SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Personhood in civil mental health law: Implications for care and coercion
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Sophie researches issues of legal capacity and their implications for autonomy and equality. She is currently a Vanier Canada Scholar and was previously a CIHR Fellow in Health Law, Ethics and Policy, a Lupina Fellow in Comparative Health & Society, and a Fulbright Scholar. She obtained her LLM from Yale Law School. Before returning to academia, Sophie practiced law, most recently as constitutional and human rights lawyer with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. She was also counsel in the Office of the Lead Counsel to the Gomery Inquiry, and served as law clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada. Sophie writes and speaks in areas including health and mental health law, disability, human rights, equality, and freedom of expression.

SJD Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2013-present)
Certificate in Mental Health Law, Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto, 2015)
Certificate, Mental Disability Law in Practice, Central European University (Budapest, 2012)
LLM, Yale Law School (2012)
JD (Hons), University of Toronto (2001)
Awards and Distinctions
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2015-18)
SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2015-18) (declined)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2014-15) (partially declined)
Lupina Doctoral Fellowship, Munk School of Global Affairs Comparative Program on Health & Society (2014-15)
CIHR Fellowship in Health Law, Ethics & Policy (2013-16)
University of Toronto Fellowship (2013-16)
Fulbright Canada Award (2011-12)
Excelsior Award, Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario "recognizing the contributions of Ministry staff who go to extraordinary lengths to serve the public" (2011)
Blaney, McMurtry LLP Prize in Native Peoples Law (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, 2000-01)
Lang Michener Prize in Propery Law (shared) (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, 1998-9)
Mount Allison University Scholarship (1995-97)
Jeannie Forbes Leslie Memorial Scholarship (Mount Allison University, 1994-5)
Professional Affiliations
Member, Law Society of Upper Canada (2002-present)
Other information

Sophie has argued cases at the tribunal level (Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, Social Benefits Tribunal), at all levels of court in Ontario, and at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Selected Publications

Sophie Nunnelley, "Involuntary Hospitalization and Treatment: Themes and Controversies" in J Chandler & Colleen M Flood, eds, Law & Mind: Canadian Mental Health Law and Policy (Markham, Ont: LexisNexis Canada, 2016).

Sophie Nunnelley, "Coercive Care in Civil Mental Health Law: An Autonomy Lens", Comparative Program on Health and Society Working Paper Series (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, online:

Sophie Nunnelley, "Personal Support Networks and their Potential for a Legal Framework of Supported Decision-Making", paper commissioned by the Law Commission of Ontario (online:

Robert E Charney & Sophie Nunnelley, "Discriminating Between the Charter and the Code: The implications of Tranchemontagne for Tribunals and Counsel", The Six Minute Administrative Lawyer, LSUC Conference (Toronto, February 23, 2010).  

Bradley E Berg & Sophie Nunnelley, "Working Out There: Same-Sex Employment Benefits in Ontario" (2002) 9 Can Lab & Empl LJ 209.

Research Interests
Canadian Constitutional Law
Charter of Rights
Critical Legal Theory
Feminist Analysis of Law
Health Law
Legal Theory
Political Philosophy and Theory
Reproductive and Sexual Health Law
Committee Members
Dr. Kwame McKenzie, University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry; CAHM