Jennifer Llewellyn

Professor of Law; Chair in Restorative Justice and Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (RRIELab)


Related information

Phone: 902-494-1013
Mailing Address: 
Room 316, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research 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


  • BA (McMaster)
  • MA (Queen’s)
  • LLB (Toronto)
  • LLM (Harvard)

Bar admissions

  • Nova Scotia, 2003


Jennifer Llewellyn, an ever-present voice and advocate for restorative justice, is The Chair in Restorative Justice and Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (RRIELab). In 2018 she served as the scholar in residence for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.  She has previously been a visiting professor at Vanderbilt, Victoria University in Wellington NZ, and Australian National University, and was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Canberra University in 2018. Having published extensively on the theory and practice of a restorative approach, her teaching and research are focused in the areas of relational theory, restorative justice, truth commissions, peacebuilding, international and domestic human rights law, public law and Canadian constitutional law. From 2006-2012, Professor Llewellyn was the Director of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance (NSRJ-CURA), a collaborative research partnership between university and community partners focused on the institutionalization of restorative justice. She is currently Director of the International Learning Community on a Restorative Approach, an international collaboration of researchers, policy makers and practitioners supporting jurisdictions committed to being restorative communities.

An international subject matter expert in the area of restorative justice, Professor Llewellyn has advised governments and NGO’s and supported many governments, projects and programs including the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Jamaican government, the government of New Zealand and the United Nations. Her world-renowned expertise resulted in her appointment as an expert on the UN mechanism to review the UN Basic Principles for the Use of Restorative Justice in Criminal Matters. Additionally, Professor Llewellyn facilitated the design process for the first ever restorative public inquiry (into the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children) and served as a Commissioner for the Inquiry.  She previously advised the Assembly of First Nations and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the response to Residential School abuse. 

Recognized for her contribution in the field of restorative justice, Professor Llewellyn was awarded the National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award from Correctional Services Canada in 2015 and was the 2018 recipient of the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council National Impact Award, the highest award for research achievement and impact in Canada. In 2019, she received the Dalhousie University President's Research Excellence Award for Research Impact.

She has also worked extensively in the field internationally, including with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Jamaican government, the government of New Zealand and the United Nations. She has co-edited two books in the area: Being Relational: Reflections on Relational Theory and Health Law (UBC Press, 2011) and Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Areas of supervision: Public Law, Constitutional Law, Restorative Justice, Human Rights, Legal Theory, Relational Theory.    

Research interests

Professor Llewellyn's research interests include: Restorative Justice, Legal Theory, Feminist Legal Theory, Relational Theory, Constitutional Law, Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice, Indian Residential Schools.

Selected awards & honours

  • 2019: The President’s Research Excellence Awards for Research Impact
  • 2018: Winner of the SSHRC Impact Award
  • 2015: Winner National Ron Wiebe Award for Restorative Justice
  • 2012-2017: Viscount Bennett Professorship in Law, Schulich School of Law (Appointed Chair)
  • 2013: Fetzer Institute Research Project, Restorative Governance
  • 2008-09: Dalhousie Law Alumni Teaching Award
  • 2000-01: Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship, Harvard University

Selected publications

View my research on my SSRN Author page:

