Peter A Allard School of Law

Brian Bird

DCL (McGill), BCL (Oxford), JD (Victoria), BA (Simon Fraser), of the Bar of British Columbia


Brian Bird’s primary research interests are constitutional law and theory, interactions between courts and legislatures, jurisprudence, philosophy of law, legal history, and bills of rights.

Before joining Allard Law, Brian was a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. At Princeton, Brian was also a lecturer in Politics.

Brian’s academic writing has appeared in venues such as the Dalhousie Law Journal, Cambridge Law Review, Alberta Law Review, Supreme Court Law Review, and Manitoba Law Journal. He is co-editor of The Forgotten Fundamental Freedoms of the Charter (2020, LexisNexis Canada). Brian’s writing on current affairs has appeared in a variety of media outlets.

Brian clerked for judges of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and for the Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis at the Supreme Court of Canada. He completed his doctorate at McGill University. He also holds degrees from the University of Oxford, the University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University.


  • Criminal Law
  • Ethics and Professionalism


Lecturer in Politics, Princeton University (2020)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Politics, Princeton University (2019-2020)

Law Clerk to the Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, Supreme Court of Canada (2012-2013)

Law Clerk, Supreme Court of British Columbia (2011-2012)


The Forgotten Fundamental Freedoms of the Charter  (forthcoming), D. Newman, D. Ross and B. Bird, editors (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2020)

The Reasons for Freedom of Conscience (forthcoming) in D. Newman, D. Ross and B. Bird, eds, The Forgotten Fundamental Freedoms of the Charter (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2020)

The Judicial Notwithstanding Clause: Suspended Declarations of Invalidity Manitoba Law Journal (2019) Vol. 42:1 at 23-49

Stare Decisis and the Charter Supreme Court Law Review, 2nd Series (2019), Vol. 92 at 125-157

The Unbroken Supremacy of the Canadian Constitution Alberta Law Review (2018), Vol. 55:3 at 755-776

The Call in Carter to Interpret Freedom of Conscience Supreme Court Law Review, 2nd Series (2018), Vol. 85:2 at 107-141

Are All Charter Rights and Freedoms Really Non-Absolute? Dalhousie Law Journal (2017), Vol. 40:1 at 107-121

Prayer for Relief: Saguenay and State Neutrality toward Religion in Canada Cambridge Law Review (2016), Vol. 1 at 176-187 (with Ravi Amarnath)

Federal Power and Federal Duty: Reconciling Sections 91(24) and 35(1) of the Canadian Constitution Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform (2011), Vol. 16 at 3-14

Bird Profile

Research Interests

  • Human rights
  • Legal history
  • Public and constitutional law

What are the ingredients of a free and democratic society, and how should the law help us achieve it?

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