Douglas Harris

Nathan T. Nemetz Chair in Legal History

B.A. UBC 1990; LL.B. Toronto 1993; LL.M. UBC 1998; Ph.D. Osgoode Hall 2005

Tel: 604.822.1991
Fax: 604.822.8108
Twitter: @douglascharris
Office Location: Allard Hall, room 359


Douglas Harris joined the Allard School of Law in 2001. He writes and teaches in the areas of property law, legal history, fisheries law, and Aboriginal rights. His published writing includes histories of the fisheries and of relations between Aboriginal peoples and the state in British Columbia, analyses of title registration systems, studies of property law in urban settings, and work on the interpretation of Aboriginal and treaty rights. He is the author of  Fish, Law, and Colonialism: The Legal Capture of Salmon in British Columbia (U of T Press, 2001) and Landing Native Fisheries: Indian Reserves and Fishing Rights in British Columbia, 1849-1925 (UBC Press, 2008), winner of the John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History in 2011.

After completing his B.A. (UBC History) and LL.B. (Toronto), Professor Harris articled in Vancouver and was called to the British Columbia bar in 1994. He then returned to school to complete his LL.M. (UBC) and his PhD (Osgoode Hall, York) in legal history. During his years as a university student Professor Harris was a member of Canada's field hockey team that competed at the Olympic Games (1988), the Pan American Games (1987, 1991, 1995), and the World Student Games (1991).

Professor Harris severed as Association Dean Graduate Studies & Research from 2008-2013. He is on administrative leave from UBC for 2014-15 and will be a Visiting Fellow at New College, Oxford, and a Visiting Professor in the Law Faculty at Oxford University.


In 2013, Professor Harris received the George Curtis Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, UBC Law's annual teaching award. He is also a co-author of the leading property law casebook in Canada, A Property Law Reader, 3rd Ed. 

Professor Harris is currently supervising LLM and PhD students working in property law, Aboriginal law and legal history, and welcomes other students to apply in these and other areas of his research interest.

Representative Published Works


Articles & Book Chapters

  • Douglas C. Harris and May Au, “Title Registration and the Abolition of Notice in British Columbia,” (2014) 47 UBC Law Review. (PDF full text)
  • "A Railway, a City and the Public Regulation of Private Property: C.P.R. v. The City of Vancouver" in Tucker, Ziff, and Muir, eds., Canadian Cases in Context (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and Irwin Law, 2012) 455-486. (PDF full text)
  • Douglas C. Harris and Karin Mickelson, "Finding Nemo Dat in the Land Title Act: A Comment on Gill v. Bucholt" (2012) 45 UBC Law Review 205-221 (PDF full text).
  • "Condominium and the City: The Rise of Property in Vancouver" (2011) 36 Law & Social Inquiry 694-726.
  • "A Court Between: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in the British Columbia Court of Appeal" (2009) 162 BC Studies 137-164 (PDF full text).
  • "The Boldt Decision in Canada: Aboriginal Treaty Rights to Fish on the Pacific" in Alexandra Harmon, ed., The Power of Promises: Rethinking Indian Treaties in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008) pp. 128-153 (PDF full text).

Publications listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database