Jeremy Webber



Jeremy Webber

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

Jeremy Webber is Professor of Law at the University of Victoria. He has written widely in constitutional law, Indigenous rights, federalism, cultural diversity, and constitutional theory in Canada and in relation to other countries (especially Australia). He is the author of Reimagining Canada: Language, Culture, Community and the Canadian Constitution (1994), The Constitution of Canada: A Contextual Analysis (2015), and Las gramáticas de la ley: Derecho, pluralismo y justicia (2017).

Professor Webber was UVic’s Dean of Law from 2013 to 2018. He held the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at UVic from 2002 to 2014, when he surrendered the chair to serve as Dean of Law. Prior to joining UVic, he was Dean of Law at the University of Sydney, Australia (1998-2002) and Professor of Law at McGill University (1987-1998). He was appointed a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation in 2009 and a Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2016.

Curriculum vitae

  • BA (honours) Political Science – UBC (1980)
  • LLB, BCL (first class honours: Gold medal) – McGill (1984)
  • LLM – Osgoode (1988) Thesis title: Standards of Industrial Justice: Ideology and the Reports of Conciliation Boards under the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, 1907-1925.


  • Las gramáticas de la ley: Derecho, pluralismo y justicia (Barcelona: Anthropos, 2017), trans Francisco Beltrán Adell and Álvaro R. Córdova Flores.

  • The Constitution of Canada: A Contextual Analysis (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015).

  • Editor (with Avigail Eisenberg, Andrée Boisselle, and Glen Coulthard), Recognition versus Self-Determination (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014).

  • Editor (with Hester Lessard and Rebecca Johnson), Storied Communities: Narratives of Contact and Arrival in Constituting Political Community (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011).

  • Editor (with Colin Macleod), Between Consenting Peoples:  Political Community and the Meaning of Consent (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010).

  • Editor (with Hamar Foster and Heather Raven) Let Right Be Done: Aboriginal Title, the Calder Case, and the Future of Indigenous Rights (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007).

  • Reimagining Canada: Language, Culture, Community and the Canadian Constitution(Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994).

  • Co-author (as member of Labour Law Casebook Group), Labour Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary 5th ed. (Kingston, Ont: Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University, 1991). (Responsible for the chapter on Industrial Conflict, 178 pages, and made contributions to other chapters, especially regarding Quebec labour law.)


  • “Canadian Federalism, Canadian Allegiance, and Economic Inequality” in Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Sophie Borwein, Peter John Loewen, and Andrew Potter, eds, Policy Transformation in Canada: Is the Past Prologue? (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2019).

  • “Canada’s Agonistic Constitution: Themes, Variations, Tensions, and Their On-Going Reconciliation” [2017/2] ELTE [Eötvös Loránd University] Law Journal 13-30. On-line:

  • “The Delayed (and Qualified) Victory of the Meech Lake Accord: The Role of Constitutional Reform in Undermining and Restoring Intercommunal Trust” in Dimitrios Karmis and François Rocher, eds, Trust, Distrust, and Mistrust in Multinational Democracies (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018) 166-209. [English version, updated, of “La victoire tardive…” (2012) below]

  • “Contending Sovereignties” in Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem, and Nathalie Des Rosiers, eds, The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017) 281-301.

