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Richard DevlinFRSC

Professor of Law


Related information

Schulich School of Law

Email: richard.devlin@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1014
Mailing Address: 
Room 430, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Contracts
  • Critical Theory
  • Jurisprudence
  • Regulation Theory


  • LLB (Queen's University, Belfast)
  • LLM (Queen's University, Kingston)


  • Contracts & Judicial Decision-Making (LAWS 1000)
  • Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility (LAWS 2099)
  • Graduate Seminar (LAWS 3000)

Areas of supervision: Contracts, jurisprudence, legal ethics, judicial ethics, regulation of legal professions, legal education

Research interests

Professor Devlin's current research interests focus on legal theory, legal ethics, judicial ethics, regulation of the legal profession, and contract law.

Selected awards and honours

  • 2015 -  Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
  • 2013 - "Change One Thing" Award, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dalhouse University
  • 2012-13 - Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Ethics and Professionalism
  • 2005-15 - University Research Professor
  • 2009-10 - Hanna and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law
  • 2008 - Canadian Association of Law Teachers' Award for Academic Excellence
  • 2002-03 - Hanna and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law

Selected publications

  • Richard Devlin & Adam Dodek, eds, Regulating Judges: Beyond Independence and Accountability (Edward Elgar, 2016) [forthcoming]
  • "Dirty Laundry: Judicial Appointments in Canada" in Hugh Corder and Jan Van Zyl Smit, eds., Securing Judicial Independence: The Role of Commissions in Selecting Judges in the Commonwealth (Cape Town: Siber Ink, 2016) [forthcoming].
  • "Of Lawyers and Lodestars: Embedding the Duty of Loyalty in the Model Code of Conduct" [with B. Cotter and C. Jackson] Dalhousie L.J. (Spring 2016).
  • "Born in Faith, Continued in Determination: B.A. (Rocky) Jones and the Egalitarian Practice of Law" in A. Dodek & A. Woolley, eds., In Search of the Ethical Lawyer: Stories from the Canadian Legal Profession (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016) 81-110.
  • "Bend or Break: Enhancing the Responsibilities of Law Societies to Improve Access to Justice" (2015) 38(1) Manitoba L.J. 1-40.
  • "Teaching 'Professionalism in the Public Interest': Law as a Case Study" in Irene Wienzock ed, Educating Professionals -' Ethics and Judgement in a Changing Learning Environment (Toronto: Canadian Professional Accountants Association, 2014) [with J.Downie].
    Richard Devlin, Alice Woolley, Brent Cotter & John Law, eds, Lawyers' Ethics and Professional Regulation, 2nd ed (Toronto: Lexis-Nexis, 2012).
  • Richard Devlin & Dianne Pothier, eds, Critical Disability Theory: Essays in Philosophy, Politics, Policy and Law (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005).
  • Richard Devlin, ed, Canadian Perspectives on Legal Theory (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 1990).
  • Richard Devlin & Brent Cotter, “Three Strikes and You’re Out … Maybe … Maybe Not!: A Comment on Wallace v. CN Railway (2013) 92 Can. Bar. Rev 123-148.
  • Richard Devlin & Jocelyn Downie, “Public Interest Vocationalism: A Way Forward for Legal Education in Canada” in F. Westwood, ed., The Calling of Law (Ashgate, 2014) 85-109.
  • Richard Devlin & David Layton, “Culturally Incompetent Counsel and the Trial Level Judge: A Legal and Ethical Analysis” (2014) 60 CLQ 360-385.
  • Richard Devlin & Ora Morison, “Access to Justice and the Ethics and Politics of Alternative Business Structures” (2012) 91 Can. Bar. Rev. 483-553.

Service & activity

  • Director, International Commision of Jurists – Canada
  • President, Canadian Association for Legal Ethics (2012-2015)
  • Consultant, National Judicial Institute
  • Member, International Association for Legal Ethics
  • Member, Editorial Board, Canadian Legal Education Annual Review
  • Member, Editorial Board, Legal Ethics