Welcome to the Social Justice Option (JD) and Social Justice Concentration (LL.M. and Ph.D.)!

Graduate students in law at the master's level can choose the LL.M. with Concentration in Law and Social Justice. It emphasizes analysis and critique of the role of law in the development and maintenance of social, political and economic inequality, and the investigation of the potential of law to be an instrument for social change. Graduate students in law at the doctoral level whose research is in the area of social justice can work under the supervision of one of our faculty members in pursuit of the Ph.D. in Law.

The Social Justice Option is designed to prepare JD students currently registered at the Faculty of Law for a future career in public interest organizations or humanitarian work. However, it will also appeal to students with a general interest in social justice issues. It is also intended to provide access for researchers and the public to ongoing faculty research in the area of social justice. Through the navigation bar on the left, you have access to information and resources about:

  • courses on social justice for law students;
  • how to qualify for the social justice concentration;
  • ongoing faculty research on social justice issues;
  • opportunities for legal aid clinic work;
  • information about internships with partnering organizations;
  • moot court competitions in the area of social justice;
  • and more . . .

We hope that you enjoy browsing the social justice option webpage.

What is social justice?

The term “social justice” refers broadly to issues facing groups that are typically disadvantaged and underrepresented in society such as: women; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons; children; religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities, Aboriginal peoples, racialized communities, immigrants and refugees; poor persons; the elderly; and persons with disabilities.

Fields of study in social justice:

Courses that qualify for the Social Justice Option include those whose theoretical or doctrinal focus is on systemic discrimination and the challenges faced by equality-seeking communities. Sample fields of study include:

  • constitutional equality;
  • domestic and international human rights;
  • Aboriginal Peoples and the Law
  • civil liberties;
  • immigration;
  • labour and employment law (with respect to issues such as redistributive regulatory schemes like labour and income security law);
  • environmental law;
  • critical legal history;
  • critical equality theories and practice; and
  • the delivery of social justice through legal aid clinics and other social justice organizations.


The Co-ordinators of the Social Justice Option are Prof. David Wiseman(David.Wiseman@uottawa.ca) and Prof. Suzanne Bouclin (suzanne.bouclin@uottawa.ca). If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact them.

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