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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Law and Society

Law and Society at Laurier Brantford

The Law and Society program allows students to examine the law from a variety of perspectives and angles. This interdisciplinary program will provide a better understanding of what the law says, what the law does, and the difference between the two. The program also helps students to see the connections between the law and other aspects of society, which in turn will help to illustrate why courts make the decisions they do, and why governments pass the laws they pass.

Laurier Brantford’s Law and Society program will provide students with an understanding of law and legal processes that will be empowering in personal and professional situations. The campus is conveniently located near Brantford’s court and legal centres that provide many opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. This program will provide excellent preparation for a career in law, but can also be applicable to areas which may intersect with law, such as social work or politics. And perhaps most importantly, it will provide a sophisticated understanding of how our society actually works, so that individuals will be able to improve the world in which we live.

Program highlights


  •  Inquiry Based Learning




This method of teaching engages you as an active learner by drawing your attention to current social issues, exposing legal tools and ideas to shape your response to those issues. Classes will be filled with lively discussion, exercises, debates and collaboration. You will gain essential skills for those life situations that require you to think creatively, to advocate your position and to write or research.



  • Campus location
Laurier Brantford’s downtown campus means Law and Society students are very close to Brantford’s court and legal centres, providing many opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.
  • Unique programming and combination
Laurier Brantford is one of only five university to offer an undergraduate program of this kind. Law and Society also distinguishes itself further, because many of the courses students will take are from the Criminology program. This gives students a unique view of the role and practical application of law.

          Courses offered 

          Popular courses


          • The Role of Harm in Canadian Law
          • Jurisprudence
          • Advanced Topics in Legal Theory
          • Crime and the Justice System
          • Aboriginal People and the Law
          • Mean Justice

          Admission requirements 

          High School Admission Requirements College Grad Admission Requirements 

          4U English at 60%

          Average in top 6 4U or M courses:                   low - mid 70s 

          4U English or college equivalent at 60%

          Overall average upon graduation: low - mid 70s

          Click here for transfer credit details

          Faculty experience

          0000Davidson.jpgDr. Mark Davidson’s path to academia had an interesting beginning. “I was working as an actor in Toronto, and grew frustrated with the lack of political activism in the theatre community at the time,” he says. “So, I decided to become a human rights lawyer.” While in law school, Davidson was drawn to the ‘deep’ issues in law, rather than the strictly legal questions, and his work at a legal aid clinic led him to do a PhD in law. His research interests centre on the corporation, with a focus on corporate crime. “Corporations play a role in every major social issue we face: war, international human rights, environmental justice, food and water, energy and freedom generally.” 

          The Law and Society program allows students to look at these issues, and any other issues they care about. It’s a learning environment “for anyone who wants to know why legal structures are the way they are, and to understand what holds legal processes together so that we can make them even better,” notes Davidson. Using Inquiry-Based Learning allows students to participate in each and every class through sharing their own ideas and research. In this regard, Davidson describes himself as a personal trainer of the mind. “Students build intellectual muscle by doing intellectual training, not by watching and listening,” he says.


          0000kovalev.jpgDr. Nikolai Kovalev’s research is focused on comparative criminal justice, criminal law, criminal procedure and human rights. He is particularly interested in the evolution of jury trials and reforms in the criminal justice systems of post-Communist transitional countries. Other research projects include study of jury bias in neo-Nazi skinhead trials and lay adjudication in military justice. His current research project concerns practice of manipulation of juries in Canada and other countries. 

          Dr. Kovalev has served as an expert on comparative criminal justice, law reform and international human rights for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), American Bar Association/ Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI) and U.S. Department of Justice. He completed assessments of several draft laws on jury and lay assessors for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic, and draft Criminal Procedure Code of Tajikistan. Dr. Kovalev is a frequent speaker at conferences, round-tables, seminars and workshops on issues of human rights and criminal justice reforms in post-Communist states.

          Dr._Oliver.jpgDr. Marcia Oliver attained both her BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Windsor, Dr. Oliver continued doctoral studies in sociology at York University, where she specialized in social theory, gender and sexuality, and global governance and development studies. She joined Wilfrid Laurier in 2011 after spending some time as a postdoctoral fellow at York University with the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and Canadian Institute of Health Research (CHSRF/CIHR) Chair of Health Services Research. During this time Dr. Oliver had the opportunity to visit the Research Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Kent, Canterbury UK as a Visiting Fellow, as well as return to Uganda to conduct additional qualitative fieldwork on HIV/AIDS governance and broader shifts in global governance and development processes.

          Dr. Oliver is currently examining the construction of a particular vision of civil society in Uganda by global-national development initiatives, as well as the increasing mobilization of social and economic human rights discourse by activists in making claims of justice.