Professor Michael Pal researches primarily on the comparative law of democracy and election law. He publishes widely in law, political science, and public policy. He is currently working on projects related to voter suppression, electoral management bodies, electoral boundaries, election administration in democratic transitions, and democratic theory.
He joined the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section in 2014 and is a member of the Public Law Group. He teaches Studies in Public Law: The Law of Democracy, Constitutional Law II, and Criminal Law and Procedure.
Professor Pal is also a Fellow at the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation in the School of Public Policy and governance at the University of Toronto, where he works on issues of democratic representation and election law.
He has degrees in political science from Queen’s and the University of Toronto and in law from the University of Toronto and NYU. While completing his doctorate, he was a Trudeau Foundation Scholar, a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholar, and taught in the legal research and writing program.
He has appeared before the House of Commons and Senate Committees studying the Fair Representation Act and has advised federal and provincial electoral boundary commissions and all levels of government. He has published extensively in the media on topics related to his research, including in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, and the Hill-Times and appeared on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
During his J.D. studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, he was President of the Students’ Law Society, Senior Editor of the Faculty of Law Review, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Asian Legal Aid Clinic of Ontario. He subsequently clerked at the Court of Appeal for Ontario for Justices Moldaver, Blair, Goudge, and Feldman, and worked in a national law firm in Toronto.
Academic Articles and Book Chapters
- “Breakdowns in the Democratic Process and the Law of Canadian Democracy” (2011) 57(2) McGill Law Journal 299
- “The Promise and Limits of Citizens’ Assemblies: Deliberation, Institutions and the Law of Democracy” (2012) 38(1) Queen’s Law Journal 261
- “Democratic Rights and Social Science Evidence” (2014) 32(2) National Journal of Constitutional Law 151
- “Still Not Equal? Visible Minority Vote Dilution” (2014) 8(1) Canadian Political Science Review 85 (with Sujit Choudhry)
- “Is Every Ballot Equal? Visible Minority Vote Dilution in Canada” (2007) 13(1) IRPP Choices 1 (with Sujit Choudhry)
- “The Supreme Court of Canada’s Approach to the Recovery of Ultra Vires Taxes: At the Border of Private and Public Law” (2008) 66(1) University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review 65
- “The Impact of Regionally-Differentiated Employment Insurance Benefits on Charter-Protected Canadians” in Making EI Work, Keith Banting, ed. (Kingston-Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013) (with Sujit Choudhry)
- “Moving Toward Voter Equality: Mowat Centre Report on the Proposed Electoral Boundaries for Ontario” (2012) (with Melissa Molson)