Rebecca Johnson


Associate Director, Indigenous Law Research Unit

Director, Graduate Program

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson

Tel: 250-721-8187
Fax: 250-721-8146
Faculty of Law
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700, STN CSC
Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y2

Professor Johnson joined the UVic Faculty of Law in 2001, after 6 years on the Faculty at the University of New Brunswick.  Before that, she clerked for Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada, and completed her LLM and SJD at the University of Michigan.  The work there resulted in her award-winning book, Taxing Choices: the Intersection of Class, Gender, Parenthood and the Law.

Her research interests are marked by interdisciplinarity, and include storied pedagogy, law-and-film, Indigenous legal methodologies, judicial dissent, the economic imaginary, and critical feminisms. (See Rebecca's UVic Faces of Research video.)  With an abiding interest in Canadian law-and-film scholarship, she has written on such topics as same-sex family formation, colonialism, dissent, mothers and babies in prison, cinematic violence, the Western, affect and emotion, and Inuit cinema.  She co-edited a special issue of The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law on “Law, Film and Feminism”, and has a blog dedicated to the same. Professor Johnson’s internationally acknowledged collaborative work on judicial dissent with Professor Marie-Claire Belleau (University of Laval), has been published nationally and internationally in both French and English.  Their work, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, has also been translated into Russian.  Professor Johnson has also been working for several years on a number of initiatives with the Indigenous Legal Research Unit. She has also worked on the development of the TRC-inspired blog #ReconciliationSyllabus.

Professor Johnson has taught courses in Criminal Law, Business Associations, Law-and-Film, Legal Theory, Legal Method, Legal Process, Law Legislation & Policy, Constitutional law, Civil Liberties, and Feminist Advocacy. 

  • BMus – University of Calgary (1985)
  • MBA – University of Alberta (1990)
  • LLB – University of Alberta (1991)
  • LLM – University of Michigan (1995)
  • SJD – University of Michigan (2000)
  • ""Coyote and the Cannibal Boy”: Secwépemc Insights on the Corporation." [co-authored with Bonnie Leonard] In Corporate Citizen: New Perspectives on the Globalized Rule of Law, edited by Oonagh E. Fitzgerald, 31-46: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020.

  • "At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging—a Collective Review” [co-authored with Mark Zion, Kate Plyley, Hester Lessard, and Rebecca Johnson] Alberta Law Review 58 (2020): 195-211.

  • "Questions About Questions: Law and Film Reflections on the Duty to Learn." The Northern Review 50 (2020): 83-108.

  • "Intercultural Cinema and the (Re)Envisioning of Law:   Exploring Life, Death and Law in Atanarjuat and Before Tomorrow, " in Envisioning Legality: Law, Culture and Representation, edited by Timothy D. Peters and Karen Crawley: Routledge, 2018, 228-248.

  • “Ten Theses on Dissent” [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau] (2017) 67 University of Toronto Law Journal 157-174.

  • "Learning Indigenous Law: Reflections on Working with Western Inuit Stories." [co-authored with Lori Groft] (2017) 2:2 Lakehead Law Journal 117-44.

  • "Notes on Using Film to Engage with Philosophy of Law in the Arctic" in Dawid Bunikowski ed., Philosophy of Law in the Arctic (Rovaniemi, Finland: The University of the Arctic, The Arctic Law Thematic Network, The Sub-group of Philosophy of Law in the Arctic, 2016), 123-129.
  • Journeying North:  Reflections on Inuit Stories as Law”.  [co-authored with Lori Groft] Commissioned for the “Accessing Justice and Reconciliation Project”.  (May 2014) 

