Chan, Kathryn

Assistant Professor


Phone number: (250) 721-8163
Department: Faculty of Law

Research description:

- Law of the voluntary sector
- Regulation of charities and their relationship with public and private sectors
- Law of gift
- Administrative law and regulation
- Religious freedom
- Comparative law
- Human rights and legal pluralism

Expertise Profile
How non-profit sectors are defined or regulated in Canada is still a grey area that law professor Kathryn Chan is trying to change.

As an expert on issues related to domestic and international charity law, Dr. Chan has been at the forefront of defining the charitable - or voluntary - sector in a way that fits with Canada's diverse legal traditions.

She looks at questions revolving around what charities are allowed to advocate, how their relationship with the government is defined, where their accountability lies to the public, and where they stand within the private and public sectors.

Dr. Chan's research seeks to better understand the voluntary sector, whose services will ultimately affect how Canadians access them. Defining a charity as a public or private entity, for example, has implications for their accountability to the public.

Regulating the laws of charity allows the public to know what the organization is doing and how their funds are being spent, she says.

Dr. Chan brings the different perspectives gained from her years of law practice and research to her classes to expose students to real-life legal issues.

Dr. Chan has worked internationally on human rights and charity-law issues. Before joining the Faculty of Law, she practised law at Benefic Lawyers in Vancouver, which provides strategic, legal and operational advice to people involved in the voluntary sector.

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