Asad Kiyani

Assistant Professor

Asad Kiyani

Asad Kiyani

Tel: 250-721-8173

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

Dr Asad G. Kiyani is an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Victoria. He holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall, an LLM (Distinction) from Cambridge, and a PhD from UBC, where he was awarded a Four-Year Fellowship, a SSHRC Vanier CGS Scholarship, the Charles Bourne Graduate Scholarship in International Law, and the Dean of Law PhD Prize. Asad has taught in the law faculties at the University of Calgary and the University of Western Ontario, and is currently a Research Associate with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria.

Asad researches and teaches in a range of subjects broadly related to domestic and international criminal law, including:  Race and criminal law, Police powers, International Criminal Law, Third World Approaches to International Law, Legal Pluralism, Postcolonial Theory, Critical Race Theory, Citizenship. His research has appeared in journals including the Supreme Court Law Review, the American Journal of Comparative Law, the Journal of International Criminal Justice, the Melbourne Journal of International Law and the TWAIL Review. He is also co-author of the Criminal Law & Procedure: Cases and Materials casebook (Emond Montgomery).  

Asad’s current research projects include: finalizing a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant to analyze what factors affect the decision-making of judges in racial profiling cases; the limits and possibilities of using constitutional remedies to gather better information on the criminal justice system, including race-based data; and, how international criminal law systems are structured in ways to insulate state elites and reinforce traditional power relationships, including between legal systems. 

Asad is a recipient of the 2017 Antonio Cassese Prize for International Criminal Law Studies for his article “Group-Based Differentiation and Local Repression: The Custom and Curse of Selectivity”, and his article “Al-Bashir & the ICC: The Problem of Head of State Immunity” was cited by the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa in its decision on the South African government’s obligation to arrest suspects indicted by the International Criminal Court. In 2019, Asad was a recipient of the Hessel Yntema Prize for Comparative Law, awarded for “The Ahistoricism of Legal Pluralism in International Criminal Law” (co-authored with James G. Stewart). Asad received the UVic Law Students’ Society First-Year Teaching Award in 2018, and was named the Jay S. McLeod Professor of the Year at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law in 2016. 

Before beginning his doctoral studies, Asad was called to the bar by the Law Society of Ontario in 2006. He articled with the Department of Justice in Toronto, worked as a Pegasus Scholar with barristers at Garden Court Chambers and 2 Bedford Row in the United Kingdom, and was part of the appeal team for Issa Hassan Sesay before the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He also worked with various Toronto-area legal aid clinics, including Parkdale Community Legal Services and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, and was posted to Ethiopia as part of a capacity-building partnership between the Canadian Bar Association and the Ethiopian Bar Association. 

  • LL.B - Osgoode
  • LL.M (Distinction) - Cambridge
  • PhD - UBC
  • 2019 Hessel Yntema Prize for Comparative Law
  • 2018 UVic Law Students' Society First-Year Teaching Award
  • 2017 Antonio Cassese Prize for International Criminal Law Studies
  • 2016 Jay S. McLeod Professor of the Year at U of Western Ontario Faculty of Law
  • Dean of Law PhD Prize
  • Charles Bourne Graduate Scholarship in International Law
  • SSHRC Vanier CGS Scholarship

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  1. “Power and Policy: Navigating Legal Pluralism in Canadian Migration Law.” (2022) 73 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 8 – 41.
  2. Prosecutor v Abd-Al-Rahman: Human Rights, Customary International Law and the ICC’s Non-Retroactivity Problem.” (2022) 23(1) Melbourne Journal of International Law 149 – 163
  3. “Afghanistan & the Surrender of International Criminal Justice.” (2019) TWAIL Review.
  4. “R v Lloyd and the Unpredictable Stability of Mandatory Minimum Litigation.” (2017) 87 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 117 – 145
  5.  “The Ahistoricism of Legal Pluralism in (International) Criminal Law.” (2017) 65 American Journal of Comparative Law 393–449 (with James G. Stewart).
  6. “Group-Based Selectivity and Local Repression: The Custom and Curse of Selectivity” (2016) 14 Journal of International Criminal Justice 939–957


  1. “Criminalization, Safety, and the Safe Third Country Agreement” in Michael Carpenter, Melissa Kelly, and Oliver Schmidtke, eds., Borders and Migration: The Canadian Experience in Comparative Context (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2023), 147 – 172.
  2. “Re-narrating Selectivity” in Margaret deGuzman and Valerie Oosterveld (eds.), The Elgar Companion to the International Criminal Court (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2021), 307 – 333.
  3. “Avoidance Techniques: Accounting for Canada’s Colonial Crimes” in Morten Bergsmo, Wolfgang Kaleck and Kyaw Yin Hlaing (eds.), Colonial Wrongs, Double Standards and Access to International Law (Brussels: Torkel Opsahl, 2020), 501 – 524.
  4. “Legitimacy, Legality, and the Possibility of a Pluralist International Criminal Law.” The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 92 – 115.
Prof. Kiyani welcomes expressions of interest from graduate students with an interest in critical race theory/race and criminal justice in Canada, and critical approaches to international criminal law.