Grégoire Webber, M.S.M., is Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law at Queen’s Law and is cross-appointed to the Department of Philosophy. His research is in the areas of human rights, public law, and philosophy of law.
Professor Webber is a graduate of McGill University with bachelors of civil law and common law and of the University of Oxford with a doctorate in law, where he studied as a Trudeau scholar. He clerked for Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada and, as a student, for Justice André Rochon of the Quebec Court of Appeal.
Professor Webber previously worked as a senior policy advisor with the Privy Council Office and as Legal Affairs Advisor to the Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, in the Government of Canada (Trudeau ministry). He is currently legal agent of the Department of Justice (Canada), providing legal advice on key files.
Professor Webber is joint founder and Executive Director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, which provides free advocacy advice to counsel appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. In relation to his role in co-founding the Institute, he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada for improving "access to justice for all Canadians" and for increasing "the effectiveness and the quality of advocacy before the Court".
Professor Webber is Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has held visiting appointments at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and the University of Oxford. He is joint convenor of the Queen's Colloquium in Legal and Political Philosophy.
Foundational questions in human rights, public law, and the philosophy of law, including:
- the concept of rights;
- the political constitution; and
- the role of law in securing human rights.
Recent Professional Achievements
- Appointed Villey Fellow, Institut Michel Villey, Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), 2023
- Appointed Visiting Researcher, University of Oxford, 2023
- Appointed Full Professor of Law, 2020-
- Appointed to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, 2019-
- Cross-appointed to the Department of Philosophy, 2018-
- Appointed legal agent of the Department of Justice, 2017-
- Appointed Legal Affairs Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 2016-2017
- Awarded a Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada, 2015
- Appointed Visiting Senior Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2015-
- Droits et droit (Montréal: Les Éditions Thémis, 2020) [Thémis]
- Legislated Rights: Securing human rights through legislation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018; paperback edition, 2019) (jointly authored) [CUP] [SSRN]
- The Negotiable Constitution: On the Limitation of Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback edition 2012) [CUP] [SSRN]
- Constitutional Dialogue: Rights, Democracy, Institutions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019; paperback edition, 2020) (edited with G. Sigalet and R. Dixon) [CUP] [SSRN]
- Proportionality and the Rule of Law: Rights, Reasoning, Justification (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014; paperback edition, 2016) (edited with G. Huscroft and B.W. Miller) [CUP] [SSRN]
- "The notwithstanding clause and the precedent in Ford: le dit et le non-dit" (2023) _ Constitutional Forum _ (forthcoming)
- "What Oakes could have said (or how else to read a limitations clause)" (2023) 112 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 61-82 [SSRN]
- "Notwithstanding rights, review, or remedy? On the notwithstanding clause and the operation of legislation" (2021) 71 University of Toronto Law Journal 510-538 [UTLJ] [SSRN]
- "A conservative disposition and constitutional change" (2019) 39 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 526-552 (with G. Gee) [OJLS]
- "Loyal Opposition and the political constitution" (2017) 37 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 357-382 [OJLS] [SSRN]
- "Asking why in the study of human affairs" (2015) 60 American Journal of Jurisprudence 51-78 [AJJ] [SSRN]
- "Rationalism in public law" (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 708-734 (with G. Gee) [MLR] [SSRN]
- "What is a political constitution?" (2010) 30 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 273-299 (with G. Gee) [OJLS] [SSRN]
Chapters in edited collections
- "Rights and the law's progressive measures" in Rights and Institutional Relationships (Emmett Macfarlane, ed, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming) [SSRN]
- "The notwithstanding clause, the operation of legislation, and judicial law" in The Notwithstanding Clause and the Canadian Charter: Rights, Reforms, and Controversies (Peter Biro, ed, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, forthcoming) [SSRN]
- "Opposition" in The Cambridge Handbook of Constitutional Theory (Richard Bellamy and Jeff King, eds, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) [SSRN]
- "Can the constitution of a fruit fly be written?" in From morality to law and back again: Liber amicorum for John Garder (Michelle Dempsey and François Tanguay-Renaud, eds, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023) [OUP] [SSRN]
- "Proportionality and limitations on freedom of speech" in The Oxford Handbook of Freedom of Speech (Frederic Schauer and Adrienne Stone, eds, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021) [OUP] [SSRN]
- "Proportionality and absolute rights" in Proportionality: New Frontiers, New Challenges (Vicki Jackson and Mark Tushnet, eds, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017) [CUP] [SSRN]
- "The faulty received wisdom around the notwithstanding clause" (with R. Leckey and E. Mendelsohn), IRPP Policy Options (2019) [IRPP] [en français]
- "The Charter Party and the work of government", IRPP Policy Options (2016) [IRPP]
- "The two party system is imperfect, but more effective", The New York Times: Room for Debate (2015) [NYT]
- "The current British election system holds parties and candidates to account", The New York Times: Room for Debate (2015) [NYT]
- "Chartes des valeurs québécoises : Où sont les bombes, Madame Marois?", Le Devoir (2013) [Devoir]