Associate Professor & Co-Director, Centre for Innovation Law & Policy

Flavelle House
Room 212
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5 

Tel.: 416-978-0293

Faculty Assistant:   Nancy Bueler 

See also Prof. Stern's page & SSRN page.

B.A. (Yale), Ph.D., English (UC Berkeley), J.D. (Yale), member of the Washington, D.C. Bar. While in law school he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. After law school he clerked for Ronald M. Gould on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, practiced litigation at Shea & Gardner (now Goodwin Procter) in Washington, D.C., and then served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.

Prof. Stern teaches and researches in the areas of civil procedure, law and literature, legal history, and criminal law.  His research focuses on the evolution of legal doctrines and methods in relation to literary and intellectual history. Current research topics include the adoption of the analytical method in the nineteenth century and its effects on modern legal reasoning and writing; the development of the "reasonable man" standard (and its precursors and analogues) since the eighteenth century; the history of the case method and the form of the case; and the history of copyright law and its relation to contemporary issues in intellectual property. His research has been funded by SSHRC and the Foundation for Legal Research. He is director of the Combined Degree Program in Law and English, and since 2012 he has been co-director of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy. Professor Stern also serves on the steering committee of the Sexual Diversity Studies program, and is the faculty advisor for Out in Law, the law school's LGBTQ students' group. He organizes the Law and Humanities Workshop and is co-chair of the Critical Analysis of Law Workshop. He is also the faculty advisor for the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, the faculty's student-edited law journal.

In 2012 Prof. Stern was the recipient of the SLS Partnership Award, bestowed by the U of T Students' Law Society in recognition of faculty members who have shown a commitment to student-friendly initiatives and student advocacy.

Current and recently completed graduate supervisions include dissertations on Henry James's novels and theories of justice; early modern corporate charters and Elizabethan literature; and the relations between utopian fiction and the origins of modern international human rights law.  Students working on projects related to legal and literary history are welcome to get in touch.

J.D., Yale, 2002
Ph.D. (English) U.C. Berkeley, 1999
Selected Publications

"The Trials of Dorian Gray," forthcoming in Dorian Gray in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Richard Kaye (Oxford UP, 2016)

"Creating a Public Domain in Eighteenth-Century England," Oxford Handbooks Online in Literature (2015) (on; requires inst'l subscription)

"Legal Fictions and Exclusionary Rules," in Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, ed. William Twining & Maksymillian Del Mar (Springer, 2015), 157-74 (on google books)

"Blackstone's Criminal Law: Common-Law Harmonization and Legislative Reform," in Foundational Texts in Criminal Law 61 (Markus D. Dubber ed., Oxford UP, 2014) (on Google Books)

"Copyright Originality and Judicial Originality," 63 U. Toronto L.J. 385 (2013) [Project Muse]

"From Author's Right to Property Right," 62 U. Toronto L.J. 29 (2012) [Project MUSE]

For a full list, please see this publications page.

Work in Progress

Editor, Blackstone's Commentaries: Variorum Edition, vol. 2 (Wilfrid Prest, general editor; Oxford UP, March 2016).

"Effect and Technique in Legal Aesthetics," forthcoming, Critical Analysis of Law 2:2 (2015)

"Literary and Legal Fictions," forthcoming in New Directions in Law and Literature, ed. Bernadette Meyler & Elizabeth Anker (Oxford UP, 2016)

"The Analytical Turn in Nineteenth-Century Legal Thought"

"Cleland and the "Laws of Decency": Investigating Obscenity in Eighteenth-Century England," forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Life 40 (2016)

Co-Editor (with Nan Goodman), The Ashgate Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (Ashgate, 2016)