Instructor(s): Kerry Wilkins
Indigenous Peoples and the Constitution of Canada

Note: For graduate students, the course number is LAW7098HS.

Note: This is an eligible course for credit towards the Aboriginal Legal Studies Certificate.

This section of the course is for students studying remotely. This course will meet once a week, via audio-visual conference. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here []

Note: Indigenous Peoples and the Constitution of Canada was formerly titled "Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law," and before that "Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Law". Students who do not meet the pre-/co-requisite may enroll with the instructor's permission.

This course is an exercise in legal archaeology. Students will study in depth, from its beginning, a significant current or recent Canadian case that deals with Aboriginal law. This year, we'll revisit R. v. Desautel, a British Columbia case scheduled for hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada (whether an American citizen who has never lived in Canada can have Aboriginal rights under Canadian law). The class will read, and meet during the term to discuss the statutory provisions governing conduct of this proceeding, the written arguments and decisions in the lower courts and the written arguments (on the leave application and on the merits) at the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court's decision (if there is one by then). We'll also watch (on video) and discuss the S.C.C. hearing. There may also be an opportunity for students to argue the case orally in class and to meet and discuss the case with counsel involved in arguing it.

Students' grades will reflect class participation (10%) and written work (90%). Each student will write a case comment, a factum or a judgment in the case of approximately 20 pages (5,000 words). Students wishing to write SUYRPs in the course, or to use this course to fulfill the legal writing requirement for the Aboriginal Legal Studies Certificate, must write papers of at least 30 pages (7,500 words) on topics relating to the case and approved by the instructor.
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

Second Term



6 JD


W: 6:40 - 8:30 pm (AV Conference)