Dr. John Borrows secured one of the most prestigious research professorships in the country when he was officially named Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law in Oct. 2014.

Our approach

Our research takes place in a pluralist academic environment, recognizing that law both shapes and is a product of society. Our faculty members have a strong foundation in traditional legal scholarship as well as a commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to understanding law. We come to the study of law from a variety of theoretical perspectives ranging from traditional jurisprudence and legal philosophy to post-colonial theory. We have expertise not only in domestic law, but also in international, transnational, and comparative law, which compliments our strength in the Asia-Pacific region.

Research areas and strengths

Our research falls into five broad areas, which also represent our teaching strengths:

Aboriginal Law and indigenous rights

The University of Victoria Faculty of Law is internationally recognized for its leading-edge scholarship in the field of Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Rights. Faculty research is historically informed and culturally aware, addressing issues of governance, power, and community. Adopting a pluralist and transystemic approach to law, UVic's internationally recognized researchers address questions relating to theory, policy, and practice in the relations between and among Indigenous Peoples and modern states at the local, national, regional, and international levels.

Conflict, crime and justice

This field addresses the theory of conflict resolution and mediation and provides analytical and practical tools for understanding and resolving conflict. The relationship between criminal law, legal institutions, and justice is a strong dimension of this field.

Citizenship, state and rights

Research in this field explores the relations between individuals, communities, and states, probing questions of belonging, membership, and exclusion. It encompasses law relating to the structuring and control of state power, such as constitutional and administrative law, and the state's power to raise revenue through taxation. The role and power of immigration law in a global and unequal world is an important dimension of this field. Researchers at UVic Law explore legal regulation in transnational political spaces such as the European Union. Faculty research on Canadian and comparative constitutional law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian immigration law, and tax law in the European Union is internationally recognized.

Economic governance and market regulation

Faculty research examines how law operates at the international, transnational, and domestic levels through public regulation, private ordering, and self-governance upon economic institutions and actors. UVic Law has established a rich tradition of scholarship in the legal regulation of business practices, debt, commercial, and employment relations in market economies. Faculty research also shows how taxation law influences economic transactions ranging from the simplest contract to the most complex corporate reorganization. The Faculty has internationally recognized expertise in international investment law and arbitration, intellectual property, employment and labour law, securities regulation, and European tax law.

Environmental governance and sustainability

Research in this area explores issues of environmental governance across disciplines, sectors, and boundaries. Faculty expertise in the international law of the sea, green legal theory, citizen engagement on environmental issues, the nexus between indigenous rights and environmental protection, water law, forest certification, and land-use law creates a critical mass of important, innovative, and relevant research.

Learn more about the approaches that distinguish our research: culture, history and theory; gender, sexuality and identity; and social justice and equality.

We are committed to communicating our research to a wide range of audiences across disciplinary and national boundaries. Our research is challenging, relevant, and contributes to promoting an active and engaged citizenship in a global world.