Terry Skolnik


Terry Skolnik
Assistant Professor

Doctorate in Law, S.J.D. - University of Toronto
Master of Laws, L.L.M. - University of Cambridge
Licentiate in Law, L.L.L., summa cum laude - University of Ottawa

Room: 57 Louis-Pasteur, #325
Bureau: 613-562-5800, poste 3083
Courriel à l'Université d'Ottawa: terry.skolnik@uottawa.ca


Terry Skolnik is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law, civil law section. His primary research interests are criminal law, legal philosophy, constitutional law, criminal evidence and procedure, poverty law, and the intersection between those fields.

Prior to joining the Faculty, he was an affiliated scholar and a scholar in residence at NYU's  Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ). He served as a law clerk for the Honourable Justice Russell Brown at the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to academia, he worked as a police officer with the Montreal Police Service. 

Professor Skolnik completed the S.J.D. at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law as a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier doctoral research fellow and as a FRQSC doctoral research fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge (L.L.M.) where he studied as a Commonwealth Trust Scholar and the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (L.L.L., summa cum laude).

Publications and conference proceedings

Law review articles and case comments (19)
  • "Precedent, Principles, and Presumptions" (2021) 54 UBC L. Rev. (Peer reviewed) (forthcoming) 
  • "Racial Profiling and the Perils of Ancillary Police Powers" (2021) 99 Canadian Bar Rev, (Peer reviewed) (forthcoming)
  • "Policing Arbitrariness: Fleming v. Ontario and the Ancillary Powers Doctrine" (2021) 100 Supreme Court L. Rev. 187 (Peer reviewed) (with Vanessa MacDonnell) 
  • "Criminal Law During (and After) COVID-19" (2020) 43 Manitoba L.J. 145 (Peer reviewed)  
  • "Causation, Fault, and Fairness in the Criminal Law" (2020) 65 McGill L.J. 1 (Peer reviewed) 
  • "Hot Bench: A Theory of Appellate Adjudication" (2020) 61 Boston College Law Review 1271
  • "Homelessness and Unconstitutional Discrimination" (2019) 15 Journal of Law & Equality 69 (Peer reviewed)
  • "Beyond Boudreault: Challenging Choice, Culpability, and Punishment" (2019) 50 Crim. R. (7th) 283 (Peer edited)
  • "Rethinking Homeless People's Punishments" (2019) 22 New Criminal Law Review 73 (Peer reviewed)
  • “How and Why Homeless People Are Regulated Differently ” (2018) 43 Queen’s Law Journal 297 (Peer reviewed) 
  • “Freedom and Access to Housing: Three Conceptions” (2018) 35 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 226 (Peer reviewed)
  • “Objective Mens Rea Revisited” (2017) 22 Canadian Criminal Law Review 315 (Peer edited)
  • “Improving the Law of Warrantless Cellphone Searches After R. v. Fearon” (2016) 49 Revue Juridique Thémis 825 (Peer reviewed)
  • "Homelessness and the Impossibility to Obey the Law” (2016) 43 Fordham Urban Law Journal 741
  • “The Suspicious Distinction Between Reasonable Suspicion and Reasonable Grounds to Believe” (2016) 47 Ottawa Law Review 223 (Peer reviewed)
  • “Three Problems with Duress and Moral Involuntariness” (2016) 63 Criminal Law Quarterly 124 (Peer edited)
  • “Why There Should Be No Constitutional Right to Contact Counsel From A Police Car” (2014) 5 Western Journal of Legal Studies (Peer reviewed)
  • “R. v. MacDonald and the Illogicality of the Reasonable Belief Requirement for Safety Searches” (2015) 62 Criminal Law Quarterly 43 (Peer edited)
  • “Responsibility and Intervening Acts: What ‘Maybin’ an Overbroad Approach to Causation” (2014) 44 Revue Générale de Droit 557 (Peer reviewed) 


Book chapters (1)
  • "The Punitive Impact of Physical Distancing Laws on Homeless People" in Colleen Flood et al., (eds.), The Law, Policy, and Ethics of COVID-19 (Ottawa: U. Ottawa Press, 2020) (Peer reviewed)
Other articles (1)
  • "The Jury System in Canada" (2013) 17 Systemas Judiciales 16


Working papers (2) 
  • "Information Failure in the Criminal Law" 
  • “Homelessness: A Problem of Public and Private Right”


Conference proceedings and invited presentations (12)
  • "Human Rights and Civil Liberties during COVID-19"
    Presented to:
    - University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, Ottawa, ON (October 14, 2020)
  • "Access to Justice During a Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Criminal Justice System"
    Presented to:
    - The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, ON (May 26, 2020)
  • "Homelessness and the Problem of Unconstitutional Discrimination"
    Presented to: 
    - University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Law and Social Justice Invited Speaker Series (September 11, 2019) 
  • "Criminal Law and the Problem of Asymmetric Information" 
    Presented to: 
    - University College London, Faculty of Law, London, UK (May 22, 2019)
  • "Mandatory Fines as Cruel and and Unusual Punishment: Reflections on R. v. Boudreault" 
    Presented to: 
    - Queen's University, Faculty of Law, ON, Canada (March 11, 2019)
  • "Toward A Theory of Expressively Egalitarian Regulation"
    Presented to: 
    - The NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU, New York, USA (April 23, 2018)
  • "Homelessness as an Analogous Ground of Discrimination"
    Presented to:
    - University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Faculty Workshop Series  (April 2, 2018)
  • "Changing the Ways that Homelessness is Criminalized and Punished"
    Presented to: 
    - The NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU, New York, USA (June 29, 2017) 
  • "A Complementary Moral Basis for the Right to Housing: Protection Against Potential Domination and Punishment"
    Presented to:
    - The Third Annual Housing Law Symposium, University of Malmö, Malmö, Sweden (March 22, 2017)
  • "Persisting Trends in the Criminalization of Homelessness: A Comparative Historical Perspective"
    Presented to: 
    - Graduate Students in Law Association of the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada (May 7, 2015)
  • " Is Criminal Negligence Morally Blameworthy?"
    Presented to: 
    - Criminal Law Students' Association of the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada  (November 26, 2013)
  • "Taking Rights Seriously... or Seriously Taking Away Rights? A Comparative Study of Warrantless Search of Persons in England and Canada"
    Presented to:
    - The Cambridge University Commonwealth Society, Westminster College, Cambridge, UK (March 8, 2013)
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