Peter Oliver, University of Ottawa

Law Professor Ottawa, Ontario peter.oliver@uottawa.ca

Bio/Research

Peter Oliver's research is in the area of comparative constitutional law, history and theory, principally in relation to Canada, the Commonwealth and the European Union. He is particularly interested in shifting understandings of two central theoretical concepts: sovereignty and legal system. In ...

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Bio/Research

Peter Oliver's research is in the area of comparative constitutional law, history and theory, principally in relation to Canada, the Commonwealth and the European Union. He is particularly interested in shifting understandings of two central theoretical concepts: sovereignty and legal system. In 2005, he published The Constitution of Independence: The Development of Constitutional Theory in Australia, Canada and New Zealand (Oxford University Press) which was awarded one of the Peter Birks prizes for outstanding legal scholarship. The bulk of his research has had two limbs: the first involves a re-examination of key assumptions relating to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty; and the second proposes a theoretical account of how new legal systems are created. His present research relates more closely to issues in Canadian federalism. In 2009, he was awarded a grant from the SSHRC to work on legal issues relating to the federal spending power. Peter Oliver has been a speaker at legal institutions around the world, including Oxford, London, Edinburgh, Melbourne, McGill, Queen's, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Toulouse and Max Planck, Heidelberg.

Before coming to the University of Ottawa in 2007, Peter Oliver held a chair in law at the School of Law, King's College London, where he taught Public Law and Jurisprudence. In 2005-6 he was Scholar in Residence in the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section of Justice Canada. In 2006-7 he served as Special Advisor, Legal and Constitutional Affairs at the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. He was a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990-1, Bolton Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law, McGill University in 1991 and Visiting Professor at the University of Toulouse from 1996-2001. He remains a Visiting Professor at King's College, University of London.


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