Peter A Allard School of Law

Research Groups

Allard Hall is home to many research groups, composed of faculty, staff and students who collaborate in their areas of shared interest. While these groups represent disparate areas of inquiry, they share the conviction that we can accomplish more when we work together. Explore the research groups below, and see how they propose to address global challenges through collaborative efforts.    

 

Intellectual Property, Technology, and Justice Research Group

This research group brings together graduate students, staff, and faculty members whose work explores issues relating to intellectual property, technology, and justice, as well as their intersections. Members of this group represent a range of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, law, and literature. The goal of this group is to advance research and teaching in the areas of intellectual property, technology, and justice, as well as their intersections; to create a forum for discussion (both internally and through external speakers); and to provide opportunities for connection with others who share similar interests.

For more opportunities about the Intellectual Property, Technology, and Justice Research Group, or for notification about upcoming events, please contact iptechjustice@allard.ubc.ca.

Trees in a forest


 

UBC Faculty Members and Graduate Students

Joost Blom

Joost Blom
Professor Emeritus, UBC (Allard School of Law) 

Chinenye Eze

Chinenye Eze
PhD student (Allard School of Law)

Jon Festinger

Jon Festinger
Adjunct Professor (Allard School of Law) 

Zahra Hayat

Zahra Hayat
Assistant Professor (Department of Anthropology) 

Kavita Philip

Kavita Philip
President’s Excellence Chair in Network Cultures, Professor (Department of English Language and Literatures), Associated Faculty in Geography, STS, IRES 

Graham Reynolds

Graham Reynolds
Associate Professor, UBC (Allard School of Law) 

Silhouette of profile

David Watson
PhD student (Allard School of Law)

 

 

 

 

Affiliated Members

Johannes Maronga

Johannes Maronga
Lawyer

Rowan Meredith

Rowan Meredith
SJD Student, University of Toronto (Faculty of Law)

 


 

Research

Members of the Intellectual Property, Technology, and Justice Research Group engage in research that focuses on the following topics related to the research group theme:

  • AI and social media
  • Copyright law
  • Copying culture
  • Freedom of thought in the digital world
  • Intellectual property and access to healthcare 
  • Intellectual property and human rights
  • Intellectual property and international trade/free trade agreements    
  • Intellectual property and social justice
  • Intellectual property and software
  • Intellectual property and the conflict of laws
  • Legal constraints on creativity
  • Post-colonial piracy
  • Trademark law 
  • Video game law

Teaching

Members of the Intellectual Property, Technology, and Justice Research Group teach a range of courses that engage with these topics and their intersections. These courses have included:

  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights (Reynolds, Law)
  • The Capitalist Lives of Pharmaceuticals (Hayat, Anth)
  • Bodies, Properties, Rights: Intersections of Medical Anthropology and Law (Hayat, Anth)
  • Intellectual Property Law  (Blom, Festinger, Reynolds, Law)
  • Communications Law (Festinger, Law)
  • Copyright Law and Social Media (with Rowan Meredith (Festinger, Law)  
  • Video Game Law (Festinger, Law)
  • Media & Entertainment Law (Festinger, Law)
  • AI, Law and Justice (with Robert Diab) (Festinger, TRU Law)
  • The History and Politics of Information (Philip, iSchool/English)
     
