Research Chairs & Awards

School of Law Research Chairs

Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance

Professor David VanderZwaag uses this Chair to evaluate global ocean governance. Specifically, Professor VanderZwaag's work includes examining the effectiveness of regional agreements for managing fisheries and protecting the arctic marine environment and also studying issues raised by sustainable development, community-based management, indigenous rights and ecosystem-based management. His research aims to develop legislative and regulatory reforms for supporting more principled decision making in ocean governance.

Canada Research Chair in Maritime Law and Policy
Professor Aldo Chircop is looking at the factors that facilitate and constrain uniform international shipping standards and their enforcement. He is also examining how Canadian maritime law can be developed further and harmonized with international rules. Ultimately,  research will help policy makers, maritime administrators, and courts make decisions that support trade and commerce while making shipping safer and more sustainable. 
Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law
Dr Leonard Rotman is the third holder of this five-year renewable chair, which was established in 2001. As Chair, Professor Rotman, an expert in corporate theory, governance, and fiduciary obligations, will add to our already strong cluster of professors with corporate, commercial, and tax law expertise. His experience will facilitate the faculty's research and teaching impact locally, nationally, and internationally.

MacBain Chair in Health Law & Policy
Professor Joanna Erdman serves as the inaugural MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy. As Chair, and as part of Dalhousie's Health Law Institute, Professor Erdman engages in projects that carry impact in the health law field locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Formerly a Resident Fellow of the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School, Professor Erdman is an exceptional scholar in health law and policy – particularly in the areas of sexual and reproductive health law.

Viscount Bennett Professor of Law
Professor Jennifer Llewellyn is the Viscount Bennett Professor of Law. As Chair, Professor Llewellyn collaborates on research with institutions, governments and NGOs. Her extensive work in restorative justice and peacebuilding builds on our international reputation for outstanding contributions to scholarship and commitment to human rights.

Yogis & Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law
Professor Wayne MacKay, CM, QC is the inaugural Yogis & Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law. As Chair, Professor MacKay will further the study of human rights at the school and develop collaborative programs with other institutions and governments. An internationally recognized expert in constitutional and human rights law, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he is a dedicated advocate for justice, human rights, and diversity in Canada.

Research-related awards & achievements

Member of the Order of Canada
Professor A Wayne MacKay
Professor Jocelyn Downie

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Professors Richard Devlin
Professor Jocelyn Downie

Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
Professor Jocelyn Downie

Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow
Professor Jocelyn Downie

2016–2021 University Research Professor
Professor Jocelyn Downie

2005–2015 University Research Professor
Professor Richard Devlin

2012 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair (Arizona State University)
Professor Vaughan Black

2008 Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award
Professors Richard Devlin and Jocelyn Downie

2006–2007 Traditional Canada-US Fulbright Scholar Award
Professor Esmeralda Thornhill

2005 Frances Fish Women Lawyers’ Achievement Award
Professor Dianne Pothier

Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award for 2005
Professor Steve Coughlan

Dalhousie University Doctoral Thesis Award for 2006
Professor Meinhard Doelle

Walter Owen Book Prize
Professors Aldo Chircop, Hugh Kindred and our former professor Edgar Gold