Joanna Erdman

Associate Professor of Law; MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy; Associate Director, Health Law Institute


Related information

Phone: 902-494-1016
Mailing Address: 
Room 327, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Health law and policy
  • Public law
  • Human rights
  • International and comparative law
  • Law and society
  • Sexuality and gender
  • Public health law


  • BA (Toronto)
  • JD (Toronto)
  • LLM (Harvard)

Bar admissions

  • Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario, 2005


Research interests

Joanna's primary research concerns sexual and reproductive health law in a transnational context. Professor Erdman has published in leading international journals on topics such as harm reduction in safe abortion, the regulation of emergency contraception, and HPV vaccines policy.

Selected awards & honours

  • 2012 - present: MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy
  • 2013: Hanna & Harold Barnett Award in Teaching First Year Law
  • 2011 - 2012: Resident Fellow, Program for Study of Reproductive Justice, Yale Law School
  • 2009: Health Equity and Law Clinic recognized as best practice in clinical legal education by Corporate Knights Magazine

Selected publications

  • Joanna Erdman, "Canada: Competing frames of access and authority" in Angel Foster & L. L. Wynn, eds, Emergency Contraception: The Story of a Global Reproductive Health Technology (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012) 57.
  • Joanna Erdman, "Access to Information on Safe Abortion: A Harm Reduction and Human Rights Approach" (2011) 34 Harv JL & Gender 413.
  • Joanna Erdman, "Human Rights in Health Equity: Cervical Cancer and HPV Vaccines" (2009) 35 Am JL & Med 365.
  • Joanna Erdman, Amy Grenon & Leigh Harrison-Wilson, "Medication Abortion in Canada: A Right-to-Health Perspective" (2008) 98 American Journal of Public Health 1764.
  • Joanna Erdman, "In the Back Alleys of Health Care: Abortion, Equality, and Community in Canada" (2007) 56 Emory LJ 1093.

Service & activity

  • Third-Party Intervener: European Court of Human Rights; Supreme Court of Mexico, Supreme Court of Justice, Nicaragua; Constitutional Court of Colombia; UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  • 2011 - present: Member, Gender and Rights Advisory Panel, World Health Organization
  • 2010 - present: Member, Global Health Advisory Committee, Public Health Program, Open Society Foundations
  • 2006 - present: Member, Technical Advisory Committee, Law and Health Initiative, Open Society Foundations
  • 2006 - 2011: Co-Director, International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, University of Toronto
  • 2006 - 2011: Founding Director, Health Equity and Law Clinic, University of Toronto