  • Joost Blom was a member of the International Law Association Committee on Intellectual Property and Private international Law. That committee’s final report was published as “International Law Association’s Guidelines on Intellectual Property and Private International Law (‘Kyoto Guidelines’)” (2021), 12 JIPITEC [Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology, and Electronic Commerce] 1-93. (He was the primary author for the text and commentary for Guideline 16 on Insufficient Grounds for Jurisdiction, at pp. 36-38.)
  • Jon Festinger is the Founding Editor in Chief, with Gaetano Dimita and Marc Mimler, of the Interactive Entertainment Law Review, which has been published since 2018. Since 2024, he has been a member of the Editorial Board. 
  • Zahra Hayat, “Beyond the Market Monopoly: How Patents Act”, Medical Anthropology Quarterly Rapid Response Series (2021).
  • Jon Festinger, Guest Editor, UBC Law Review Special issue, “AI and the Legal Profession” (Spring 2024). 
  • Kavita Philip, “Keep On Copyin’ In the Free World? Genealogies of the Postcolonial Pirate Figure,” in Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz, Postcolonial Piracy: Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the Global South (Continuum Press, Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 2014). 
  • Kavita Philip, "Seeds of Neo-colonialism? Reflections on Globalization and Indigenous Knowledge," in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Volume 12, No 2, Issue 46, June 2001, pp. 3-47. 
  • Kavita Philip, “What is a technological author? The pirate function and intellectual property,” in Postcolonial Studies, Volume 8, Number 2, 2005, pp. 199-218. 
  • Graham Reynolds, “Of Lock-Breaking and Stock-Taking: IP, Climate Change, and the Right to Repair in Canada” (2023), 101 Canadian Bar Review 31 (30 pages).
  • Graham Reynolds, “Recognizing the Relevance of Human Rights: The Application of the Presumption of Conformity in the Context of Copyright” (2018) 31 Intellectual Property Journal 63 (21 pages).

Housing Research Collaborative

The Housing Research Collaborative (HRC) is the largest housing research body in Western Canada. It consists of multiple nationwide research projects focused on housing justice and policy. Housed at the Allard School of Law, the goals of the HRC are to improve housing and homelessness outcomes in Canada through research-driven legal and policy reform. Our researchers work collaboratively with community partners, governments, and non-profits to determine and advocate for best practices across the country.

For more information on the HRC, please contact hrc.coordinator@ubc.ca.
 

An apartment building

Allard Law

UBC 


 

HRC houses nationwide research projects focused on housing justice and policy, including the SSHRC and CMHC funded Balanced Supply of Housing (BSH) and CMHC-funded Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART). It also hosts other projects related to the right to housing and homelessness.

BSH brings together academic and non-profit community organizations in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver to research barriers to affordable housing.

Poster Board

HART uses data to build tools for governments, non-profit housing providers, and advocates including:

  • Housing Needs Assessment ToolA census-based tool that measures core housing need and affordable shelter costs by income category, household size, and priority populations. Our methods help governments to set effective housing targets that will lift Canadians out of chronic housing need and homelessness.
  • Land Assessment ToolA mapping tool that assesses suitable public land for non-profit affordable housing, based on proximity to key services and amenities. It supports governments to effectively use land, including housing on top (of libraries, health centres etc.) to maximize deeply affordable homes.
  • Property Acquisitions Tool:A policy-based tool that help prevent the loss of affordable housing through property acquisition by governments, non-profit housing providers and Community Land Trusts.

Other projects ongoing at the HRC include:

  • Housing data and information access
  • The meaning and application of the right to housing in Canada
  • Mapping local government by-laws that affect the location of encampments
  • The use of judicial review in cases involving homelessness
  • The possessions of precariously housed people

Law and Cities

Cities are legal places. They are constructed by law and they produce law. Faculty and students in the Law & Cities Research Group take law and cities, and the interaction between them, as productive sites of inquiry. Through examination of urgent issues — housing and homelessness, development and economic security, civic participation and democracy, sustainability and climate change — we ask how cities are shaped by law, and law by cities.

For more information about the Law & Cities Research Group, or for notification about upcoming events, please contact law.cities@allard.ubc.ca.

City Street

The Law & Cities Research Group, based at the Allard School of Law, welcomes faculty members and graduate students from other disciplines who are engaged with law and cities.

