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Steve Coughlan

Professor of Law

Schulich School of Law , Law & Technology Institute

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
Research Topics:
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal law theory
  • Criminal procedure
  • Elder law
  • Law and technology


  • BA (Ottawa)
  • MA (Toronto)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • PhD (Toronto)

Bar admissions

  • Nova Scotia, 1986


Professor Coughlan's primary teaching area is Criminal Law and Procedure. For many years, he coached competitive moot teams. Professor Coughlan has taught Constitutional Law, Health Law, and Medical Ethics (in the Faculty of Medicine), as well as Introduction to Law (a course offered by the Law School to non-law students).

  • Criminal Justice: The Individual and the State (LAWS 1001)
  • Criminal Law Problems (LAWS 2045)

Areas of supervision: Criminal law and procedure

Research interests

Professor Coughlan's research interests include criminal law and procedure, law and technology/privacy – particularly as it intersects with criminal law issues – and interdisciplinary work on treatment of the elderly/adult protection. Professor Coughlan has published 20 books and roughly 100 articles and book chapters. He is co-editor of and writes regular case annotations for the Criminal Reports and is a co-author of the National Judicial Institute Criminal Law Essentials eletter. He is also co-editor of the IT.Can Newsletter on Canadian information technology law developments.

Selected awards & honours

  • 2011: Culliton Lecturer, University of Saskatchewan
  • 2009: Hanna and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law
  • 2005: Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award
  • 2004: Dalhousie Alumni Association Award of Excellence for Teaching
  • 2004: Hanna and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law
  • 2000: Dalhousie Law Students' Society and the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching Law

Selected publications

  • Don Stuart & Steve Coughlan, Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 13th ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2015).
  • Steve Coughlan et al, Law Beyond Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in an Age of Globalization, (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014).
  • Steve Coughlan, Gerry Ferguson & Lee Seshagiri, Annual Review of Criminal Law 2013, (Toronto: Carswell, 2014).
  • Steve Coughlan, Canadian Law Dictionary, 7th ed (New York: Barron's Educational Series, 2013).
  • Steve Coughlan, Criminal Procedure, 2nd ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2012).
  • Steve Coughlan, “Citizen’s Arrest, Property Owners, and Private Fiefdoms” (2014) 18 Can Crim LR 1.
  • Steve Coughlan, “The Rise and Fall of Duress (or How Duress Changed Necessity Before Being Excluded by Self-defence)” (2013) 39 Queen’s LJ 83.  

Service & activity

  • Member of the Law and Technology Institute at Dalhousie
  • 1988-92: Consultant, Law Reform Commission of Canada
  • 1986-88: Lawyer, Metro Community Law Clinic