Professor & Cecil A. Wright Chair (1960-2022)

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

Tel.: 416-978-4035

It is with immense sadness that the Faculty of Law announces the passing of our dear colleague, Karen Knop, on September 26, 2022. Karen held the Faculty’s Cecil A. Wright Chair.

Karen Knop, B. Sc. (Hons.), LL.B. (Dalhousie), LL.M. (Columbia), S.J.D. (Toronto), is a professor at the Faculty of Law.  She was editor of the University of Toronto Law Journal from 2007 to 2012, and associate dean for research from 2016 to 2018.  She teaches in the areas of public international law, private international law, foreign relations law and citizenship law, and is a past recipient of an award from the university student organizations for excellence in teaching.

Professor Knop writes on issues of diversity, interpretation and participation in public international law.  While such issues are usually studied as part of international human rights law, her scholarship is broadly concerned with the challenges of gender and cultural differences to core concepts in public international law, including sovereignty, self-determination, nationality and the relationship between international and domestic law.  Her recent articles develop alternative approaches to these topics by turning to private international law and foreign relations law.

Professor Knop’s book Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law (Cambridge University Press) was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law.  She is the editor of Gender and Human Rights (Oxford University Press), co-editor of Re-Thinking Federalism: Citizens, Markets and Governments in a Changing World (UBC Press) (with Sylvia Ostry, Richard Simeon and Katherine Swinton), and co-editor of a symposium issue of the journal Law and Contemporary Problems on “Transdisciplinary Conflict of Laws” (with Ralf Michaels and Annelise Riles).  Her articles have appeared in the Cornell Law Review, European Journal of International Law, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Transnational Legal Theory, among others.  Professor Knop currently holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant for a project entitled “A Missing Field: Foreign Relations Law of Canada” (with Robert Wai).

Professor Knop is a Max Planck Law Fellow (Germany) and was the 2020-21 Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professor in Studies on Contemporary Society at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki.  She has also been a British Academy visiting fellow at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London School of Economics; a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center; a visiting fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School; the J.C. Smith Visiting Fellow at the University of Nottingham School of Law and a senior fellow at the Center for International Studies, New York University School of Law.  Professor Knop sits on the editorial boards of Critical Analysis of Law, the London Review of International Law, Queen's Law Journal, the University of Toronto Law Journal and the American Journal of International Law, where she chaired the editorial committee of AJIL Unbound, the new online component of the Journal, from 2014 to 2017.  In 2020 she delivered a course at the Hague Academy of International Law and will give the Herbert Bernstein Lecture in Comparative and International Law at Duke University School of Law in 2022.

Research areas
International Law