Shelley A. M. Gavigan

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Shelley Gavigan is Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School, having retired as Professor of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in January 2017. She is a retired member of the Law Society of Ontario and the Law Society of Saskatchewan. She was a member of the Osgoode faculty for 31 years and taught courses in criminal law, family law, poverty law and children and the law. She was appointed Osgoode’s Associate Dean twice and served four terms as Academic Director of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services. She began her legal career as a lawyer in community legal clinics in Saskatchewan and was the first Director of Complaints/ Compliance with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

Her research and scholarship are significantly interdisciplinary, located primarily in legal history, socio-legal studies, feminist legal studies, clinical legal education, and social justice.  She is the author of  Hunger, Horses, and Government Men: Criminal Law on the Aboriginal Plains, 1870-1905 (Osgoode Society with UBC, Press, 2012), which won the Canadian History Association’s 2013 CLIO Prize – The Prairies (awarded for meritorious publications or for exceptional contributions to regional history) and was short-listed and received Honourable Mention for both the CHA’s 2013 prize awarded annually to the best scholarly book in Canadian history and the 2012 Canadian Law & Society Association’s Annual Book Prize for “an outstanding contribution to the study of law and society.”

Professor Gavigan’s research into the criminal and civil court records of nineteenth century North West Territories continues, as does her work focussed on ‘historicizing criminalization’ of Canada’s indigenous peoples.  Her recent scholarship includes, “Getting Their Man: The NWMP as Accused in the Territorial Criminal Court in the Canadian North-West, 1876-1903” in Lyndsay Campbell, Ted McCoy & Melanie Méthot, eds., Canada’s Legal Pasts:  Looking Forward, Looking Back (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2020) 179.

Research Interests: Socio-Legal Studies, Legal History, Criminal Law, Feminist Legal Studies, Family Law, Clinical Education