Goals of the Research Office
One of the core duties of a university professor is to carry out research. Research is crucial to the development and testing of knowledge, and the kind of independent and objective research that can be carried out in a university environment plays an important role within our society. A vibrant research culture within a law school is a sign of its strength not just as a research institution but as a centre for teaching excellence as well. Moreover, much of the grant funding obtained by faculty researchers translates directly into employment for students. In turn, this enhances the students’ law school experience by giving them hands-on training with research sources and methodologies. Research funding is crucial as well to supporting students in a time of rising tuition and mounting student debt.
The role of the Research Office is to work closely with researchers, administrators, institutional partners, and funding organizations within Canada and abroad to encourage and support the successful engagement of its bilingual faculty in research. Its specific responsibilities include the provision of support and strategic direction for faculty members applying for research-related funding, research award and prize submissions, and Canada Research Chair (CRC) nominations and renewals. It also supports the distribution and management of faculty research funds, offers support for the diversification and funding of international research initiatives, and manages the selection process for faculty research awards. The Research Office also helps to profile the impressive research output of faculty members.
The Office of Research has set the following priorities:
- To encourage and support Faculty applications for research funding, especially federal government Tri-Council funding, but also other sources of funding including the Law Foundation of Ontario, private foundations, government and international organizations.
- To promote the dissemination of Faculty research, both internally within the Faculty and externally to the academic community, to government, the public policy community, the media, the broader public, alumni and prospective students, both graduate and undergraduate.
- To assist new and junior Faculty members to develop their own research strategy, including support for their research through applicable grants and dissemination of their research.
- To search out new avenues of research funding to support the work of Faculty members.
- To promote and support the applications of Faculty members for various awards and prizes.
Research Office Staff
To meet the growing needs of the Faculty’s researchers, the Research Office expanded in both size and expertise in late 2014 and into 2015. The office now boasts a team of three staff members who support the development and dissemination of research at the Faculty of Law.
Professor Peter C. Oliver has built a national and international reputation for ground-breaking research into constitutional questions. His theoretical, comparative and historical approach has been applied to practical legal problems, such Commonwealth devolution, ever-closer European union, independence and secession. His recent writing explores Canadian constitutional issues, particularly with regard to constitutional amendment, constitutional conventions and federalism.
Much of Professor Oliver’s research focuses on shifting understandings of two central theoretical concepts: ‘sovereignty’ and ‘legal system’. His careful treatment of both concepts yields a theoretical account of fundamental legal transitions, one whose practical consequence is to explain how constitutional continuity can produce constitutional independence. Oliver’s work has been cited across the world, in leading publications in Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. His approach to constitutional continuity and constitutional independence is discussed comprehensively in his 2005 book, The Constitution of Independence: The Development of Constitutional Theory in Australia, Canada and New Zealand (Oxford University Press). Oliver's research contributes to the revival of interest in Commonwealth law, politics and history. His research retrieves forgotten Commonwealth scholarship and applies it to new contexts, including UK-Europe, UK-Scotland and Canada-Quebec.
Professor Oliver’s more recent writing relates to issues in Canadian constitutional law. In this body of work, one sees the same attributes that distinguish his earlier work: that is, the identification of the unstated theoretical assumptions that underlie constitutional debates, their evolution over Canada’s history, and their relation to comparable developments in other countries. Particularly important contributions relate to patriation and amendment, the justiciability of constitutional conventions, and the question of the constitutionality of the federal spending power.
Professor Oliver’s work on sovereignty and legal systems has been cited in leading publications around the world, as noted. By way of example: Australian scholar, Jeffrey Goldsworthy, devotes a full chapter of his 2010 monograph, Parliamentary Sovereignty: Contemporary Debates, to discussing Oliver’s work; in his review of The Constitution of Independence for the leading journal, Public Law, David Dyzenhaus, professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto, describes Oliver’s book as ‘an excellent example of how theory and legal history can be mutually illuminating’; and Andrew Macdonald, of the University of California at Berkeley, refers to it as “a work of formidable scholarship … scholarly, rigorous and illuminating”. The distinguished Society of Legal Scholars, based in the UK, awarded Oliver one of the prestigious Peter Birks Prizes 'for Outstanding Legal Scholarship'.
Professor Oliver was Vice Dean of the Programme de common law en français from 2012-2014, and since January 1, 2017 he is Vice Dean Research.
Assitant Dean, Research
Cintia Quiroga holds a Ph.D. in psychology from University of Montreal, and completed her post-doctoral training at McGill University, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). She joined the Faculty of Law in 2015 and works closely with the Vice-Dean Research and Faculty members to support the development of strategic research initiatives and individual research projects at the Faculty. Dr. Quiroga brings a diverse experience in multidisciplinary research, having worked on several large-scale longitudinal research projects, including community-based research with at-risk adolescents and youth both in the Francophone and Anglophone sector. Her latest research focuses on mental health, immigrant and refugee youth.
613-562-5800 ext. 7993
Research Communications Strategist
Andrew Kuntze has worked at the faculty of Law since 2008, occupying a variety of communications-related roles, and working on diverse projects ranging from alumni relations to web content strategy. He joined the Research Office in June 2015, and currently oversees the Faculty’s award nomination files, as well as all research-related communications within the Common Law Section. As of 2016, he serves as the editor of Common Law’s SSRN Working Paper Series. Andrew holds a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature.
613-562-5800 ext. 3444
Administrative Assistant, Research
Natalie Carter joined the Research Office in 2014, providing much needed support on the Faculty’s myriad grant applications and award nomination files. Before joining the Faculty of Law, Natalie previously worked in the Research Office at the Faculty of Health Sciences for four years.
613-562-5800 ext. 3249
Research Annual Reports
The work of the Research Office is described in the research reports:
- Research Annual Report for the Common Law Section, 2014-2016
- Annual Report - Office of the Vice-Dean Research (2013-2014)
- Research Office Report (2009-2010)
- Annual Report - Office of the Vice-Dean Research (2008)
- Annual Report - Office of the Vice-Dean Research (2007)