Professor of Law and Philosophy

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

Tel.: 416-946-7830


Sophia Moreau is Professor of Law and Philosophy (with a cross-appointment in the Department of Philosophy), a Faculty Associate at the U of T’s Centre for Ethics, and a Faculty Associate of Victoria College. She is an Associate Editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Book Reviews Editor of the University of Toronto Law Journal, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Law and Philosophy and Legal Theory. Prior to coming to the University of Toronto, she clerked for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada; was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow at Harvard University; and was a Commonwealth Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. 

Professor Moreau has been the HLA Hart Visiting Fellow at University College, Oxford (Hilary Term 2023); a Visiting Professor at NYU Law School (Fall 2022), Weinstein Fellow at Berkeley (Spring 2022) a Chancellor Jackman Research Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute (2021-22). 

Major Publications

Professor Moreau’s most recent book, Faces of Inequality: A Theory of Wrongful Discrimination,” won the 2022 CPA Book prize. It has been the subject of three international Symposia: a 2022 Review Symposium published in Jurisprudence 12.4 (2022), available here through with essays by Deborah Hellman, Niko Kolodny, Seana Shiffrin, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen and Rebecca Cook; a 2022 Symposium in the Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 25.1 (2022), available here, with essays by David Estlund, Cheshire Calhoun, Adi Goldiner and Re’em Segev; and a Symposium in Dialogue forthcoming in 2023 with essays by Andrea Sangiovanni, Alysia Blackham, Pablo Gilabert, Dale Smith, Iyiola Solanke, Jess Eisen, and Daniel Viehoff.

Professor Moreau’s other work on discrimination includes articles such as “Discrimination and Subordination”, “The Moral Seriousness of Indirect Discrimination”, “Equality and Discrimination”, “What is Discrimination?”, “Discrimination as Negligence” and “In Defense of a Liberty-Based Account of Discrimination.” 

Professor Moreau’s other books include: Litigating Equality (co-edited with Cheryl Milne, forthcoming in 2023); Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law (co-edited with Deborah Hellman, 2013) and Law and Morality (co-edited with David Dyzenhaus and Arthur Ripstein, 3rd edition, 2007).

Current Projects

Professor Moreau is currently working on three major projects:

The Tort Law & Social Equality Project (hyperlink to:, which Professor Moreau runs together with Professors Zoe Sinel (UWO) and Professor Jean Thomas (Queen’s) involves a database tracking the impact of a variety of torts and tort law rules on minority groups in Canada, as well as a monthly Discussion Forum promoting awareness of the ways in which tort law perpetuates social inequalities. See, in connection with this project, the paper “Beyond Anti-Discrimination Law: Combatting Subordination Through Other Laws, such as Tort Law.” 

“Unjust Institutions and Moral Obligations” is a research project in normative ethics, which explores the many ways in which morality is structured by our institutional roles and the obligations to which they give rise. For two draft papers connected to this project, see “Morality and Role Obligations” and “Objectionable Obligations” (draft paper). 

“Systemic Discrimination" is a research project in legal philosophy and discrimination law, which asks what we can learn about systemic discrimination —in particular, about its self-perpetuating mechanisms. Work includes a paper on the discrimination that Indigenous women in Canada have faced, examining the Final Report of Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and a project with Rebecca Cook on systemic discrimination and CEDAW.

Talks this Term

Presentation, Workshop on “The Liberal Order, Legitimate Authority and Hypocrisy,” NYU Law School, Oct. 27, 2023

“Objectionable Obligations,” Paper presented to the Michigan Colloquium in Law and Philosophy, Nov. 2, 2023

“Beyond Anti-Discrimination Law: Combatting Subordination Through Other Laws, such as Tort Law”, Paper presented at NAWPLT (North American Workshop in Private Law Theory), Rutgers University, Nov. 3-4, 2023

"Objectionable Obligations,” Paper presented at the UCLA Workshop in Law, Ethics and Political Theory, Nov. 17-18, 2023

Involvement with the Legal Profession

Professor Moreau believes that legal theory should be informed by, and engaged with, legal practice. Her approach to discrimination has been cited by the Canadian Supreme Court in seminal equality rights cases (most recently, Fraser v Canada, 2020 SCC 28; Quebec v. A, [2013] 1 S.C.R. 61); Withler v. Canada, [2011] 1 SCR 396; and R. v. Kapp, [2008] 2 S.C.R. 483,. She has made presentations to the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario; has worked with L.E.A.F.; and has been a member of the Research Ethics Board at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. In 2005, she wrote a commissioned report for the Government of Canada recommending that “gender identity” be added to the Canadian Human Rights Act as a prohibited ground of discrimination (it was added in 2017). She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006.

J.D., University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
Ph.D., Harvard University, Department of Philosophy
B.Phil., Oxford University, Balliol College
B.A. (High Distinction), University of Toronto, Victoria College
Awards and distinctions
Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize, 2023
Canadian Philosophical Association Book Prize, 2022
Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowship, 2021-22
5 year Insight Grant, SSHRC, 2019-2024
Standard Research Grant, SSHRC, 2006-2014
Wright Grant, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 2005-06
Emily and Charles Carrier Dissertation Prize, Harvard University, 2000
Francis Bowen Prize in Philosophy, Harvard University, 2000
Research areas
Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law
Moral Philosophy
Political Philosophy and Theory
Tort Law and Tort Theory