Category Archives: Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Spotlight: Dennis Pavlich


Dennis Pavlich joined the Peter A. Allard School of Law in 1975 and teaches Property Law, Trusts and Western Legal Traditions. A graduate of Witwatersrand University and Yale Law School, Professor Pavlich has been an academic for over 25 years and on two occasions has received awards for teaching excellence, including the University’s Killam Teaching Prize. Professor Pavlich teaches courses on property law, the law of trusts and the western idea of law. He has also lectured extensively on aspects in the field of education law. Pavlich is the author and editor of several books and articles dealing in his areas of legal interest including Condominium Law in British Columbia (Butterworths), Academic Freedom and the Inclusive University (UBC Press) and, in 2010, Managing Environmental Justice (Rodopi).

Professor Pavlich has served as UBC’s University Counsel and as its Vice President External and Legal Affairs. He was also President of the Great Northern Way campus, a joint venture of UBC, Simon Fraser and Emily Carr universities and the BC Institute of Technology. He has been a member of  UBC’s Board of Governors and its Senate, as well as the boards of UBC Properties Trust, the Rick Hansen Institute and Festival Vancouver. He is currently on the boards of the BC Press Council and the council of the Vancouver Institute of which he is a former president. He was founding chair of the board of the Great Northern Way Trust.

What is your Non-Law Dream Job? Opera Singer

What is your Favourite Movie or Book? African Queen

What is your Favourite Judicial Decision? Bernstein of Leigh v Skyviews & General Ltd. – Good result, bad put down of Accursius and ad coelum makim. 

Faculty Spotlight: David Duff


David G. Duff joined the Allard School of Law in July 2009 after visiting at the Faculty during the 2008-09 academic year. From 1996 to 2008, Professor Duff taught tax law and policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Prior to this, he was a tax associate at the Toronto office of Stikeman, Elliott. He was also employed as a researcher with the Ontario Fair Tax Commission from 1991 to 1993 and as a tax policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 1994.

Professor Duff has an LL.M. from Harvard and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto, master’s degrees in political theory from the University of Toronto and economics from York University, and a B.A. (Honours) from Queen’s University. He has been a visiting scholar at the law faculties at Auckland University, McGill University, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney, and is a Research Fellow of the Monash University Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, an International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, a member of the Tax Academy of the Americas, and a member of the Board of the Canadian Tax Foundation. He is also Director of the Centre for Business Law at the Allard School of Law.

Professor Duff’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of tax law and policy, environmental taxation, comparative and international taxation, and distributive justice. He has published numerous articles in the areas of tax law and policy, accident law and family law, and environmental taxation and policy, has co-authored a book on accident law and a textbook/casebook on Canadian income tax law, and has co-edited books on tax avoidance in Canada and Canadian climate change policy. He has also served as a consultant to the Canadian Department of Justice, the Alberta Department of Justice, the Ontario Panel on the Role of Government, and the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 (Air India Inquiry)

What is your Non-Law Dream Job? None. This is my dream job.*

* If forced to select a non-law teaching job, I guess I’d say architect. Like Seinfeld’s George Costanza, I’ve always wanted to pretend that I’m an architect.

What is your favorite movie or book? The Grand Budapest Hotel – Brilliantly funny and dark at the same time. Doris Kearns’ Team of Rivals – Magnificent account of Lincoln’s administration and the art of politics.

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? This is a tough one. I’d say the Duke 0f Westminster, which is fun and central to tax, but I disagree so strongly with the outcome that I can’t choose it. Perhaps Jarvis v Swan Tours because I also like Gemütlichkeit! 

