Maneesha Deckha


Lansdowne Chair in Law

Maneesha Deckha

Maneesha Deckha

Tel: 250-721-8175
Fax: 250-721-8146


Faculty of Law
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700, STN CSC
Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y2

Professor Deckha joined the Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor in 2002 after practising at the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto and attending Columbia University, where she completed an LLM thesis on gender and cultural equality in criminal law. In addition to her appointmentat the University of Victoria, she has held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Law and Society at New York University, has been appointed as a Scholar-in-Residence at Seattle University School of Law, and has worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Hastings Institute for Bioethics.

Professor Deckha's research interests include health law and bioethics, critical animal studies and animal law, feminist analysis of law, law and culture and law society. Her work has been published in Canada and internationally in legal and interdisciplinary venues including the McGill Law Journal, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Medical Law Review, Harvard Journal of Gender and Law, Hastings Women's Law Journal, UCLA Women's Law Journal, Animal Law Review, Journal of Animal Law and Ethics, Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy, and Unbound: The Harvard Journal of the Legal Left. Outside of law reviews, she has been published in Hypatia, Sexualities, and Ethics & the Environment, among other publications. She has also contributed to several anthologies relating to feminism, cultural pluralism, and health law and policy.

Professor Deckha is the recipient of grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Canada-US Fulbright Program. She has delivered over sixty papers in Canada and abroad and has served as referee for leading law reviews and socio-legal and feminist journals in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Professor Deckha has taught courses on: Animals, Culture and the Law; Bioethics, Personhood and the Law; Feminist Legal Theories; Health Law, Administrative Law; Property; and Legal Process. She has been the recipient of the Faculty's Terry J. Wuester Teaching Award and a University of Victoria Learning and Teaching Centre Grant in support of her interactive pedagogy. In 2006, Professor Deckha's seminar on Animals, Culture and the Law received the U.S. Humane Society's Animal and Society New Course Award. She supervises graduate students in the fields of health law, bioethics, feminist theories and animal law.

Professor Deckha was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. She held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Law and Society at New York University during fall 2008. From 2009 to 2011, she served as the Chair of the University of Victoria's Academic Women's Caucus.

  • BA First Class Joint Honours – McGill (1995)
  • LLB – University of Toronto  (1998)
  • LLM – Columbia Law School (2002)

Access Maneesha's research online from her site or through the Social Science Research Network.


  • “A Missed Opportunity: Affirming the Section 15 Equality Argument against Physician-Assisted Death” (forthcoming in the McGill Journal of Law and Health, 2016, Vol. 10:3)
  • “Critical Animal Studies and the Property Debate in Animal Law” (forthcoming in Jodey Castricano and Lauren Corman, eds, Animal Subjects 2.0: An Ethical Reader in a Posthuman World, Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2016)
  • “Humanizing the Nonhuman: A Legitimate Way for Animals to Escape Juridical Property Status?” (forthcoming in John Sorenson and Atsuko Matsuoka, eds, Critical Animal Studies, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

Book Chapters

  • “Postcolonial Feminism: Liberal Feminism’s (Humanist) “Sister”? in Ashleigh Barnes, ed, Feminisms of Discontent: Global Contestations (Oxford University Press, 2015), 173-193.
  • “Charities, Animals and Social Change: Charting a more Charitable Approach to Animal Advocacy” (co-authored with Sarah Runyon) in Peter Sankoff et al, eds, Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2015), 239-275.

Review Essays, Book reviews

  • Book Review: Yoriko Otomo & Ed Mussawir, eds, Law and the Question of the Animal: A Critical Jurisprudence (2014) 23:1 Social & Legal Studies 137-141.
  • Review Essay: “Personhood and Animal Law” (2014) 1:14 Figurationen 27-29.


