Professor Larissa Katz
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Private Law Theory; Associate Dean, Graduate Programs

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

Tel.: 416-978-4297

Larissa Katz is Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Private Law Theory. She is also the Associate Dean (Graduate Programs). She is cross-appointed to the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law in 2013, Professor Katz clerked for the late Justice Charles D. Gonthier at the Supreme Court of Canada, worked in litigation at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (NYC) and taught at Queen’s University, Faculty of Law.

Professor Katz writes about moral, political and social issues relating to private law generally and property law in particular. Her work appears in journals such as Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Yale Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Legal Theory, Jurisprudence, University of Toronto Law Journal, McGill Law Journal and the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy (forthcoming), Notre Dame Law Review (forthcoming). Her work is included in anthologies such as The Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (Oxford University Press), The Philosophical Foundations of Equity, The Cambridge Companion to Law and Philosophy (Cambridge U. Press). Professor Katz is currently writing People and Things: Property in the Legal Order (under contract with Oxford University Press).

Professor Katz has been a visiting fellow at the John Fleming Centre for the Advancement of Legal Research at the Australian National University, a Visiting Professor at Sciences Po (Paris) and an HLA Hart Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Center for Ethics & Philosophy of Law, Oxford University. Professor Katz actively works on issues in law and policy in Canada and the United States. Professor Katz serves as a member of the International Advisory Panel for the American Law Institute’s project on the Restatement of the Law (Fourth), Property.

Professor Katz is an Associate Editor of Law and Philosophy and on the advisory board of Queen’s Law Journal.

Yale Law School, LL.M.; J.S.D.
Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, LL.B., (Highest Distinction)
Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, B.A. (Honours Philosophy) (First Class Standing)
Awards and distinctions
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant
Canada Research Chair in Private Law Theory
Mewett Teaching Award, University of Toronto
Queen’s Law Students Society Teaching Award, Queen’s University
Selection for Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum (blind competition)
Viscount Bennett Scholarship for Graduate Studies at Yale Law School
Lillian Goldman Scholarship, Yale Law School
MacEachran Gold Medal in Law, University of Alberta
MacEachran Gold Medal in Philosophy, University of Alberta
Ryan Styobe Memorial Scholarship in Philosophy, University of Alberta
MacEachran Humanities Scholarship, University of Alberta
Other info

Doctoral Supervision
Professor Katz welcomes inquiries from prospective doctoral and postdoctoral students interested in property law, private law and legal theory.

Legal Analysis Property and Cities with Munk School

Larissa Katz on Ownership, Felipe Jimenez’s The Private Law Podcast


Selected publications

Katz L. (2023) ‘Legal Maps’ in Lionel Smith, ed., Stephen A. Smith Private Law Theory (OUP) (in progress)

Katz L. (2023) ‘Rights Without Standing’ in Paul Miller & John Oberdiek, eds., Private Law Methodology (OUP)

Katz L. (2023) (with Rutger Claassen), ‘Property: Authority without Office?’ Journal of Law and Political Economy (in press)

Katz L. (2022) ‘Property’s Limits’ 13 Jurisprudence 636

Katz, L. (2021) (with Matthew Shapiro), ‘The Role of Plaintiffs in Private Law Institutions’ in Sandy Steel, ed., Private Law and Practical Reason: Essays on John Gardner’s Private Law Theory (OUP)

Katz, L. (2020) ‘The Wrong of Derogation’ in J. Oberdiek & P. Miller, eds., The Oxford Studies in Private Law (OUP) 

Katz, L. (2020) ‘Equitable Remedies and “What We Have Coming to Us"’, 96 Notre Dame Law Review 1115

Katz, L. (2020) 'It’s Not Personal: Social Obligations in the Office of Ownership', 29 Cornell J. of L. & Pub. Pol. 101

Katz L. (2020) 'Ownership and Office: The Building Blocks of a Legal Order', 70 University of Toronto Law Journal 267 

Katz, L. (with Nicole Roughan), (2020) ‘Introduction to the Idea of Office in Law and Jurisprudence’, 70 University of Toronto Law Journal 163

