Peter A Allard School of Law

Michael Jackson Q.C

Emeritus Professor of Law
LL.B. London 1964; LL.M. Yale 1966

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Michael Jackson has been involved in the teaching and advocacy of human rights for over thirty years, specializing in the areas of prisoners rights and Aboriginal rights. His courses on these subjects were the first to be introduced in a Canadian law school. Professor Jackson is a member of the bar of British Columbia and has represented prisoners and First Nations in landmark cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, including the Delgamuukw and Haida Nation cases. Professor Jackson is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association's Committee on Imprisonment and Release and has presented submissions on reform to the criminal justice system to committees of both the House of Commons and the Senate. In 1993 Professor Jackson was awarded the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research and in 1999 was appointed Queen's Counsel by the Attorney General of British Columbia.


  • Criminal Law
  • Aboriginal & Treaty Rights
  • Penal Policy
  • First Nations and the Administration of Justice

353D.001 Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Litigation
This course applies to the Specialization in Aboriginal Law.

A distinguished lawyer once coined the word “appelatitis” to refer to the affliction imposed by law professors on law students of understanding the law primarily from the judgments of appellate courts. While not promising a complete cure from this affliction or exemption from rereading the cases, this seminar adopts a different format in the area of Aboriginal and Treaty rights, a subject you will be familiar with from your reading the judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada in your first or second year coursework. We will trace the evolution of this important body of jurisprudence by selecting some of the leading cases and hearing from those who were deeply involved in bringing them before the courts. In doing so we will explore the legal challenges that these cases present, some of the strategic decisions that had to be made during the course of litigation and the contribution and legacy that the cases have made to the development of the law and to the settlement of modern treaties. The seminar will give you a sense of the way in which Aboriginal title and rights are deeply embedded in law, history and politics.


  • Prisoners of Isolation: Solitary Confinement in Canada . (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983)
  • "The Right to Counsel in Prison Disciplinary Hearings". (1986) 20 U.B.C. L. Rev . 221-283
  • "Locking up Natives in Canada". (1989)23 U.B.C. L. Rev . 215-300
  • "In Search of the Pathways to Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Communities". (1992). Special Edition on Aboriginal Justice U.B.C. L. Rev . 147-238.
  • Justice behind the Walls: Human rights in Canadian Prisons (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2002) Justice behind the Walls is available also online at in an expanded web version with photo galleries, links to legislation and case law and other research links.

Publications listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database


Research Interests

  • Aboriginal and Indigenous law
  • Human rights

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