I am the Director of the UBC Centre for Constitutional Law and Legal Studies and an Assistant Prof. of Political Science at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus. I have held research fellowships at McGill's Research Group on Constitutional Studies, Stanford Law School's Constitutional Law Center, and Queen's Law School. In 2018 I received my PhD in public law and political theory from Princeton University.
My research investigates how constitutional principles such as the separation of powers, proportionality in rights adjudication, judicial independence, and parliamentary supremacy relate to democratic politics. My focus is on principles that matter in the Westminster and the U.S. constitutions.
One constitutional principle I am especially interested in is the ideal of 'dialogue' between courts and legislatures about bills of rights. At its most basic, this is the idea that certain interactions between courts and legislatures can help democratically protect rights. This idea has become intertwined with debates about the judicial review of statutes for rights compliance, especially in commonwealth countries such as Canada, the UK, and New Zealand.
My main book project is titled Dialogue and Domination: A Republican Theory of Judicial Review. It develops an original framework for evaluating and empirically describing how different kinds of 'dialogue' between courts and legislatures could help secure, or in some cases threaten, citizen's rights to freedom. The project explores the implications of this theory of dialogue in four constitutional contexts: Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and the US. I am also the co-editor of an collection of essays on this topic by public lawyers, legal philosophers, political theorists, and political scientists. The collection is titled Constitutional Dialogue: Rights, Democracy, Institutions and it was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.
My other research projects concern topics such as the principle of proportionality in Canadian and American rights adjudication, the historical origins and purposes of sections 1 and 33 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the idea of republican freedom as it relates to bills of rights. I have also written about Canadian constitutional politics for the National Post and Policy Options. I am originally from Calgary, Alberta.