  • “Recasting Our “Wild” Neighbours: Toward an Egalitarian Legal Approach to Urban Wildlife Conflicts” (co-authored with Erin Pritchard) (2016) 49:1 UBC Law Review 161-202.
  • “Situating Canada’s Commercial Surrogacy Ban in a Transnational Context: A Postcolonial Feminist Call for Legalization and Public Funding” (2016) 61:1 McGill Law Journal 31-86.
  • “Vulnerability, Equality, and Animals” (2015) 27:1 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 47-70.
  • “Critical Animal Studies and Animal Law” (2012) 18:2 Animal Law Review 207.
  • "Toward A Postcolonial Posthumanist Feminist Theory: Centralizing Race and Culture in Feminist Work on Nonhuman Animals" (2012) 27:3 Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy 527-545.
  • “Property on the Borderline: A Comparative Analysis of the Legal Status of Animals in Canada and the United States” (2012) 20:2 Cardozo Journal of International & Comparative Law 313-365.
  • “Pain as Culture: A Postcolonial Feminist Approach to S/M and Women’s Agency” (2011) 14:2 Sexualities 129-150.
  • “Nonhuman Animals and Human Health” in Jocelyn Downie and Jennifer Llewellyn, eds, Being Relational: Relational Feminism and Health Law and Policy (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011).
  • “Promises and Challenges of Achieving Racial Equality in Legal Education and the Legal Profession” (co-authored with Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey) (2010) 4 Canadian Law and Education Review 171-209.
  • “Teaching Posthumanist Ethics in Law School: The Gender, Race and Cultural Dimensions” (2010) 16: 2
  • Animal Law Review 287-315.
  • “Feminism, Intersectionality and the Capabilities Approach for Animals” in Martine LaChance, ed, The Animal, Within the Sphere of Humans’ Needs (Montreal: Yvon Blais, 2010).
  • “Holding Onto Humanity: Commodification and Species Anxiety in Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act” (2009) 5 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left (online only).
  • “Shifting Rationales: The Waning Influence of Feminism on Canada’s Embryo Research Restrictions” (co-authored with Diana Backhouse) (2009) 21:2 Canadian Journal of Women and Law 229-266.
  • “The Paradox of the Cultural Defence: Gendered and Racial Othering in Canada” in A. Dundes Renteln & M. Foblets, eds, Multicultural Jurisprudence: Comparative Perspectives on the Cultural Defence (London: Hart Publishing, 2008).
  • “Intersectionality and Posthumanist Vision of Equality” (2008) 23:2 Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal 249-267.
  • "Disturbing Images: PETA and the Feminist Ethics of Animal Advocacy" (2008) 13:2 Ethics & the Environment 35-76.
  • “The Stem Cell Debate: Why Should It Matter to Animal Advocates?” (co-authored with Yunwei Xie) (2008) 1 Stanford Journal of Animal Law & Policy (online only).
  • “Postcards From the Edge (of Empire)” (1 of 7 equal co-authors) (2008) 17:1 Social & Legal Studies 5.
  • “The Gendered Politics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research in the US and Canada: An American Overlap and Canadian Disconnect” (2007) 16:1 Medical Law Review 52-84.
  • “Pain, Pleasure and Consenting Women: Exploring Feminist Responses to S/M and Its Legal Regulation in Canada Through Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher” (2007) 30:2 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 425-459.
  • “Animal Justice, Cultural Justice: A Posthumanist Response to Cultural Rights in Animals” (2007) 2 Journal of Animal Law & Ethics 183-229.
  • "(Not) Reproducing the Cultural, Racial and Embodied Other: A Feminist Response to Canada's Partial Ban on Sex Selection" (2007) 16 UCLA Women’s Law Journal 1-38.
  • “Gender, Difference, and Anti-Essentialism: Toward a Feminist Response to Cultural Claims in Law” in A. Eisenberg, ed, Diversity and Equality: The Changing Framework of Freedom in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006).
  • “Is Culture Taboo?: Feminism, Intersectionality, and Culture Talk in Law” (2004) 16:1 Canadian Journal of Women and Law 14-53.
  • “Recasting Women in Development Discourse” (1994) 15:2 Int’l Rel. J. San Fran. St. U.19.
  • Administrative Law
  • Animals, Culture and the Law
  • Bioethics, Personhood and the Law
  • Feminist Legal Theories
  • Health Law
  • Law, Legislation and Policy
  • Legal Process