  • Ami Harbin, Christine Koggel & Jennifer J. Llewellyn, eds., Relational Theory Implications and Applications Special Issue Journal of Global Ethics (forthcoming 2021)
  • “Realizing the Full Potential of Restorative Justice” Policy Options May 2, 2018 
  • J.J. Llewellyn & B. Morrison, eds., Exploring Possibilities: A Restorative Approach to Institutional Climate and Culture in Families, Education, Workplaces and Professions Special Issue: The International Journal of Restorative Justice 2018:3.  
  • J.J. Llewellyn, “Responding Restoratively to Student Misconduct and Professional Regulation – The Case of Dalhousie Dentistry” in press G. Burford, J. Braithwaite & V. Braithwaite eds., Restorative and Responsive Human Services (Oxford: Routledge, 2018).
  • Jennifer J. Llewellyn, M. DeGagné & G. Lowry, eds., Reconciliation & Canada’s Indian Residential Schools in Context: Legal Perspectives, Government Documents & Related Texts (Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2015).
  • Ami Harbin & Jennifer J. Llewellyn, “Restorative Justice in Transitions: The Problem of ‘The Community’ and Collective Responsibility” in Kerry Clamp ed., Restorative Justice in Transitional Settings (Oxford: Routledge, 2015), 133-151.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn & K. Llewellyn, “A Restorative Approach to Learning: Relational Theory as Feminist Pedagogy in Universities” in T. Penny Light, J. Nicholas & R. Bondy, eds, Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education: Critical Theory and Practice (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn & D. Philpott, eds, Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding  (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn et al, “Imagining Success for a Restorative Approach to Justice” (2013) 36:2 Dal LJ.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Integrating Peace, Justice and Development in a Relational Approach to Peacebuilding” (2012) 6:3 Ethics and Social Welfare 290.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn & J. Downie, eds, Being Relational: Reflections on Relational Theory & Health Law (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Doing Justice: New Directions in Restorative Justice” in R. Murphy, ed, Doing Justice: Dispute Resolution in the Courts and Beyond (Ottawa: Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 2007).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “A Healthy Conception of Rights?: Thinking Relationally About Rights in a Health Care Context” in J. Downie & E. Gibson, eds, Health Law at the Supreme Court of Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2007).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Restorative Justice in Response to Abuse and Violence” in G. Johnstone & D. Van Ness, eds, Handbook of Restorative Justice (Devon: Willan Publishing, 2007).
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Restorative Justice in Transitions and Beyond: The Justice Potential of Truth Telling Mechanisms for Post-Peace Accord Societies” in T. Borer, ed, Telling The Truths: Truth Telling and Peace Building in Post-Conflict Societies (Notre Dame Press, 2006) 83. 
  • B. Archibald & Jennifer Llewellyn, “The Challenges of Institutionalizing Comprehensive Restorative Justice: Theory and Practice in Nova Scotia” (2006) 29 Dal LJ 297.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “A Primer on Human Rights Law” in J. Downie, K. McEwen & W. MacInnis, eds, Dental Law in Canada (Markham: Butterworths, 2004) 91.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Restorative Justice in Borde and Hamilton – A Systemic Problem?” (2003) 8 Criminal Reports 308.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn, “Dealing with the Legacy of Native Residential School Abuse: Litigation, ADR, and Restorative Justice” (2002) 52 UTLJ 253.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn & R. Howse, “Institutions for Restorative Justice: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (1999) 49 UTLJ 355.
  • Jennifer Llewellyn & R. Howse, Restorative Justice – A Conceptual Framework (Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada, 1998) 1.  

Service & activity

  • 2016-2019: OIC Appointed Commissioner Restorative Public Inquiry for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children
  • 2016-2017: Consultant/Advisor Motherisk Commission (Ontario)
  • 2017-2018: Co-Chair Governance and Management Committee Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program
  • 2017: United Nations Expert Group on Restorative Justice in Criminal Matters – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – Appointed Member
  • 2017-2018: Member Federal-Provincial-Territorial Task Force: Multilateral Action on Justice Over-Representation  (MAJOR Task Force)
  • 2014-2015: Expert consultant, Government of Nova Scotia Design Process for Restorative Public Inquiry into Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children
  • 2014: Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, Office of the Chief Social Worker on Family Group Conference Renewal Project
  • 2010-13: Co-Director, Project on Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, Joan B Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • 2012-14: Advisor of Healing Approach to Senior Abuse Provincial Project 
  • 2012-ongoing: Co-Creator/Advisor, Provincial Restorative Approaches in Schools Project
  • 2001-ongoing: Academic and Policy Advisor, Nova Scotia Provincial Restorative Justice Program Management Committee
  • 2004-05: Member, Assembly of First Nations’ Expert Task Group on Canada’s Dispute Resolution Plan to Compensate for Abuses in Indian Residential Schools
  • 2002: Member, Research Initiative on the Resolution of Ethnic Conflict, Joan B Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Selected university service

  • 2014-2015: Process Lead/Co-facilitator Restorative Justice Process, Faculty of Dentistry.
  • 2010-ongoing: Advisory Committee RJ@Dal Project, Dalhousie University
  • 2002-04: Co-chair, Senate Discipline Committee, Dalhousie University 
  • 2001-02: Member, Senate Discipline Committee, Dalhousie University