Option in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions

Welcome to Aboriginal Law at uOttawa!

The Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions Option is intended for JD students wishing to gain in-depth and practical experience in Aboriginal law including some exposure to Indigenous peoples’ legal traditions. The strong research interests of many of our professors support a particularly rich array of courses in Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal traditions. 

    JD Students

    The Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions Option will appeal not only to students interested in Aboriginal law, but to those who wish to understand Indigenous legal traditions and how they can be recognized alongside common law and civil law within Canada’s legally plural society. 

      Requirements

      You must be enrolled in the JD program in order to qualify.

      Any enrolled JD student may take a course listed as an Aboriginal Law Option course. However, JD students who wish to receive formal recognition for having completed the Aboriginal Law Option, which consists of a notation on their transcript, must complete a minimum of 18 units in the area of Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions:

      1. Complete the compulsory course (3 units);
      2. Complete at least 15 units from the list of optional courses; and
      3. Complete the major paper requirement. 
        Registering

        IMPORTANT: You must be currently enrolled in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law JD program in order to register for the Option in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions.

        Do I register for the Option in Aboriginal Law before I have completed all the requirements?

        No. There is no special procedure to register for the Option in Aboriginal Law during the regular annual admission process. Once they have completed their first year of legal studies, law students may take the compulsory and optional courses required to satisfy the requirements of the Option in Aboriginal Law, including a Major Paper in an approved course. Once the requirements have been met, students may visit the Common Law Student Centre to complete and return a form demonstrating that they have met the requirements and wish to have Aboriginal Law noted on their transcript. This usually occurs during the winter term of the student's final year of study.

        Registering for the Option in Aboriginal Law once you have completed the requirements

        1. JD students who wish to receive formal recognition of an Option in Aboriginal Law must complete 18 units in the field of aboriginal law. (See requirements)
        2. Once the required units have been achieved, students should obtain the registration form.
        3. Students must complete the form to identify which qualifying courses they have completed and to identify their Major Paper.
        4. The form must then be signed by the Option in Aboriginal Law Coordinator and returned to the Common Law Student Centre for processing.
            Major Paper

            A major paper must be completed in the compulsory course, a core course or an optional course. The major paper may also be completed in a Directed Research course: CML 3251 Legal Research and Writing (Selected Problems) (4 units) or CML 3351 Legal Research and Writing (Selected Problems) (3 units), approved by the Option Coordinator. The paper must represent not less than 50% of the final mark.

                  Courses

                  Aboriginal Law Courses

                  COMPULSORY COURSES (3 units)

                  3 units from:

                  • CML 2301 Aboriginal Peoples and the Law
                  • CML 2701 Les autochtones et le droit
                  • DRC 4762 Droit des autochtones

                  OPTIONAL COURSES (15 units)

                  Note: Additional courses can be added or approved by the Aboriginal Law Option Coordinator.

                  The full course description is available in the Course search engine. For more information on recognizing courses for the Aboriginal Law Option, please contact the Aboriginal Law Option Coordinator. 

                  Courses offered in the English Common Law Program

                  At least 3 units from Group A:

                  Group A

                  CML 1105       Aboriginal Legal Mechanisms (Note: This is a first year thematic course)
                  CML 3162       Studies in Aboriginal Law 
                  CML 3901       Problèmes choisis de droit autochtone / Selected Problems in Aboriginal Peoples and the Law (bilingual)
                  CML 4162       Advanced Aboriginal Law
                  CML 4163       Comparative Indigenous Rights
                  DRC 4596       L'ordre juridique Innu
                  DRC 4763       Traditions juridiques autochtones

                  Group B

                  CML 1105 Food Security and Sustainability (Note: This is a first year thematic course)
                  CML 1105 Global Intellectual Property and Social Justice (Note: This is a first year thematic course)
                  CML 2321 Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes
                  CML 3112 Theory and Practice of Social Justice Law
                  CML 3131 Public International Law
                  CML 3135 International Law and Developing Countries
                  CML 3137 Critical Race Theory
                  CML 3144 Defending Battered Women on Trial
                  CML 3150 Race, Racism and the Law
                  CML 3307 Trusts
                  CML 3315 Negotiation
                  CML 3343 Poverty and the Law
                  CML 3374 Law and Society (with approval of the option coordinator)
                  CML 3398 Human Rights Laws in Canada
                  CML 3399 Human Rights (International Protection)
                  CML 4113 Foundation Legal Writing Skills
                  CML 4131 Multicultural Rights in Liberal Democracies
                  CML 4382 Feminist Legal Issues

                  At least 3 units from Group C:

                  Group C:

                  Moot Course:

                  CML 3125       Moot Court Competition (Kawashimhon Moot, or other Moot with approval of Option Coordinator)

                  Internship:

                  CML 3171       Student-Proposed Internship (with approval of Option Coordinator)
                  CML 3173       Law-Related Internship (with approval of Option Coordinator)

                  Clinical:

                  CML 3248       Introduction Legal Aid Clinic Course (with approval of Option Coordinator)
                  CML 3250       Advanced Clinical Course in Community Law (with approval of Option       
                  Coordinator)

                  Courses offered in the French Common Law Program

                  At least 3 units from Group A:

                  Group A

                  CML 3901       Problèmes choisis de droit autochtone / Selected Problems in Aboriginal Peoples and the Law (bilingual)
                  DRC 4596       L'ordre juridique Innu
                  DRC 4763       Traditions juridiques autochtones

                  Group  B

                  CML 3512       Théorie et pratique en droit et justice sociale
                  CML 3531       Droit international public
                  CML 3580       Clinique de droit de l'environnement
                  CML 3707       La fiducie 
                  CML 3713       Entrevue, consultation et négociation
                  CML 3714       Le droit : contexte sociologique
                  CML 3780       Les femmes et le droit
                  CML 4519       Les droits linguistiques au Canada
                  CML 4521       Droit international de l'environnement
                  CML 4529       Droit de l'environnement approfondi
                  CML 4530       Droit des ressources naturelles

                  At least 3 units from Group C:

                  Group C

                  Moot Course (with approval of Option Coordinator)

                  Internship (with approval of Option Coordinator):

                  CML 3571       Stage proposé par l'étudiant (avec l'approbation du coordonnateur)
                  CML 3573       Stage en droit (avec l'approbation du coordonnateur)

                  Clinical:

                  CML 3648       Clinique juridique I: Introduction (avec l'approbation du coordonnateur)

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