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).

Professor Fernandez is very interested in animals and the law. She is a member of the Scholars Committee of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights, Law & Policy, as well as a member of their collaborative research network BASAN (Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network). She sits on the Board of Advisors and is a Director of Animal Justice Canada.

In addition to "Animals and the Law" (taught in the Fall of 2021 and 2022) 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 University and at Yale Law School's Law, Ethics and Animals Program (LEAP). Both videos are available on the Faculty of Law Youtube Animal Law Playlist.

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, and leading cases) 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.

Check out the Faculty of Law's Animal Law Focus Area page.

The position of Animal Law Research Associate (posted August 23, 2022) will be open for applications until September 11, 2022, with a start date of October 6, 2022.

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)

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