Mark Walters began his five-year term as Dean of Law on July 1, 2019. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading scholars in public and constitutional law, legal history and legal theory. Dean Walters has researched and published extensively in these areas, with a special emphasis on the rights of Indigenous peoples, institutional structures and the history of legal ideas. His work on the rights of Indigenous peoples, focused on treaty relations between the Crown and Canada’s Indigenous nations, has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as by courts in Australia and New Zealand. 

He held the distinguished F.R. Scott Chair in Public and Constitutional Law at the McGill University Faculty of Law from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2019. For the 17 years before that, he was a faculty member at Queen’s Law, where he was appointed the school’s the inaugural Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, led the 2008 launch of its doctoral program and co-chaired the committee that developed its 2014-2019 strategic plan. Previously, he taught at Oxford University after practising law Toronto in the area of Aboriginal title and treaty rights. 

Over his academic career, he has held a number of fellowships, including the H.L.A. Hart Fellowship (Oxford University, 2013), the Herbert Smith Fellowship (Cambridge University 2013 and 2005), the Sir Neil MacCormick Fellowship (University of Edinburgh, 2010), and the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2002-2003). He received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Award for Academic Excellence in 2006. 

Selected Publications

Books

  • A.V. Dicey and the Common Law Constitutional Tradition: ‘A Legal Turn of Mind’ (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2019)

Book Chapters

  • “Deliberating about Constitutionalism” in Hoi Kong, Ron Levy, Graeme Orr and Jeff King (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), chapter 12, 167-180
  • “The British Legal Tradition in Canadian Constitutional Law” in Nathalie Des Rosiers, Patrick Macklem and Peter Oliver (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), chapter 5, 105-134
  • “Rights and Remedies within Common Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions: Can the Covenant Chain be Judicially Enforced Today?” in John Borrows and Michael Coyle (eds.), The Right(s) Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), chapter 7, 187-205
  • “The Unwritten Constitution as a Legal Concept” in David Dyzenhaus and Malcolm Thorburn (eds.), The Philosophical Foundations of Constitutional Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), chapter 3, 33-52
  • “‘Looking for a knot in a bulrush’: Reflections on Aboriginal and Crown Sovereignty”, in Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson (eds.), From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), chapter 2, 35-64
  • “The Aboriginal Charter of Rights: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Constitution of Canada” in Terry Fenge and Jim Aldridge (eds.), Creating Canada: From the Royal Proclamation of 1763 to Modern Treaties (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015), chapter 5, 49-68
  • “Respecting Deference as Respect: Rights, Reasonableness and Proportionality in Canadian Administrative Law” in Mark Elliott and Hanna Wilberg (eds.), The Scope and Intensity of Substantive Review: Traversing Taggart’s Rainbow (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015), chapter 15, pp. 395-422
  • “Succession to the Throne and the Architecture of the Constitution of Canada” in Philippe Lagassé and Michel Bédard (eds.), The Crown and Parliament (Montreal: Éditions Yvon Blais, 2015), chapter 10, 263-292
  • “‘Your Sovereign and Our Father’: The Imperial Crown and the Idea of Legal-Ethnohistory” in Shaunnagh Dorsett and Ian Hunter (eds.), Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), chapter 5, pp. 91-108
  • “Jurisdiction, Functionalism and Constitutionalism in Canadian Administrative Law”, in Christopher Forsyth, Mark Elliott, Swati Jhaveri, Michael Ramsden, & Anne Scully Hill (eds.), Effective Judicial Review: A Cornerstone of Good Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), chapter 18, pp. 300-316
  • “The Jurisprudence of Reconciliation: Aboriginal Rights in Canada” in Will Kymlicka & Bashir Bashir (eds.), The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), chapter 8, pp. 165-191
  • “Written Constitutions and Unwritten Constitutionalism” in Grant Huscroft (ed.), Expounding the Constitution: Essays in Constitutional Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), chapter 10, pp. 245-276
  • “The Common Law Constitution and Legal Cosmopolitanism” in David Dyzenhaus (ed.), The Unity of Public Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2004), chapter 16, 431-454 
  • “Towards a 'Taxonomy' for the Common Law, Legal History, and the Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Law” in Cathy Colborne and Diane Kirkby (eds.), Law, History, Colonialism: The Reach of Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), chapter 8, 125-139
  • (with Paul Craig) “The Courts, Devolution and Judicial Review” in Christopher Forsyth (ed), Judicial Review and the Constitution (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2000), chapter 10, pp. 213-243 [reprint of “The Courts, Devolution and Judicial Review” [1999] Public Law 274-303]

