Lawrence David


Lawrence David
Part-time Professor

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Lawrence David


Lawrence David teaches the first-year core curriculum course in Criminal Law and Procedure over the Fall and Winter semesters. He currently serves in the Department of Justice team of litigators acting on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada in trial, judicial review, and appellate proceedings (National Litigation Sector). Lawrence recently completed a Master of Laws degree at the Harvard Law School. His thesis on stare decisis and constitutional precedent was supervised by eminent constitutional scholar Mark V. Tushnet, and received High Honours.

Lawrence’s course is designed to be student-centric. The textbook is optional, and all course materials are made available for free using open access web-based sources. He takes great pride in fostering an atmosphere conducive to respectful dialogue, and in teaching students about key aspects of the experience of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian criminal justice system.

Lawrence has extensive legal and policy experience at the federal level, having previously held the following positions:

*Legal Counsel, Public Safety Canada - Legal Services Unit (2018-2019)

*Policy Advisor at Canada's Privy Council Office, supporting the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and the Minister of Democratic Institutions (2016-2017)

*Law Clerk to Justice Rosalie Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada (2015-2016)

*Articling Student, Department of Justice, Legal Excellence Program (2014-2015)

*Judicial Law Clerk at the Quebec Court of Appeal (2013-2014)

*Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament (2010-2011)

In these capacities, Lawrence has had the privilege of contributing to the development of significant legislative initiatives and to several judgments of considerable national importance. He has extensive experience interpreting and applying the Criminal Code to novel and complex cases, including as part of his clerkship at the Supreme Court of Canada. Lawrence’s up-close-and-personal experience in all three branches of Canadian government equips him with unique insights into the relationship between law and governance, law and public policy, and the separation of powers. Lawrence is a Member in Good Standing of the Law Society of Ontario.


LL.M, Harvard Law School (2018)

B.C.L./LL.B, McGill University Faculty of Law (2014)

BA, Concordia University (2010)

Representative Publications

  • Stare Decisis and the Charter at the Supreme Court of Canada: A Metadoctrinal Analysis (monograph) (forthcoming)
  • “A Biographical Account of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in R v Big M Drug Mart Ltd” in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law, Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2019)
  • “Canada’s Most Towering Judge of All: Beverley McLachlin” (co-authored with Professor Richard Albert (U Texas Austin) (forthcoming, 2019)
  • “Religious Institutionalism in a Canadian Context” (2016) 52:3 Osgoode Hall LJ 1048 (co-authored with Professor Victor Muniz-Fraticelli (McGill)) (cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Loyola High School v Quebec (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 12 at para 60.
  • “Resource Allocation and Judicial Deference on Charter Review: The Price of Rights Protection According to the McLachlin Court” (2015) 73:1 University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review 35
  • “Accountability and the Limits of Crown Immunity: The Case of Quebec’s Former Lieutenant-Governor” (2014) 8:3 Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 657
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