  • “We Are Still in the Age of Encounter: Section 35 and a Canada beyond Sovereignty” in Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson, From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016) 63-99.
  • “Rod Macdonald’s Society of Friends” in Richard Janda, Rosalie Jukier, and Daniel Jutras, eds, The Unbounded Level of the Mind: Rod Macdonald’s Legal Imagination (Montreal:McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015) 190-197.
  • “Three Dimensions of Indigenous Economic Development” in Roderick Macdonald and Véronique Fortin, eds, Autonomie économique autochtone : dimensions multiplesDimensions of Indigenous Economic Autonomy (Montreal: Thémis, forthcoming) 293-311.
  • “El federalismo canadiense” in Javier Tajadura and Josu de Miguel Bárcena, eds, Federalismos del siglo XXI(Madrid: Centro de estudios políticos y constitucionales, 2014) 141-190.
  • “The Generosity of Toleration” in Avigail Eisenberg, Andrée Boisselle, Glen Coulthard), and Jeremy Webber, eds, Recognition versus Self-Determination(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014).
  • “A Two-Level Justification of Religious Toleration” (2014) 4(Winter) Journal of Indian Law and Society 1-29.
  • “The Public-Law Dimension of Indigenous Property Rights” in Nigel Bankes and Timo Koivurova, eds, The Proposed Nordic Saami Convention: National and International Dimensions of Indigenous Property Rights(Oxford: Hart, 2013), 79-102.
  • (with Kirsty Gover) “Proprietary Constitutionalism” in Mark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner, and Cheryl Saunders, eds, Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law(New York: Routledge, 2013) 361-74.
  • “Empire and Solidarity in International Legal Reform,” (2012) 4 Middle East Law and Governance 326-55.
  • “La victoire tardive (mais mitigée) de l’Accord du lac Meech: le rôle relatif des amendements constitutionnels et de la pratique constitutionnelle dans la rupture et le rétablissement de la confiance intercommunautaire,” in Dimitrios Karmis et François Rocher, eds., La dynamique confiance/méfiance dans les démocraties multinationales: Le Canada sous l’angle comparatif(Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2012) 165-207.
  • “Forms of Transitional Justice,” in Melissa S. Williams, Rosemary Nagy, and Jon Elster, eds., NOMOS LI: Transitional Justice(New York: New York University Press, 2012), 98-128.
  • “Why Should Governments that Reject Religious Belief Respect Freedom of Religion?” (为什么反对宗教信仰的政府也应该尊重宗教自由), published in Chinese in (2011) 43 Leaders (领导者) 109-19 (30 December 2011). 
  • “Un nationalisme ni chauvin ni fermé,” (2011) 3 Cahiers de la Fondation Trudeau 72-98.  Also published in English:  “A Nationalism Neither Chauvinistic Nor Closed,” (2011) 3 Trudeau Foundation Papers 64-87.
  • “Section 7, Insiteand the Competence of Courts,” (2011) 19 Constitutional Forum constitutionnel 125-29.
  • (with Hester Lessard and Rebecca Johnson) “Stories, Communities, and Their Contested Meanings,” in Hester Lessard, Rebecca Johnson, and Jeremy Webber, eds., Storied Communities: Narratives of Contact and Arrival in Constituting Political Community(Vancouver:  UBC Press, 2011) 5-25. 
  • “Formas de Justicia de Transición” in Claire A. Poulin and Xavier Landes, eds., Ética en Democracia para Mesoamérica:  Gobernabilidad, Derechos Humanos y Transparencia en una Sociedad Diversa (San Salvador:  Embajada de Canadá en El Salvador, 2010) 49-60 (Spanish translation of abbreviated and adapted version of “Forms of Transitional Justice”).
  • "The Meanings of Consent,” in Jeremy Webber and Colin Macleod, eds., Between Consenting Peoples: Political Community and the Meaning of Consent (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010) 3-41.
  • "The Grammar of Customary Law" (2009) 54 McGill Law Journal/Revue de Droit de McGill 579-626.
  • "Naturalism and Agency in the Living Law"  in Marc Hertogh, ed., Living Law: Reconsidering Eugen Ehrlich (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2009) 201-221.
  • "Understanding the religion in freedom of religion" in Peter Cane, Carolyn Evans and Zöe Robinson, eds., Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 26-43.
  • "The Separation of Church from State" in Leslie A. Kenny, Clashing Fundamentalisms: When Rival Truth Claims Meet Head-On (Victoria: Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, 2008) 58-86.
  • "National Sovereignty, Migration, and the Tenuous Hold of International Legality: The Resurfacing (and Resubmersion?) of Carl Schmitt" in Oliver Schmidtke and Saime Ozcurumez, eds., Of States, Rights, and Social Closure: Governing Migration and Citizenship (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) 61-90.
