Michelle Lawrence

Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations

Associate professor

Michelle Lawrence

Michelle Lawrence

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

My current teaching and research focus on criminal law, sentencing, and evidence. I engage in issues at the intersection of the criminal justice, mental health, and family law systems, as well as in the development of empirical measures for use in adjudicative proceedings and in aid of law reform.

I previously practiced law as a partner in the Litigation Department of McCarthy Tétrault LLP. My practice comprised a diverse range of matters, including complex regulatory proceedings, corporate & commercial disputes, and criminal litigation.

I hold graduate degrees in law and criminology, including an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. (Criminology) from Simon Fraser University. I completed my doctoral work as a Trudeau Scholar.

I am a founding member of the Access to Justice Centre for Excellence. I currently serve as Associate Dean, Academic & Student Relations. I sit also as an Alternate Chair of the B.C. Review Board.

I was honoured to receive the Terry J. Wuester Teaching Award in 2016 and 2017.

  • BA – Western Ontario  (1994)
  • LLB – UVic (1998)
  • LLM – Cambridge (2002) (Pegasus Scholar)
  • MA (Criminology) – SFU (2009)
  • PhD (Criminology) – SFU (2014) (Trudeau Scholar)

Recent publications include:

  • Annual Review of Criminal Law 2019 (Toronto, ON: Thomson Reuters, forthcoming) (with S. Couglan & R. Currie) (responsible for Chapter 5 on Sentencing).

  • “Similar Fact Evidence & Crime Linkage Analysis: In Search of an Empirical Foundation to Support the Identity Inference” (2019) ​24 Cdn Crim LR 5.

  • Annual Review of Criminal Law 2018 (Toronto, ON: Thomson Reuters, 2019 (with S. Couglan & R. Currie) (responsible for Chapter 5 on Sentencing).
  • Annual Review of Criminal Law 2017 (Toronto, ON: Thomson Reuters, 2018) (with S. Couglan & R. Currie) (responsible for Chapter 5 on Sentencing).
  • “Voluntary Intoxication and the Charter: Revisiting the Constitutionality of Section 33.1 of the Criminal Code” (2017) 40:3 Man LJ 389 (Inaugural Special Edition on Canadian Criminal Law).
  • “From Defect to Dangerous: Has the Door Opened for Recognition of an Addition-based Defence in Canadian Criminal Law?” (2017) 59:4 Cdn J Crim & CJ 572.
  • ​"Restitution & Restorative Justice: A Call for the Expansion and Increased Use of Criminal Restitution Orders at Sentencing” in J. Desrosier et al, eds., Réformer le droit criminel au Canada : défis et possibilités / Criminal Law Reform in Canada: Challenges and Possibilities​ (Toronto, ON: Thomson Reuters, 2017). 
  • Annual Review of Criminal Law 2016 (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2017) (with S. Couglan & R. Currie).
  • Annual Review of Criminal Law 2015 ​(Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2016) (with S. Coughlan & G. Ferguson).
  • “Drug-Induced Psychosis: Overlooked Obiter Dicta in Bouchard-Lebrun” (2016) 32 CR (7th) 151.
  • "Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth: An Examination of the Canadian Approach to Criminal Restitution in cases of Sexual Violence" (2016) 20 C.C.L.R. 209.
  • “Blurred Lines of Intoxication & Insanity: An Examination of the Treatment at Law of Accused Persons Found to have Committed Criminal Acts while in States of Substance-Associated Psychosis, where Intoxication was Voluntary” (2016) 93 Cdn Bar Rev. 1 (with S. N. Verdun-Jones).
  • “Delusions of Justice: Results of Qualitative Research on the Management in British Columbia of Cases Involving Allegations of Substance-Induced Psychosis” (2015) 14 Crim LQ 499 (with S.N. Verdun-Jones).
  • Criminal Law Process - LAW 102
  • Legal Process - LAW 106
  • Criminal Law Term - LAW 304
  • Law, Theory & Practices of Sentencing - LAW 305
  • Law of Evidence - LAW 309