Faculty Spotlight: Jeffrey B. Meyers


Dr. Meyers is a fresh face at Allard Law, having just completed his first year as a lecturer. However, he is no stranger to the UBC campus, having graduated from UBC with a B.A. in English and Political Science in 1999 before going on to complete his BCL/LLB degrees from McGill University in 2004.  In 2007, he earned an LLM from the London School of Economics, and completed his PhD there in 2012, with a thesis entitled “Toward a Negri-inspired theory of c/Constitution: a contemporary Canadian case study.”  While at the LSE, he was awarded a doctoral teaching fellowship and convened LLB seminars in both Jurisprudence and Theory of Property.  He has also published an article on constitutional design in the Modern Law Review, in addition to presenting at a variety of venues in Europe, the UK and Canada.

Dr. Meyers is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York and to the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (Federal Courts). He practiced for two years as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP in the fields of general commercial litigation, with a focus on securities regulation and class action; he also did pro bono trial advocacy work in the Family Part of the New York State Court. Dr. Meyers is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia. After articling in Criminal Law to Brian Coleman, Q.C., Dr. Meyers became an associate at Cox, Taylor in Victoria where his practice was in the areas of family law, strata law and general commercial litigation.

Dr. Meyers’ research is at the intersection of law and adjacent disciplines such as philosophy, political, social and literary theory. His work seeks to unpack and problematize some of the basic conceptual binaries which are taken for granted in western legal thought including familiar distinctions between ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘law’ and ‘politics’ and ‘self’ and ‘other’. He is also interested in contemporary/post-Charter Canadian legal historiography.

Dr. Meyers is the resident “Jack-of-all-trades”. Having taught Constitutional Law, Property Law, Current Legal Problems and Legal Research and Writing last year. This year, he will be stepping in to teach Constitutional Law, Tort Law, Public Law and Jurisprudence.

What is your Non-Law Dream Job? Bike Courier

What is your favorite movie or book? Movie: Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, Book: Nietzche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra 

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? It is a tie between Delgamuukw v BC and Reference Re: Supreme Court Act. Delgamuukw because the SCC came close to recognizing the enormity of the country’s historical wrongs. The Supreme Court Reference because the SCC really gave the Federal Government a clear signal of the limits of executive power in Canada. 

Faculty Spotlight: Mary Liston

Mary Liston joined the Allard School of Law in July 2009 after visiting during the 2008-09 academic year. Prior to her appointment at UBC, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Ethics at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. She completed her doctoral work in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, having already received an M.A. in Social and Political Thought at York University, an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, and an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature at the University of Western Ontario. As a graduate student, she received a number of prestigious awards including the Peter Russell/Ontario Graduate Scholarship in the Department of Political Science and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Scholarship for her doctoral work. Her doctoral thesis, “Honest Counsel: Institutional Dialogue and the Canadian Rule of Law,” constructs a theoretical model of a democratic rule of law from a close reading of Canadian jurisprudence in public law, with a particular focus on constitutional law and administrative law.

Professor Liston teaches administrative law, legal theory, and public law. Her work in administrative law has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a co-organizer of UBC’s Law and Society Speakers Series as well as a member of the Law and Society Advisory Board at UBC.

Professor Liston takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research. Her recent research projects include an analysis of legal and moral import of the duty to consult and accommodate in administrative law, a case study of the BC Representative of Youth and Children as an example of the integration of inquisitorial and adversarial models within the administrative state, and the function of apologies in Canadian public law.

What is your Non-Law Dream Job? Either head gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew or neuroscientist—can one be both at the same time?!

What is your favorite movie or book? The Big Lebowski (but you can see one of my favorites in my office: Down  by Law). Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for a favorite book.

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? It is a tie between Roncarelli v Duplessis, because it still has the best judicial articulation of the principle of the rule of law anywhere, and The Secession Reference because it is one of the most eloquent judgments ever written by any court in the world. In terms of significance, two recent Supreme Court decisions must be mentioned: Tsilhqot’in Nation and Carter.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Graham J. Reynolds

Graham J. Reynolds teaches and researches in the areas of copyright law, intellectual property law, property law, and intellectual property and human rights. Prior to joining the Allard School of Law in 2013, Graham was an Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where he was the Co-Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology and a member of Dalhousie University’s Law and Technology Institute. The recipient of an award for excellence in teaching, Graham has completed graduate studies at the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship, and has served as the judicial law clerk to the Honourable Chief Justice Finch of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Graham is currently completing doctoral studies in law at the University of Oxford. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation supported his doctoral work, which focuses on the intersection of freedom of expression and copyright in Canada.