Sam Beswick

Samuel Beswick
Assistant Professor 

Brenna Bhandar

Brenna Bhandar
​​​​Associate Professor

Prof Alexandra Flynn

Alexandra Flynn 
Associate Professor

Doug

Douglas Harris
Professor and Nathan T. Nemetz Chair in Legal History

Hoi

Hoi Kong
Rt. Hon. Beverly McLachlin, P.C., UBC Professorship in Constitutional Law

Ngai Pindell

Ngai Pindell
Dean and Professor

Graham

Graham Reynolds
Associate Professor

Kristen Thomasen

Kristen Thomasen
Assistant Professor

Margot

Margot Young
Professor  

 

Research Activities

The Law & Cities Research Group is a loose knit collection of scholars and students working to understand and explain the many ways that law and cities interact. Members of the Group work with several cross-cutting themes, including: 

  • Business Organizations & Entrepreneurial Activity
  • Climate Change & Sustainability
  • Colonialism & Reconciliation
  • Democracy & Civic Participation
  • Housing & Homelessness 
  • Indigenous Governance & Intergovernmental Relations
  • Poverty & Inequality
  • Property & Land Use Regulation
  • Technology & Privacy

Members of the group organize seminars, speakers, workshops, and conferences. 

Teaching Law & Cities

In addition to their diverse research activities, members of the Law & Cities Research Group teach a range of courses that engage extensively with cities and law. The list of recent offerings includes:

  • LAW313 Legal History: Property and the City
  • LAW343 Topics in Public Law: Law and the City
  • LAW431 Condominium Law

Publications by group members are listed by year of publication under the cross-cutting themes.

     

          at UBC:

          in Canada:

          around the globe:

          Law and Humanities

          The Canadian Network of Law & Humanities (CNLH) brings together a community of scholars interested in the cultural, imaginative, and embodied aspects of law. The goal of CNLH is to be a flagship for law and humanities research and teaching in Canada by fostering collaborative research, sharing teaching resources, and organizing events. 

          For more information, please visit cnlh.ubc.ca or contact info@cnlh.ubc.ca

          Landscape art

           

           

          Joel Bakan

          Joel Bakan
          Professor 
          Peter A. Allard School of Law

          Brenna Bhandar

          Brenna Bhandar
          Associate Professor
          Peter A. Allard School of Law

          Carol Blackburn

          Carole Blackburn
          Associate Professor
          Department of Anthropology, UBC

           

          Julen Etxabe

          Julen Etxabe
          Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair in Jurisprudence and Human Rights
          Peter A. Allard School of Law

          Denise Ferreira Da Silva

          Denise Ferreira da Silva
          Professor
          Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC

          Mark Harris

          Mark Harris
          Associate Professor
          Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC

           

          Mary Liston

          Mary Liston
          Associate Professor
          Peter A. Allard School of Law

          Michelle LeBaron

          Michelle LeBaron​​
          Professor
          Peter A. Allard School of Law

          Renisa Mawani

          Renisa Mawani
          Professor & Canada Research Chair, Colonial Legal Histories
          Department of Sociology, UBC

           

          Dylan Robinson

          Dylan Robinson
          Associate Professor
          School of Music, UBC

           

           

          Law and Humanities is an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes the cultural, literary, and imaginative aspects of law, without forgetting its ethical and political implications. As a field of research, law and humanities encompasses diverse areas of study, including law and literature, legal storytelling, law and film, law and language, critical race theory, feminist approaches to law, law and emotions, etc. In addition, law and humanities scholars seek to reflect on law as an embodied and sensorial practice and welcome experiential and creative pedagogies in the classroom, such as theatre-based teaching and the arts (painting, graphic novels, music, etc.)

          In addition, members of the Canadian Network of Law & Humanities teach a range of courses that explore this intersection. Some recent offerings include: 

          • LAW300 Jurisprudence and Critical Perspectives 
          • LAW312D Law and Literature
          • LAW312D Justice, Diversity, and Legal Legitimacy 

          Representative publications of our members are listed on the Canadian Network of Law & Humanities website

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