Borrows, John



Phone number: (250) 721-8168
Department: Faculty of Law

Research description:

-Indigenous Peoples own laws and legal traditions
-Canadian Law dealing with Aboriginal People
-Comparative Indigenous Rights
-Comparative Constitutional Law
Expertise Profile
As the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, John Borrows researches how Canadian laws interact with the laws and regulations that Indigenous communities develop to govern their own people.

The Supreme Court of Canada has frameworks in place that recognize Indigenous laws and traditions, and Dr. Borrows is one of only a handful of law scholars who study them. He works with Indigenous communities to determine what they value as they try to resolve legal questions that affect their lives, including conflicts or controversies in areas like education, child welfare, and resource development.

"They're looking to find in their own traditions answers to questions that can be reconciled with traditions that are more generally available in society," says Dr. Borrows, whose research can help decision-makers integrate Aboriginal traditions and principles into policies and laws in federal and provincial jurisdictions.

"Indigenous peoples own laws," he says, "hold the potential to create stronger peace, order and good governance in Canada,"

Dr. Borrows is spearheading the development of a new, joint degree program at UVic that would allow students to graduate with a degree in both common law and Indigenous law after four years of education. "My colleague and I have projects all over the country where people are using Indigenous law," he says. "We want students to become more aware of it and lawyers to practice in a context where they are aware of it."

Related Links
Dr. Borrows Faces of UVic Research video:

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