Non-law dream job: Member of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets

 Favourite movie: Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)

 Favourite judicial decision (and why): Laugh it Off Promotions CC v. South African Breweries International (Finance) BV t/a Sabmark International and Another (CCT42/04) [2005] ZACC 7 (27 May 2005). This decision by the Constitutional Court of South Africa is one of only a small number of decisions to both robustly engage with the intersection of intellectual property rights and freedom of expression, and to hold that intellectual property rights should be interpreted in a manner consistent with freedom of expression.

Faculty Spotlight: Janine Benedet

Our very own Associate Dean of Academic Affairs has also clerked at the Supreme Court under fellow UBC Alumnus Justice Iacobucci, earned her LLM and SJD from the University of Michigan, practiced labor law for a number of years in Toronto, is a member of the Ontario and BC bars, is a seasoned instructor in the areas of criminal law and procedure, labor law, legal ethics, and the law of sexual offenses, and is currently performing reform-related research in the law’s treatment of capacity and voluntariness to consent in sexual offences. AD Benedet also intervened on behalf of a number of organizations in the Bedford case, which struck down Canada’s prostitution laws as unconstitutional, leading to the reform seen in Bill C-36.

What’s your non-law dream job? Muppeteer

What’s your favorite movie? Brazil

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? Janzen v Platy Enterprises (1989) SCC, because it recognizes that sexual harassment in employment is a practice of sex discrimination.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Anthony Sheppard

Doing us proud as an Allard Alumnus, Professor Anthony Sheppard has straddled the lines of academia and practice throughout his 45 year career as a lawyer, during which he has authored a pair of major publications, provided expert testimony in foreign courts, and practiced as both a tax lawyer and a prosecutor. Professor Sheppard currently teaches Taxation, Real Property and Equitable Remedies.

What is your non-law dream job? Comedy writer.

What is your favorite movie or book? My Cousin Vinny.

What is your favorite judicial decision? Delgamuukw v British Columbia [1997] 3 SCR 1010 – this was a landmark case on claims of First Nations’ title in BC.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Emma J. Cunliffe

Professor Cunliffe is a published author, decorated researcher and instructor and is involved with the graduate studies program here at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Her research focuses on wrongful convictions, and the psychological and cultural forces behind legalistic decision making in Canada.

Non-Law Dream Job: Park Ranger

Favorite Movie: Ghost Dog

Favorite Judicial Decision: Carter v Canada BCSC

Why? It’s an extraordinary testament to the capacity of a thoughtful trial judge to come to terms with difficult moral, scientific and legal questions in the face of an overwhelming body of conflicting evidence.

Follow Professor Cunliffe on twitter: @emmajcunliffe

Read more about Professor Cunliffe here.

Faculty Spotlight: Efrat Arbel

Hailing from three renowned North American institutions (McGill, UBC and Harvard), Professor Arbel is a decorated researcher in the academic world and fan-favorite in the classroom. Her research touches on legal issues in the constitutional, immigration, aboriginal and prison law arenas, and she is an active advocate and litigator in the areas of immigration and prison law.

Non-Law Dream Job: Photographer

Favorite Movie: The Godfather

Favorite Judicial Decision: Inglis v British Columbia – A constitutional challenge to the cancellation of a mother-baby program for women in prison and Gosselin v Quebec – A constitutional challenge to reduced welfare benefits for younger adults

Why? Inglis – It captures the complexities and lived experiences of inequality, and addresses them in interesting ways. Gosselin – for its intellectual rigour and substantive findings

Follow Professor Arbel on twitter: @earbel