Jacob Weinrib is an Associate Professor at the Queen’s Faculty of Law.  He graduated from the Combined JD/PhD Program in Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, where he studied as a Vanier Scholar and received the David Savan Dissertation Prize.  Before joining Queen’s Law, he held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the New York University School of Law as a Global Hauser Research Fellow in the Center for Constitutional Transitions (2013-4) and as a Dworkin-Balzan Fellow in the Center for Law and Philosophy (2014-2015).  Weinrib is the author of Dimensions of Dignity: The Theory and Practice of Modern Constitutional Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).  This book was the subject of a symposium in the journal Jurisprudence.  He is currently completing a short book entitled, Constitutional Rights Theory: The Impasse and the Way Out (Cambridge).

Weinrib received the Stanley M. Corbett Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019 and again in 2023.  


Weinrib’s research lies at the intersection of legal philosophy and public law.  His overarching aim is to formulate a unified theory of the normative, institutional, and doctrinal dimensions of public law.

Recent Publications


Dimensions of Dignity: The Theory and Practice of Modern Constitutional Law (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law series, 2016). [Amazon] [Cambridge]

TRS Allan, (2018) 68.2 University of Toronto Law Journal 312.
Pavlos Eleftheriadis, “In Defence of Constitutional Law,” (2018) 81.1 Modern Law Review 154.
AEM Leijten, (2017) 4 Tijdschrift voor Constitutioneel Recht 346 
Book Symposium, (2020) 11:2 Jurisprudence 243  

Articles and Book Chapters<

  • “What is Purposive Interpretation?” University of Toronto Law Journal (forthcoming) [SSRN]
  • “The Essence of Rights and the Limits of Proportionality” in Geneviève Cartier and Mark Walters (eds), The Promise of Legality: Critical Reflections upon the Work of TRS Allan (forthcoming) [SSRN]
  • “Maitland's Challenge to Administrative Legal Theory” (2021) 84:2 Modern Law Review 207-229 [SSRN]
  • “The Frank Dissent’s Charter Framework: The Rhetoric and the Reality” (2021) 100 Supreme Court Law Review 85-103 [SSRN]
  • “Dignity’s Constitution: A Reply” (2020) 11(2) Jurisprudence 298-398 (symposium on Dimensions of Dignity) [SSRN]
  • “Dignity and Autonomy” in Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, and Rüdiger Wolfrum (eds) Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press) [SSRN]
  • “Rights in Search of Protection” (2020) 40 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 403-423 [SSRN]
  • “Sovereignty as a Right and as a Duty” in Claire Finkelstein and Michael Skerker (eds) Sovereignty and the New Executive Authority (Oxford: University Press, forthcoming). [SSRN] [Academia.edu]
  • “The Principles of Constitutional Reform” (2019) 24(4) (Special Issue on Kant and Law) Kantian Review 631-651 [SSRN][Academia.edu]
  • “Human Dignity and its Critics” in Jacobsohn and Schor, eds, Comparative Constitutional Theory (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2018) 167-186 [SSRN] [Academia.edu]
  • “When Trumps Clash: Dworkin and the Doctrine of Proportionality” (2017) 30 Ratio Juris 341-352  [SSRN][Academia.edu]
    [This article has been translated into Spanish: “Cuando las cartas del triunfo chocan: Dworkin y la Doctrina de la Proporcionalidad” in Marcelo Alegre, ed, El imperio de Ronald Dworkin: ensayos de filosofía moral, política y jurídica (Buenos Aires: Departamento de Publicaciones, Facultad de Derecho Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2019) 175-186 [Academia.edu]]
  • “Authority, Justice, and Public Law: A Unified Theory” (2014) 64 University of Toronto Law Journal 703-735 [SSRN] [Academia.edu]
  • “The Modern Constitutional State: A Defense” (2014) 40 Queen’s Law Journal 165-212 [SSRN] cited in R. v. C.P. 2021 SCC 19 at para 116
  • “What can Kant Teach us about Legal Classification?” (2010) 23:1 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 203 [SSRN]
  • “What is the Purpose of Freedom of Expression?” (2009) 67 U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 165, cited in Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General) 2021 SCC 34 at paras 128, 156
  • “Kant on Citizenship” (2008) 33 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 1 [SSRN] (winner of Australian Society of Legal Philosophy Essay Prize)
  • “The Juridical Significance of Kant’s ‘Supposed Right to Lie’” (2008) 13:1 Kantian Review 141-170 [SSRN]