Mary Liston

Assistant Professor 

B.A. (Hons) (UWO), M.A. (York), LL.B. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Toronto)

Tel: 604.822.9844
Office: Allard Hall, room 447


Mary Liston is an Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. She teaches administrative law, public law, legal theory, and law and literature. Prior to her appointment at UBC, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Ethics at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. She completed her doctoral work in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, having already received an M.A. in Social and Political Thought at York University, an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, and an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature at the University of Western Ontario. Her research focuses on advanced and comparative public law, Canadian administrative law, Aboriginal administrative law, theories of the rule of law, and law and literature. Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a co-author along with Craig S. Forcese, Adam Dodek, Philip Bryden, Peter Carver, Richard Haigh, and Constance MacIntosh of Public Law: Cases, Commentary and Analysis, 3rd ed (Emond Publishing, 2015). She is also a contributor to the casebook Administrative Law in Context, 2nd ed (Emond Publishing, 2013).

Her recent research projects include an analysis of legal and moral import of the duty to consult and accommodate in administrative law and the function of apologies in Canadian public law. More information about the apologies project can be found in this Faculty Profile and the notice about Professor's Liston Hampton Grant Award. For an overview of her latest work in administrative law, please visit the the Research Profile article Analytic Frameworks in Administrative Law.

From 2017-18, Professor Liston seved as the Director of Allard Law's Law and Social Justice Specialization.

Representative Published Works

“Transubstantiation in Canadian Public Law: Processing Substance and Instantiating Process.” In Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance. Eds. John Bell, Mark Elliott, Philip Murray and Jason Varuhas. (Oxford: Hart Publishing, forthcoming 2015).

Public Law: Cases, Commentary and Analysis. 3rd ed. With Philip Bryden, Peter Carver, Adam Dodek, Craig Forcese, Richard Haigh and Constance MacIntosh, eds. (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 2015).

  • Chapter 1: Public Law in Canada
  • Chapter 10: Statutory Interpretation

“Evolving Capacities: The BC Representative for Children and Youth as a Hybrid Model of Oversight.” In The Nature of Inquisitorial Processes in Administrative Regimes: Global Perspectives. Eds. Laverne Jacobs and Sasha Baglay. (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013), 359. (download article)

Governments in Miniature: The Rule of Law in the Administrative State.” In Administrative Law in Context: A New Casebook. 2nd ed. Eds. Colleen Flood and Lorne Sossin. (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 2013), 39.

"Witnessing Arbitrariness: Roncarelli v. Duplessis Fifty Years On." (2010) 55 McGill Law Journal, 689-720. (download article)

"The Rule of Law." In The Encyclopedia of Political Science. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010), 1493-1497.

"The Rule of Law Through the Looking Glass." (2009) 21(1) Law and Literature, 42-77. 20th Anniversary Issue. (download article)

  • Published as Mary Liston, "The Rule of Law Through the Looking Glass," Law and Literature, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 42-77. ©2009 by the Regents of the University of California/Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California/on behalf of the Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on Caliber ( or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,

"Governments in Miniature: The Rule of Law in the Administrative State." In Administrative Law in Context: A New Casebook. Eds. Colleen Flood and Lorne Sossin. (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 2008), 77-114.

"Immigration and Integration in Canada." Co-authored with Professor Joseph Carens. In Migration and Globalisation: New Challenges for Managing Immigration. Eds. Atsushi Kondo and Charles Westin. (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2008), 207-227.

"Willis, 'Theology,' and the Rule of Law." (2005) 55(3) University of Toronto Law Journal, 767-95. (download)

"'Alert, alive and sensitive': Baker, the duty to give reasons, and the ethos of justification in Canadian public law." In The Unity of Public Law. Ed. David Dyzenhaus. (Oxford, UK: Hart Publishing, 2004), 113-141.

Selected publications are also listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database

Her publications are available on Social Science Research Network (SSRN).