  •  “Reimagining ‘The True North Strong and Free’:  Reflections on Going to the Movies with James Boyd White” in Julen Etxabe and Gary Watt, eds, Living in a Law Transformed: Encounters with the Works of James Boyd White (Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, 2014) 173-187.
  • "The Jane Doe Coffee Table Book about Rape: Reflections on Rebellious Writing and Teaching" [co-authored with Gillian Calder] in Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism  Elizabeth Sheehy  (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012) 341-363.
  • "Justice and the Colonial Collision: Reflections on Stories of Intercultural Encounter in Law, Literature, Sculpture and Film" (2012) 9 No Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice 68-96. []
  • "Television, Pleasure and the Empire of Force:  Interrogating Law and Affect in Deadwood" in  Peter Robson & Jessica Silbey eds., Law and Justice on the Small Screen (London: Hart, 2012) 33-61.
  • "L’honorable Charles D. Gonthier : une analyse jurisprudentielle quantitative comparée" [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau and Annie Packwood] in  Michel Morin et al. eds., Responsibility, Fraternity and Sustainability in Law: In Memory of the Honourable Charles Doherty Gonthier / Responsabilité, fraternité et développement durable en droit: en mémoire de l’honorable Charles Doherty Gonthier (Markham, ON: LexisNexis Canada, 2012) 51-78.
  • "Les décisions de la juge McLachlin à la Cour suprême du Canada : une analyse statistique comparative " [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau and Anik Lamontagne] in  David Wright & Adam Dodek eds., Public Law at the McLachlin Court: the First Decade (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2011) 39-54.
  • "I Agree/Disagree For The Following Reasons”: Convergence, Divergence, and Justice Wilson’s “Modest Degree of Creativity"[coauthored with Marie-Claire Belleau & Christina Vinters] in Kim Ruth Brooks ed., Looking Forward:  The Contributions of Bertha Wilson (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009) 373.
  • "Strange Encounters: Exploring Law and Film in the Affective Register" [co-authored with Ruth Buchanan] (2009) 46 Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 33.  
  • "Mothers, Babies and Jail" (2008) 8 University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class 47. 
  • "La diversité identitaire et les opinions dissidentes de la Cour suprême du Canada : conséquences sur la sécurité juridique?" " [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau] (2008) 110 La Revue du Notariat 319.
  • “Postcards from the Edge (of Empire)”, [co-authored with Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Gillian Calder, Angela Cameron, Maneesha Deckha, Rebecca Johnson, Hester Lessard, Maureen Maloney, Margot Young] (2008) 17(1)  Social and Legal Studies 5-38.
  • "Voicing an Opinion: Authorship, Collaboration and the Judgments of Justice Bertha Wilson" [coauthored with Marie-Claire Belleau & Christina Vinters] in Jamie Cameron ed., Reflections on the Legacy of Bertha Wilson (Markham, ON: Lexis/Nexis, 2008) 53-81.
  • “I Beg to Differ:  Interdisciplinary Questions about Law, Language and Dissent” [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau], in Logan Atkinson & Diana Majury eds., Law, Mystery & the Humanities:  Collected Essays  (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) 145-166.
  • "Judging Gender: Difference and Dissent at the Supreme Court of Canada" [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau] in (2008) 15:1-2 International Journal of the Legal Profession 57-71.
  • “Visages de la colère judiciaire : répondre à l’appel”/ Faces of Judicial Anger : Answering the Call [avec Marie-Claire Belleau et Valérie Bouchard] (2007) 1:2 European Journal of Legal Studies  [published in both French and English]
  • "Les femmes juges feront-elles véritablement une différence? Réflexions sur  leur présence depuis vingt ans à la Cour suprême du Canada" (2005) 17:1 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 37-49 [co-authored with Marie-Claire Belleau].
  • “Blurred Boundaries: A Double-Voiced Dialogue on Regulatory Regimes and Embodied Space” (2005) 9 Law, Text, Culture, 157-177.
  • “Law and the Leaky Woman: The Saloon, the Liquor Licence, and Narratives of Containment” (2005) 19:2 Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 181-199.
  •  “Bars, Breasts, Babies: Madame Justice L’Heureux-Dubé and the Boundaries of Belonging” Elizabeth Sheehy, ed., Adding Feminism to Law: The Contributions of Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2004) 139-157.
  •  Taxing Choices: The Intersection of Class, Gender, Parenthood and the Law. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2002).
  • “Getting The Insider’s Story Out: What Popular Film Can Tell Us About Legal Method’s Dirty Secrets” [co-authored with Ruth Buchanan] (2001) 20 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 87-110.
  • “Confronting the Bogeyman: Latimer, and other fearful tales of murderous fathers and monstrous children” (2001) 64 Saskatchewan Law Review 635-643.
  • “The Persuasive Cartographer: Sexual Assault and Legal Discourse in R v. Ewanchuk” in Gayle MacDonald, ed., Social Context and Social Location in the Sociology of Law (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2002) at 247-272.
  • “Justice La Forest, Sexual Orientation and Citizenship” in Rebecca Johnson, John P. McEvoy, Thomas Kuttner, and H. Wade MacLachlan, eds., Gérard V. La Forest at the Supreme Court of Canada, 1985-1997 (The Supreme Court of Canada Historical Society, 2000) 289-312.
  • “Treading on Dicey Ground: Citizenship and the Politics of the Rule of Law” [co-authored with Thomas Kuttner] in Carl Stychin and Didi Herman, eds., Sexuality in the Legal Arena (Athlone Press, 2000) 181-193.
  • “If Choice is the Answer, What is the Question?: Spelunking in Symes v. Canada” in Dorothy E. Chunn and Dany Lacombe, eds. Law as A Gendering Practice (Oxford University Press, 2000) 199-227.
  • “Leaving Normal: Constructing the Family at the Movies and in Law” in Lori Beaman, ed., New Perspectives on Deviance: The Construction of Deviance in Everyday Life (Prentice Hall, 2000) 163-179.
  • Business Associations – Law 315
  • Inuit Law and Film – Law 343A04
  • Indigenous Research, Method and Practice – Law 388A
  • Graduate Seminar in Legal Theory - LAW 501
Prof. Johnson is currently accepting graduate students for supervision in the areas of critical theory, law and film, Indigenous law research methodologies, critical pedagogy, economic imaginaries, and feminist legal theory.