Criminal Justice

A holistic approach

At the Schulich School of Law, we acknowledge the importance of substantive and procedural criminal law and also recognize that criminal justice interacts in a variety of ways with society and individuals. Our research and teaching look at what influences criminal justice, and who criminal justice affects, while being alert to alternatives that may be better suited to respond to factors that influence crime.

We are concerned about the impacts the criminal justice system has on marginalized communities and individuals, both as victims and perpetrators. We believe that criminal justice must be understood in a social justice context, and that community engagement is central to a fair and transparent criminal justice process.

If you believe that criminal justice goes beyond enforcing the law to examine the factors behind why crimes happen, and you have passion to serve the community and make a difference, then Schulich Law is the place for you.

Specialize in Criminal Justice

We are committed to providing a broad, practical, and well-rounded educational experience to students studying criminal justice. Our course offerings include both large and small group classes that combine lectures, discussions, and active learning techniques. They provide training in trial and appellate advocacy skills, in-depth approaches to advanced concepts, and substantial opportunities for experiential and clinical learning.

Our Criminal Justice Specialization gives JD students an opportunity to focus on this area, and earn a certificate upon graduation. 

Register for the Criminal Justice Certificate

For questions about the Criminial Justice specialization, please contact the program coordinator Professor Adelina Iftene (criminaljustice@dal.ca)

Specialization Requirements

To graduate with a specialization in Criminal Justice, students must:

  • Complete the mandatory core criminal law courses LAWS 2008 Evidence and LAWS 2091 Criminal Procedure (Eight credit hours total);
  • Complete eight credit hours of electives chosen from the lists below. Students must take at least one course from each basket. 

PLEASE NOTE:

  • The certificate is not available for the Class of 2020. Only students graduating in 2021 or after are eligible to apply.
  • For Basket 2, the major paper must be in a criminal justice related field, and requires approval from the program coordinator.

A student perspective

Fenessa_Williams

My internship helped me realize just how useful my presence is in the criminal justice system. It helped me to unleash my interest and passion for criminal law and helping members of my community."

FENESSA WILLIAMS-APOSTOLAKOS (JD '19)

Experiential Learning

Our students have many opportunities to engage with the community, and get practical experience:

  • Third-year students can spend a term working at the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service (DLAS) where they may participate in youth sentencings, bail hearings, peace bond applications and prison law work.
  • Internships, both at home and abroad, can offer opportunites to work with organizations dedicated to criminal justice.
  • Pro Bono Dalhousie@Schulich Law provides an opportunity for 180 student volunteers to work with more than 50 community organizations, 15 of which currently deal with criminal justice issues including the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Canadian Prison Law Association and Innocence Canada.
  • We participate in both the Sopinka and Gale Cup moots, which focus on criminal matters.
  • In the Criminal Clinic course, students shadow a defence lawyer, Crown attorney or judge for a term, attending trials and gaining exposure to the criminal justice system. 
  • In the Sexual Assault Clinic course students learn through field activities with crown attorneys who specialize in this area, and other professionals involved in sexual assault cases.
  • In the Criminal Appeals Practice and Criminal Trial Practice  courses, students are given practical exposure to the entire process of conducting an appeal or a trial in a criminal case. 

Our Faculty

Schulich Law's criminal justice faculty members are world renowned experts in their field. Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with professors who are passionately devoted to mentoring students.

Professor of Law
Topics:  Criminal law, Criminal procedure, Elder law, Law and technology
Email: stephen.coughlan@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1035
Mailing Address: 
Room 317, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_stephen_coughlan
Associate Professor of Law
Topics:  Evidence, Sexual assault law, Criminal law ethics, Constitutional law, Feminist legal theory
Email: elaine.craig@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1005
Mailing Address: 
Room 318, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Ave
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_elaine_craig_2018
Professor of Law
Topics:  Transnational criminal law, International criminal law, Social media law, New media law, International litigation, International law, Cyberbullying, Evidence, Extradition, Civil procedure, Criminal law
Email: robert.currie@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1012
Mailing Address: 
Room 435, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_robert_currie
Assistant Professor
Topics:  copyright, critical race legal theory, criminal justice
Email: maria.dugas@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7876
Mailing Address: 
Room 432, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Maria_Dugas_2020
Assistant Professor of Law
Topics:  Prison Law & Prisoners’ Rights, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, Sentencing, Evidence, Charter Rights
Email: aiftene@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1296
Mailing Address: 
Room 427, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_adelina iftene
Professor of Law | Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine (cross-appointment)
Topics:  Criminal Law and Procedure, Mental Disability
Email: archie.kaiser@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1003
Mailing Address: 
Room 421, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_archie_kaiser
Professor of Law; Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law
Topics:  Restorative justice, Human rights, International criminal law, Jurisprudence, Feminist legal theory, Constitutional law, Application of a restorative approach in social and political institutions, Restorative approach to education, Public international law, International human rights law, Truth commissions and transitional justice, Indian Residential Schools, Relational theory
Email: jennifer.llewellyn@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1013
Mailing Address: 
Room 316, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_jennifer_llewellyn
Instructor, Faculty of Law
Topics:  Law, Criminal law, Administrative law, Immigration and refugee law, National security
Email: jshapiro@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4294
Mailing Address: 
Room 420, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Jonathan_Shaprio_2020
Senior Instructor, Faculty of Law, Director, Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative
Topics:  Restorative justice, Feminist theory, Race and the law, Public interest, Human rights
Email: michelle.williams@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1542
Mailing Address: 
Room 324, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_michelle_williams-lorde

 

Career Paths

The opportunities to work in this interesting and complex area of the law are broad and diverse. Whether your goal is to work as a criminal lawyer, for a non-governmental organization, as an academic, or as a legal policy analyst, your education at Schulich Law will prepare you for the career path of your choice. Many of our alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in the criminal justice sphere.

An alumni perspective

Kim_Pate_Criminal_Justice

This new certificate is a first for the country and will provide vital opportunities for students, who will benefit in ways that will undoubtedly lead us into the future."

SENATOR KIM PATE (LLB '84)