  • (with Christina Godlewska) "The Calder Decision, Aboriginal Title, Treaties, and the Nisga'a" in Hamar Foster, Heather Raven, and Jeremy Webber, eds., Let Right Be Done: Aboriginal Title, the Calder Case, and the Future of Indigenous Rights(Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007) 1-33.
  • "A Judicial Ethic for a Pluralistic Age" in Omid Payrow Shabani, ed., Multiculturalism and Law: A Critical Debate(Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007) 67-100.
  • "The Past and Foreign Countries" (2006) 10 Australian Journal of Legal History1-11.
  • "Legal Pluralism and Human Agency" (2006) 44 Osgoode Hall Law Journal167-198.
  • "A Modest (but Robust) Defence of Statutory Bills of Rights" in Tom Campbell, Jeffrey Goldsworthy and Adrienne Stone, eds., Human Rights Without a Bill of Rights: Institutional Performance and Reform in Australia (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006) 263-287.
  • "Democratic Decision Making as the First Principle of Contemporary Constitutionalism" in Richard W. Bauman and Tsvi Kahana, eds., The Least Examined Branch: The Role of Legislatures in the Constitutional State (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006) 411-430.
  • "The Irreducibly Religious Content of Freedom of Religion" in Avigail Eisenberg, ed., Diversity and Equality: The Changing Framework of Freedom in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2006) 178-200.
  • "Rights and Wrongs, Institutions and Time: Species of Historic Injustice and their Modes of Redress" in David Dyzenhaus and Mayo Moran, eds., Calling Power to Account: Law, Reparations, and the Chinese Canadian Head Tax Case (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005) 165-195.
  • "Legal Research, the Law Schools and the Profession" (2004) 26 Sydney Law Review 565-586.
  • "Culture, Legal Culture, and Legal Reasoning: A Comment on Nelken" (2004) 29 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 27-36.
  • "Commentary:  Indigenous Dispute Settlement, Self-Governance, and the Second Generation of Indigenous Rights" in Catherine Bell and David Kahane, eds., Intercultural Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004) 149-157.
  • "Supreme Courts, Independence and Democratic Agency" (2004) 24 Legal Studies 55-72.
  • "The Foundation of the Rule of Law in the Public Justification of Governmental Action" published in Chinese in (2002) 18 Nanjing University Law Review (Nanjing Daxue Falu Pinlun) 1-13.
  • "Institutional Dialogue between Courts and Legislatures in the Definition of Fundamental Rights: Lessons from Canada (and elsewhere)" in Wojciech Sadurski, ed., Constitutional Justice, East and West: Democratic Legitimacy and Constitutional Courts in Post-Communist Europe in a Comparative Perspective (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2002) 61-99; adapted version published in (2003) 9 Australian Journal of Human Rights 135-182.
  • "Conflicts between Cree Hunting and Sport Hunting: Co-Management Decision Making at James Bay" (with Colin H Scott) in Colin H Scott, ed., Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec and Labrador (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2001) 149-174.
  • "Multiculturalism and the Australian Constitution" (2001) 24 University of New South Wales Law Journal 882-893.
  • "Constitutional Reticence" (2000) 25 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 125-155.
  • "Beyond Regret: Mabo'sImplications for Australian Constitutionalism" in Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders, eds., Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) 60-88.
  • "Die Legalität einer einseitigen Unabhängigkeitserklärung nach kanadischem Recht" (2000) 48 (Neue folge) Jahrbuch des Öffentlichen Rechts der Gegenwart 421-469 [German version of "The Legality of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence", below].
  • "Constitutional Poetry: The Tension Between Symbolic and Functional Aims in Constitutional Reform" (1999) 21 Sydney Law Review 260-277.
  • "Just How Civic is Civic Nationalism in Quebec" in Alan C. Cairns et al., eds., Citizenship, Diversity and Pluralism: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999) 87-107.
  • "Una constitución asimétrica" in Enric Fossas and Ferran Requejo, eds., Asimetría Federal y Estado Plurinacional: El debate sobre la acomodación de la diversidad en Canadá, Bélgica y España (Madrid: Editorial Trotta, 1999) 99-139 [Spanish translation of chapter 7 of Reimagining Canada].
  • "Native Title as Self-Government" (1999) 5(2) University of New South Wales LJ Forum 5-7.
  • "Commitment and Community in the Inter-Referendum Period" (1997) 9 Constitutional Forum 1-8.
  • "The Legality of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence under Canadian Law" (1997) 42 McGill Law Journal 281-318.
  • "The Rule of Law Reconceived" in Kálmán Kulcsár and Denis Szabo, eds., Dual Images: Multiculturalism on Two Sides of the Atlantic (Budapest: Royal Society of Canada and Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1996) 197-207.
