Jackman Law Building
Room J458
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5   

Tel.: 416-946-8208

Angela Fernandez is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto with a cross-appointment in the Department of History. Her research focuses on a particular style of legal history called "legal archaeology," including a book-length study on an (in)famous first possession property case involving a fox: Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is currently working (with Bradley Miller) on a book-length project on a case from the Supreme Court of Canada R v. Frederick Gerring Jr., which analyzes Pierson in the context of the problem of over-fishing in international law.

Professor Fernandez is very interested in animals and the law. She is a member of the Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network (BASAN), a collaborative research network with the Brooks Institute for Animal, Law & Policy. From 2020-2023 she worked with Brooks and Animal Justice Canada to organize the North American Animal Law Conference and the Canadian Animal Law conference. She sits on the Board of Advisors of Animal Justice, and she has been a fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics since 2018.

In addition to "Animals and the Law" (taught in the Fall of 2021, 2022 and 2023) and her legal history seminar ("Legal Archaeology: Studies of Cases in Context"), Professor Fernandez teaches Contracts. She is also the Chair of the Directed Research Program and is interested in supervising students on animal law and legal history topics. 

Professor Fernandez is the inaugural scholar in the "Brooks U" series, "Fundamentals of Animal Law," where you can find a copy of her paper "Animals as Property, Quasi-Property or Quasi-Person" and an accompanying video. She can also be seen speaking about this topic at a public lecture at New York UniversityYale Law School's Law, Ethics and Animals Program (LEAP), and the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law series Talking Animals, Law & Philosophy. She was also the inaugural Vermont Law and Graduate School's Distinguished Animal Law Scholar in the Animal Law & Policy Institute in June 2023.

J.S.D. - Yale Law School (2007)
LL.M. - Yale Law School (2002)
LL.B. & B.C.L. - National Program, McGill University (2000)
M.A. - Philosophy, Queen’s University (1996)
B.A. - Philosophy, McGill University (1995)
Academic appointments
Professor, Faculty of Law University of Toronto (2020 -- Present)
Cross-Appointment (Non-Budgetary) to the Graduate Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Toronto (2015 -- Present)
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law University of Toronto (2009 -- 2020)
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2004-2009)
Clerk to Justice Michel Bastarache, Supreme Court of Canada (2000-2001).
Awards and distinctions
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Truth & Reconciliation Teaching Award 2021
International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) Seeds Award 2020
Other info

Under Professor Fernandez's leadership, the University of Toronto is partnering with the Brooks Institute of Animal Rights, Law and Policy to publish the Canadian Animal Law Digest, a free twice-a-month update on developments in Canadian animal law. To subscribe to the Digest and get each issue delivered to your inbox, enter your information and scroll down to the Canadian flag at the bottom of this page

Professor Fernandez also works with the Bora Laskin Law Library on updating the Animal Law Research Guide, launched in March 2022. It consists of lists of sources (books, chapters, book reviews, theses, journal articles, legislation, leading cases. podcasts, documentaries etc) in Canadian animal law, perfect for students looking for a research paper topic or for more senior scholars looking for orientation in terms of sources available in Canadian animal law.

The Faculty of Law's Animal Law Research Associate is Krystal-Anne Roussel ( Krystal works with Professor Fernandez on the Digest, the Research Guide, and other animal law-related projects at the Faculty of Law. To learn more about those activities, check out the Faculty of Law's Animal Law Focus Area page.

Please contact Professor Fernandez if you are interested in joining the Working Group in Animals in the Law and Humanities, which meets monthly (virtually) to discuss a draft work-in-progress and provide feedback to the author/presenter on that draft.

Selected publications

Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Pierson v. Post, Justice Angela Fernandez, Dissenting” in Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson eds., Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 98-118

"Fish Farms in Canada: Where is the Law?" in in James Gacek & Richard Jochelson eds., Green Criminology and the Law (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), 113-45

“Not Quite Property, Not Quite Persons: A ‘Quasi’ Approach for Nonhuman Animals,” 5 Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law (2019): 155-232

Brooks U – Animal Law Fundamentals – “Animals as Property, Quasi-Property or Quasi-Person” (documentary and working paper posted December 2021)

"What Happy the Elephant's Legal Case Tells Us About the Future of Animal Rights" (co-authored with Justin Marceau) Slate (magazine) (17 June 2022)

“Exemplary Legal Writing 2022, Books, Four Recommendations,” Reviews of Lori Gruen & Justin Marceau eds., Carceral Logics: Human Incarceration and Animal Captivity (Cambridge University Press 2022), Alice Crary & Lori Gruen, Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory (Polity Press 2022), Jeff Sebo, Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves: Why Animals Matter for Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Catastrophes (Oxford University Press 2022), and Jo-Anne McArthur & Keith Wilson, Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene (We Animals Media, 2020) Green Bag Almanac & Reader (2023): 56-64

“Eating that is not Self-Defeating,” Review of Josh Milburn, Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2022) 26 Green Bag 2d (2023): 161-173

“Genuine Concern for Animals in England’s Nineteenth-Century Animal Protection Movement: The Case Against Reductionist Interpretations” Review Article on Diana Donald, Women Against Cruelty: Protection of Animals in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020) 41:1 Law and History Review (2023): 217-24

“Environmental Law, Standing, and the History of Sierra Club v. Morton,” Review of Daniel P. Selmi, Dawn at Mineral King Valley: The Sierra Club, the Disney Company, and the Rise of Environmental Law (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022) Journal of Things We Like (Lots) (2 March 2023)

Research areas
Animal Law
Critical Legal Theory
Law and Literature
Legal History
Legal Theory