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. 

Students interested in registering for the Criminal Justice Specialization Certificate must complete the registration form found here.  Once completed, send it to as early as possible and ideally at the start of their second year.

For questions about the Criminial Justice specialization, please email

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.  

Basket 1: Advanced Criminal Law Issues Electives

(*NOTE:  LAWS 2018 - As this course has just been moved to Basket 1 due to the change in substance, for the class of 2022 it may count towards either Basket 1 or 2, but not both; for all the subsequent classes it may count only towards Basket 1).

Basket 2: Social Justice Electives

A student perspective


The Criminal Justice Certificate provides students with the opportunity to receive a well-rounded legal education with a focus on courses that delve into the many interesting facets of criminal law and criminal justice."


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, Law and technology
Phone: 902-494-1035
Mailing Address: 
Room 317, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law
Topics:  Evidence, Sexual assault law, Criminal law ethics, Constitutional law, Feminist legal theory
Phone: 902-494-1005
Mailing Address: 
Room 318, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Ave
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law; University Research Professor
Topics:  Transnational criminal law, International criminal law, Social media law, International litigation, International law, Cyberbullying, Evidence, Extradition, Civil procedure, Criminal law
Phone: 902-494-1012
Mailing Address: 
Room 435, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Assistant Professor of Law
Topics:  copyright, critical race legal theory, criminal justice
Phone: 902-494-7876
Mailing Address: 
Room 432, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Assistant Professor of Law, Associate Director of the Health Law Institute
Topics:  Prison Law & Prisoners’ Rights, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, Sentencing, Evidence, Charter Rights
Phone: 902-494-1296
Mailing Address: 
Room 427, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law | Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine (cross-appointment)
Topics:  Criminal Law and Procedure, Mental Disability
Phone: 902-494-1003
Mailing Address: 
Room 421, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law; Chair in Restorative Justice and Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (RRIELab)
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
Phone: 902-494-1013
Mailing Address: 
Room 316, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Senior Instructor
Topics:  Law, Criminal law, Administrative law, Immigration and refugee law, National security
Phone: 902-494-4294
Mailing Address: 
Room 420, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Assistant Professor and Lead, Dalhousie African Nova Scotian Strategy
Topics:  African Nova Scotian Law, Critical Race Theory and Practice, Critical Race Feminism, Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education, Human rights, Criminal Law
Phone: 902-494-2863
Mailing Address: 
Room 322, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2


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


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."