  • "Multiculturalism and the Limits to Toleration" in André Lapierre, Patricia Smart and Pierre Savard, eds., Language, Culture and Values in Canada at the Dawn of the 21st Century (Ottawa: International Council for Canadian Studies and Carleton University Press, 1996) 269-279.
  • "Rapports de force, rapports de justice: la genèse d'une communauté normative entre colonisateurs et colonisés" in Jean-Guy Belley, éd., Le droit soluble: Contributions québécoises à l'étude de l'internormativité (Paris: Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence, 1996) 113-149.
  • "Relations of Force and Relations of Justice: the emergence of normative community between colonists and Aboriginal peoples" [English version of above article] (1995) 33 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 623-660.
  • "Labour and the Law" in Paul Craven, ed., Labouring Lives: Work and Workers in 19th Century Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press/Ontario Historical Studies Series, 1995) 105-201.
  • "La référendum et l'avenir des anglophones du Québec/The Referendum and the Future of Anglophones in Quebec" (1995) 1(9) [I.R.P.P.] Choices: Québec-Canada series 16-27.
  • "The Jurisprudence of Regret: The Search for Standards of Justice in Mabo" (1995) 17 Sydney Law Review 5-28.
  • "Tales of the Unexpected: Intended and Unintended Consequences of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms" (1993) 5 Canterbury Law Review 207-234.
  • Contributor to a collaborative volume under the general editorship of John E.C. Brierley and Roderick A. Macdonald, Quebec Civil Law: An Introduction to Quebec Private Law (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 1993) (responsible for the sections on moveables/immoveables, ownership, occupation, prescription, accession, and registration).
  • "Individuality, Equality and Difference: Justifications for a Parallel System of Aboriginal Justice" in Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, ed., Aboriginal Peoples and the Justice System: Report of the National Round Table on Aboriginal Justice Issues (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services, 1993) 133-160.
  • "The Adjudication of Contested Social Values: Implications of Attitudinal Bias for the Appointment of Judges" in Appointing Judges: Philosophy, Politics and Practice: Papers Prepared for the Ontario Law Reform Commission (Toronto: OLRC, 1991) 3-29.
  • "Compelling Compromise: Canada Chooses Conciliation over Arbitration, 1900-1907" (1991) 28 Labour/Le Travail 15-57; republished in Laurel Sefton MacDowell and Ian Radforth, eds., Canadian Working Class History 2nd ed. (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2000).
  • "The Mediation of Ideology: How Conciliation Boards, Through the Mediation of Particular Disputes, Fashioned a Vision of Labour's Place within Canadian Society" (1989) 7(2) Law in Context (Melbourne) 1-23.
  • "Living Wage and Living Profit: Wage Determination by Conciliation Boards under the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, 1907-1925" in W. Wesley Pue and Barry Wright, eds., Canadian Perspectives on Law and Society: Issues in Legal History (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1988) 207-242.
  • "Evidence in Charter Interpretation: A Comment on B.C. Teachers' Federation v. A.G. B.C." (1988) 23 Carswell Practice Cases (2d) 245-268.
  • "The Malaise of Compulsory Conciliation: Strike Prevention in Canada During World War II" (1985) 15 Labour/Le Travail 57-88; abridged version republished in Bryan D. Palmer, ed., The Character of Class Struggle: Essays in Canadian Working-Class History, 1850-1985 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1986).
  • "The Limits to Judges' Free Speech: A Comment on the Report of the Committee of Investigation into the Conduct of the Honourable Mr. Justice Berger" (1984) 29 McGill Law Journal 370-406.

Governance of Religious Diversity in China, India and Canada Symposium

Keynote lecture: "Religious Communities as Legal and Political Orders"
Thursday, November 22, 2012 7:00 pm David Lam Auditorium (MacLaurin A144)

For more information visit:

View the keynote lecture.

Faces of UVic research

Dean Webber on cultural and religious differences, politics, nationhood, language, and the common issues that many nations struggle with. Watch the video.

Conference on the work of Charles Taylor

March 29-30, 2012, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
"Cultural Differences, Languages, Perspicuous Contrasts, and Recognition"
Watch the video.

Guest lecture at Azim Premji University, Bangalore

August 23, 2012
"On the Grounds for Recognition of Cultural Differences."
Watch the video

SSHRC Storytellers video by Stuart McAlister

"The Grammar of Customary Law"
Watch the video