Cherie Metcalf is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s before earning postgraduate degrees in Economics (MA, PhD) at the University of British Columbia, later returning to Queen’s to obtain her LLB. Following completion of her LL.B., she clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal, and then for former Justice Ian Binnie at the Supreme Court of Canada. She then completed her LLM at Yale on a Fulbright scholarship before joining the faculty.

Professor Metcalf’s research as a legal scholar often draws on her graduate training in economics, which focused on empirical study of natural resource and environmental issues. She has used economic theory and empirical methods to investigate the Supreme Court’s s. 35 Aboriginal rights cases, considering impacts on governance, rights holders and resource industry participants. Her related work with Ian Keay has been awarded the Vanderkamp prize for best paper in Canadian Public Policy and been published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.

She has used economic theory and empirical methods to examine law’s ability to influence individuals’ decisions, preferences and broader social norms.  This research has mainly centered on the legal recognition of property rights, and whether or not they are constitutionalized. Her related work has been presented at many international conferences, including the Stanford-Harvard International Junior Faculty Forum, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (Yale, Stanford), and the Society for Organizational and Institutional Economics (ISNIE) meetings (USC, Florence) and been published in the University of Toronto Law Journal.

Professor Metcalf also studies issues in environmental and resource law. She is currently collaborating with a colleague at Emory Law to empirically examine how regulatory choices influence individuals’ perceptions of climate change risks. Her most recent collaborations empirically investigate the incentive and normative effects of tort law with colleagues in the US, and the comparative effects of property rights protection with colleagues in Australia.

Professor Metcalf’s teaching at Queen’s Law spans the areas of her research interests, and includes: public law, constitutional law, law and economics, international environmental and resource law and property law. She also coaches the Queen’s Laskin moot team, together with Queen’s Law alumna Pam Hrick of Stockwoods LLP.

She has recently served as Associate Dean Academic at the faculty (2015-2018)


  • Public and Constitutional Law
    • Indigenous Rights
  • Law and Economics
    • Law and Norms
    • Empirical Legal Studies
  • Environmental and Resource Law and Governance

Publications: For a complete list of publications and presentations, please consult Professor Metcalf’s CV.

Journals (selected publications):

s. 35 Aboriginal Rights

  • “Market Reactions to Aboriginal Rights: A Look at Canada’s Resource Industries” (2018) 83 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 75 (invited contribution)
    • reprinted in Business Implications of Aboriginal Law, Dwight Newman (ed) (LexisNexis, Toronto: 2018)
  • “Aboriginal Title in the Supreme of Canada” (2017) 78 SCLR 161
    • reprinted in The Court and the Constitution: A 150 Year Retrospective, Matthew Harrington (ed.) (LexusNexis, Toronto:2017)
  • "Aboriginal Rights, Customary Law and the Economics of Renewable Resource Exploitation" (with I. Keay) (2004) 30 Canadian Public Policy 1

Law and Norms: Property Rights

  • "The (Ir)Relevance of Constitutional Property Rights: Compensation for Takings in Canada and the US” (2015) 65(3) UTLJ 143
  • “Property Law Culture: Public Law, Private Preferences & the Psychology of Expropriation” (2014) 39 Queen’s Law Journal 685
  • “Property Rights, Resource Access & Long Run Growth” (with I. Keay) (2011) 8 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 792

Environmental & Resource Law:

  • “Climate Law in Canada: International Law’s Role under Environmental Federalism” (2014) 67 UNB Law Journal 86 (invited contribution)
  • "Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law" (2003-4) 35 Ottawa L. Rev. 101- reprinted in Human Rights and the Environment, Dinah L. Shelton (ed.) (Edward Elgar, 2011)


  • “Institutions & Information: Public Perception of Climate Change Information provided by Government vs. the Market” (with Jonathan Nash)
    • University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Law & Economics Workshop (February 28, 2017)
    • Midwestern Law & Economics Association Conference, Emory Law School, Atlanta GA (September 2016)
    • Society for Environmental Law & Economics Conference, Faculty of Law, University of Texas at Austin, TX (May 2016)
    • American Law & Economics Association, Annual Conference, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (May 2016)
  • “The Evolution of Aboriginal Title in Canada: A Law & Economics of Property Perspective”
    • Canadian Law & Economics Association Conference, U of T Law, Toronto ON (September 2016)
  • The Legal Rights of Private Landowners and Developers to Resist Government Regulation”
    • Invited Panelist, Cityscapes Conference, Yale Law School (April 2016)

Recent Professional Achievements

  • Director (Law) Combined M.A. (Econ) / J.D. Program, Queen’s University
  • Co-Vice President Canadian Law & Economics Association
  • Visiting Scholar in Residence, University of Colorado Law, and University of Colorado Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Institutions Program (2013-14)


- Supreme Court of Canada (2003-2004, Justice W.C. Ian Binnie)
- Federal Court of Appeal (2002-2003, Justice Stone and Strayer)