Katz, L. (2020) ‘Conscience with a Filter’, 21 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 22

Katz, L. (2019) ‘Shares as Shares’ in S. Agnew & B. McFarlane, eds., Modern Studies in Property Law (Bloomsbury 2019)

Katz, L. (2019) ‘Foreward’ in Paul Babie & Jessica, Vivien-Wilksch, eds., The Seminal Work of Leon Duguit (Springer 2018)

Katz, L. (2019) ‘Blowing Hot and Cold’ in John Oberdiek & Paul Miller, eds., Civil Wrongs and Justice in Private Law (OUP)

Katz, L. (2019) ‘Equity: Pathways to Legal Rights’ in Dennis Klimchuk, Irit Samet, & Henry E. Smith, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Equity (OUP)

Katz, L. (2019) ‘The Philosophy of Property Law, Three Ways’ in John Tasioulis, Cambridge Companion to Law and Philosophy (CUP)

Katz, L. (2018) ‘Legal Forms and Property’ in M. Otsuka & J.E. Penner, eds., Property Theory: Legal and Political Perspectives (CUP) 

Katz, L. (2017) ‘Property’s Sovereignty’, 18 Theoretical Inq. In Law 299

Katz, L. (2014) ‘The Relativity of Title and Causa Possessionis’ in J.E. Penner & H.E. Smith, eds., The Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (OUP)

Katz, L. (2013) ‘Spite and Extortion: A Principle of Abuse of Property Right’, 122 Yale Law Journal 1444 

  • Reviewed: Mitch Berman, Abuse of Property Right without Political Foundations, 124 Yale L.J. Forum 42 (2014)

Katz, L. (2013) ‘Causa Possessionis and Relativity of Title’, in H.E. Smith & J.E. Penner, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (OUP)

Katz, L. (2013) ‘The Moral Paradox of Adverse Possession’, in James Smith ed., Property and Sovereignty (Ashgate)

Katz, L. (2012) ‘Governing Through Owners: How and Why Formal Private Property Rights Enhance State Power’, 160 U. Pennsylvania Law Review 2030

Katz, L. (2011) ‘The Regulative Function of Property Rights’, J. of Econ Watch 236

Katz, L. (2011) ‘Ownership and Social Solidarity’, 17 Legal Theory 119

Katz, L. (2011) ‘The Concept of Ownership and the Relativity of Title’, 2(1) Jurisprudence 191

Katz, L. (2010) ‘Red Tape and Gridlock: Flight to the Informal Sector’, 23 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 99

Katz, L. (2010) ‘The Moral Paradox of Adverse Possession: Sovereignty and Revolution in Property Law’, 55 McGill Law Journal 47

Katz, L. (2010) ‘Red Tape and Gridlock’ in D. Ben Barros ed., Hernando de Soto in a Modern Market Economy (Ashgate 2010)

Katz, L. (2009) ‘A Traditionalist’s Property Jurisprudence’ in Kim Brooks, ed., Justice Bertha Wilson: One Woman’s Difference (UBC Press 2009)

Katz, L. (2008) ‘Exclusion and Exclusivity in Property Law’ , 58 University of Toronto Law Journal 275

Katz, L. (2006) ‘A Powers-based Approach to the Protection of Ideas’, 23 Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 687

  • Also published in Berkeley’s Law and Technology invited paper series, available at (by invitation from Professor R. Merges and Berkeley Centre for Law and Technology)



Digital Rights Management and The Idea of Ownership, on The Agenda with Steven Paiken, TVO (June 22, 2015)

Katz L. “Governing Through Owners: Private Control over Public Space” Op-ed in the Globe and Mail (August 2014)

Global TV, Interview about Owners’ obligations in the Public Sphere

Katz, L. “ ‘No Strings Attached’ Property and Governance,” Op-ed in the Globe and Mail (January 12, 2012).

Works in Progress

Katz, L. People and Things: Property in the Legal Order (under contract with OUP)

Katz, L. “Equity: Guardian of the Legal Order”


Beyond Exclusion

Authority in Our Time: Accounting for the Concepts of Prerogative and Equity in the Legal Order