In order to earn the Specialization certification, students must complete the following requirements:

(1) Enrolment in Law 305: Law, Society and State;

(2) Enrolment in at least one course with an applied, clinical, or community-based component, as listed below; and

(3) Enrolment in at least three social-justice related courses, selected from at least two of the clusters listed below.

Students wish to enrol in the Law and Social Justice Specialization must also contact faculty coordinator Joel Bakan.

(1) Law Society and State

This course focuses on the use of law by groups and individuals interested in social justice. In particular, the course will explore both the potential and the problems of using law in the quest for social justice and the role of legal education. Law’s role in constructing and maintaining social, economic and political inequalities as well as the potential of law to shift inequalities will be examined. This course is required for students who wish to obtain the Specialization in law and Social Justice.

(2) Applied and Clinical Courses

To complete the Specialization, each student must also enrol in a course with a practical or community based component. This requirement can be satisfied by taking any of the following courses:

  • Law 350C            Issues of Equality and Social Justice
  • Law 379D/380C Rise Women’s Legal Clinic
  • Law 380B/380C  International Justice and Human Rights Clinic
  • Law 381              Disabilities and Law
  • Law 488/489       Indigenous Community Legal Clinic
  • Law 493/496       Directed Research that incudes work for a community group
  • Law 470               Innocence Project
  • Law 490               Clinical Criminal Law
  • Law 491               Law Students Legal Advice Program
  • Law 379/380       Externship/Externship Relation

If the applied or practical component is optional within the course, the student must fulfill the component in order to satisfy this requirement.

Students who wish to count a course outside these lists towards their Specialization must obtain special permission from the Social Justice Coordinator.

(3) Eligible Social Justice Courses

To complete the Specialization, each student must also enrol in at least three social-justice related courses, selected from at least two of the clusters listed below.

Aboriginal Law Cluster

  • Law 352          Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Law
  • Law 353          Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
  • Law 355          First Nations and the Administration of Justice
  • Law 358          Topics in First Nations Law: Introduction to Indigenous Legal Orders within the Settler State
  • Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Rights Moot 

Constitutional Law Cluster

  • Law 349C.001 Topics in Constitutional Law: Recent Developments
  • Law 349C.002 Topics in Constitutional Law: Advanced Charter Law
  • Law 349C.003 Topics in Constitutional Law: Charter Litigation
  • Wilson moot
  • Laskin moot

Criminal and Penal Law Cluster

  • Law 401          Penal Policy
  • Law 404          Topics in Criminal Law: the Law of Homicide
  • Law 471          Topics in Procedure & Evidence: Preventing Wrongful Convictions
  • Law 406C        Topics in Criminal Justice: Principles of Sentencing
  • Law 402D        The Law of Sexual Offences

Economic Inequality Cluster

  • Law 311          Property Law & Theory
  • Law 370          Topics in Social Justice: Poverty, Rights, Social Citizenship and Legal Activism
  • Law 385          Social Welfare Law
  • Law 411          Tax Policy
  • Law 416          Labour Law
  • Law 467          Topics in Corporate Law: The Corporation and Society

Gender and Sexuality Cluster

  • Law 307          Women, Law, and Social Change
  • Law 308          Feminist Legal Theory
  • Law 365          Women, Law, and Family
  • Law 309          Topics in Feminist Legal Studies
  • Law 368          Law and Sexuality
  • Law 518          Feminist Studies: Key Themes and Current Debates (by permission of instructor)

Human Rights Cluster

  • Law 350          Issues of Equality and Social Justice
  • Law 351          Topics in Human Rights
  • Law 360          Children and the Law
  • Law 363          Race and Law
  • Law 364          Topics in Race and Law
  • Law 381          Disabilities and Law
  • Law 419.002   Law and the Modern Workplace
  • Law 423C        Intellectual Property and Human Rights

Immigration and Refugee Law Cluster

  • Law 377          Immigration Law
  • Law 378C        Refugee Law

International, Historical, and Comparative Dimensions Cluster

  • Law 303          Western Ideas of Law
  • Law 312          Topics in Philosophy of Law and Theoretical Perspectives: the Rule of Law
  • Law 313          Legal History
  • Law 319          International Human Rights
  • Law 326          Globalization and Law
  • Law 339          Human Rights in Asia
  • Law 342D       Topics in Comparative Law: Domestic Law in a Borderless World
  • Law 343D       Topics in Public Law: Animals and The Law
  • Law 481          Topics in Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Administration of Justice: Intercultural Dispute Resolution
  • Law 521          Law and Development (by permission of instructor)
  • Law 511          International Criminal Law (by permission of instructor)

Intellectual Property Cluster

  • Law 422         Intellectual Property
  • Law 423         Topics in Intellectual Property: Intelletual Property and Human Rights

Law and Health Cluster

  • Law 382        Law and Health
  • Law 426D     Topics in Law & Technology: Biotechnology and the Law

Please note that due to changes in course offerings year by year, not all courses will be offered each year. Students who wish to count a course outside these lists towards their Specialization must obtain special permission from the Social Justice Coordinator. 

Students enrolle in the Law and Social Justice Specialization are also encouraged to enrol in procedural courses such as Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Mass Tort and Class Action, Evidence, or Appellate Advocacy. These courses provide useful extra expertise in the subject area.