Journal Articles, Essays, and Reviews

  • “Theorizing Administrative Law—Does Dunsmuir have a Philosophy?” (2018) Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice 43-46
  • “Toward the Unity of Constitutional Value—or, How to Capture a Pluralistic Hedgehog” (2017) 63 McGill Law Journal 1-21
  • “The Judicial Recognition of Indigenous Legal Traditions: Connolly v. Woolrich at 150” (2017) 22 Review of Constitutional Studies 347-378
  • “Judicial Review of Ministerial Advice to the Crown” (2016) 25 Constitutional Forum 33-42
  • “Public Law and Ordinary Legal Method: Revisiting Dicey’s Approach to Droit Administratif” (2016) 66 University of Toronto Law Journal 53-82
  • “The Constitutional Form and Reform of the Senate: Thoughts on the Constitutionality of Bill C-7” (2013) 7 Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 37-61
  • “Is Public Law Ordinary?” (2012) 75 Modern Law Review 899-918
  • “Dicey on Writing the Law of the Constitution” (2012) 32 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 21-49
  • “The Law behind the Conventions of the Constitution: Reassessing the Prorogation Debate” (2011) 5 Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 131-154
  • “Legality as Reason: Dicey, Rand and the Rule of Law” (2010) 55 McGill Law Journal 563-586
  • “Legal Humanism and Law as Integrity” (2008) 67 Cambridge Law Journal 352-375
  • “Histories of Colonialism, Legality and Aboriginality” (2007) 57 University of Toronto Law Journal 819-832
  • “The Morality of Aboriginal Law” (2006) 31 Queen’s Law Journal 470-520
  • “St. German on Reason and Parliamentary Sovereignty” (2003) 62 Cambridge Law Journal 335-370
  • “Brightening the Covenant Chain: Aboriginal Treaty Meanings in Law and History after Marshall” (2001) 24 Dalhousie Law Journal 75-138  
  • “The Common Law Constitution in Canada: Return of Lex Non Scripta as Fundamental Law” (2001) 51 University of Toronto Law Journal 91-141  
  • “The ‘Golden Thread’ of Continuity: Aboriginal Customs at Common Law and Under the Constitution Act, 1982” (1999) 44 McGill Law Journal 711-752  
  • “Nationalism and the Pathology of Legal Systems: Considering the Quebec Secession Reference and Its Lessons for the United Kingdom” (1999) 62 Modern Law Review 371-396
  • “‘According to the Old Customs of Our Nation’:  Aboriginal Self-Government on the Credit River Mississauga Reserve, 1826-1847" (1999) 30 Ottawa Law Review 1-45  
  • “The Extension of Colonial Criminal Jurisdiction over the Aboriginal Peoples of Upper Canada: Reconsidering the Shawanakiskie Case (1822-26)” (1996) 46 University of Toronto Law Journal 273-310  
  • “Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut (1705-1773) and the Legal Status of Aboriginal Customary Laws and Government in British North America” (1995) 33 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 785-829
  • “British Imperial Constitutional Law and Aboriginal Rights: A Comment on Delgamuukw v. British Columbia” (1992) 17 Queen's Law Journal 350-413  
  • “Ecological Unity and Political Fragmentation: The Implications of the Brundtland Report for the Canadian Constitutional Order” (1991) 29 Alberta Law Review 420-449