students around a table

Postdoctoral studies

Postdoctoral students at the uOttawa Faculty of Law are offered a wide array of opportunities to broaden their specialized research or explore avenues complementary to their training.

The postdoctoral research environment

The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law is the largest in Canada, boasting a distinguished and diverse assembly of faculty members at the forefront of legal research and education. Through their scholarship, many of our professors have contributed to the transformation of Canada’s legal systems as well as the ways in which law is practiced, taught and conceived. Our law school boasts a thriving research environment, hosting numerous research chairs, and a broad and deep assortment of centres of research excellence. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, within walking distance of Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada, the University of Ottawa provides the best opportunity in the world to study Canada’s legal systems in English or in French.

Postdoctoral students at the uOttawa Faculty of Law are offered a wide array of opportunities to broaden their specialized research or explore avenues complementary to their training. Our dynamic and inclusive research environment invites postdocs to take part in invigorating activities such as the new Autumn School on the Methodology of Research in Law, and the Faculty of Law Writing Group. Postdoctoral fellows also find repeated opportunities to be invited to speak in regular conference series, or to participate in work-in-progress workshops. They can also access the services of the Research Office and benefit from our communications support to disseminate their research and accomplishments. We are proud of the level of excellence displayed by our researchers, and are eager to add new voices to our research enterprise.

Postdoctoral fellows based at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

Ashley Barnes

Ashley Barnes

Gordon F. Henderson Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023)
Human Rights Research and Education Centre
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Ashley Barnes is a lawyer and scholar whose work focuses on access to justice and remedies under international law. She completed her SJD at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Her research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Council of International Law, among others. In 2017, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. She was previously a Schulich Fellow at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in international peer-reviewed journals and she authors an annual case digest on private international law for the Canadian Yearbook of International Law. She has presented her research at venues in North America and Europe, most recently as a ‘New Voices’ panelist at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law. Ashley’s academic work builds on extensive professional background with government in international legal and policy issues, as well as serving as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Federal Court of Canada and experience with the International Criminal Court.

During her fellowship at the HRREC, she will be expanding her work into new access to justice challenges, including the timely issue of compensating those directly harmed by climate change in domestic and international forums.

Email: [email protected]

Ghuna Bdiwi

Ghuna Bdiwi

Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023)
Human Rights Research and Education Centre
Refugee Hub
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Ghuna Bdiwi is a lawyer and a human rights activist, with legal practice experiences in both Syria and Canada. In Syria, her practice focused on cases that involved arbitrary detention and torture of political detainees, while in Canada her legal work focuses on refugee and immigration law. Her legal work and activism are internationally recognised; the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria nominated her to be a member of the Syrian Constitutional Committee that is mandated to draft a new Constitution for Syria.

Ghuna has a Ph.D., LL.M. (research), LL.M. (common law) from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and a Master’s in International Banking and Finance from Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, France. In her Ph.D. dissertation, Ghuna investigates a question, that is critical and timely in international criminal law and philosophy, namely, given the significant unlikelihood of institutional criminal punishment, is there a justification(s) of calls for criminal accountability in the midst of the ongoing Syrian Civil War? Her defence committee recommended that her dissertation be published promptly because its findings can be useful to other ongoing conflicts. Her research delves into several disciplines such as international human rights, legal theory, the theory of responsibility to protect (R2P), transitional justice, refugee law, international criminal accountability, and investigations of war crimes in Syria to answer this critical question.

In her academic and professional journey, Ghuna received many prestigious awards. She is the recipient of the International Center for Human Rights, Canada’s 2015 International Human Rights Award, an award that acknowledged her advocacy work in defending human rights in Syria. Additionally, she received the 2016 John Peters Humphrey Fellowship in International Human Rights from the Canadian Council on International Law, and a 2015 Fellowship from the Nathanson Center on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Email: [email protected]

Jacqueline Briggs

Jacqueline Briggs

Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2023)
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Jacqueline Briggs is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law under the supervision of Professor Constance Backhouse.

As a historian of ‘administrative colonialism’ in Canada, Jacquie’s critical approach to the study of the criminal justice system focuses on intersections between federal administrators and the legal profession. Her postdoctoral project is a history of the Department of Justice from the late 19th century to the present, exploring the public interest role of lawyers-as-bureaucrats.

Jacquie completed her PhD in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto in 2021. Her dissertation project was a critical socio-legal history of a previously-unknown legal aid program operated by the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) between the 1880s and the late 1960s. DIA legal aid provided defence counsel for Indigenous persons charged with murder in hundreds of high-stakes trials that could result in execution. The legal aid study not only assembles a legal history of the program from over 600 case files and policy records, it also interrogates the ways in which settler-colonialism shaped the administration of justice via the administration of Indigenous affairs.

Jacquie has taught courses in Law & Society, Legal History, and Criminology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Concordia University in Montreal, and at the University of Toronto. Born in the territory of the Dish with One Spoon wampum covenant (Toronto), she identifies as a settler person of Irish and English ancestry. A proud alumna of the Decolonizing Education (2017-2018) and Indigenous Research Methods (2019-2020) certificates from the Centre for Indigegogy (Wilfrid Laurier U.), Jacquie continues her decolonizing journey via participating in the Centre’s SSHRCC-funded digital storytelling project with the ReVision arts centre (U. Guelph).

Jacquie’s work on colonialism and the criminal justice system in Canada has been published in the Canadian Historical Review (2019), Studies in Law, Politics & Society (2020), and the Toronto Star (2016). Her 2019 article was awarded the Political History Article Prize by the Canadian History Association, and the Peter Oliver Prize by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. 

Email:  [email protected]

Jane Ezirigwe

Jane Ezirigwe

Postdoctoral Fellow on Global Data Governance for Food and Agriculture (2022-2023)
Open AIR, The Open African Innovation Research Network
Centre for Law, Technology and Society
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Jane Ezirigwe is an Open AIR Postdoctoral Fellow on Global Data Governance for Food and Agriculture. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Bingham University, Nigeria. Jane is a member of the AfCFTA Advisory Council. She is also an Olu Akinkugbe Fellow on Business Law in Africa, a Fellow of Young African Leaders Initiative, and an International Bar Association Scholar.

Jane holds a PhD in law from the University of Cape Town, an LLM from the University of London, and an MBA and LLB from ESUT Business School and University of Abuja. She has over 16 years of experience in legal research, legal advocacy, legal education, as well as in mobilizing and translating knowledge for wider usage. Her research interests are in the areas of food & agricultural law, international trade, and natural resource development. She is also committed to mainstreaming gender in her research and is focused on using socio-legal methods to produce evidence-based research. Jane provides consulting services to Women’s Aid Collective, a Nigerian NGO advocating for women’s rights. She also provides support services to Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria, a network of over 500,000 women farmers. She has won several academic and research awards for her contributions to the development of law and has many publications.

Yvonne Ndelle

Yvonne Ndelle

Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023)
Open AIR, The Open African Innovation Research Network
Centre for Law, Technology and Society
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Dr. Yvonne Ndelle’s research focuses on digital and data-driven agriculture. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a PhD in Public Policy from Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), University of Saskatchewan. Her doctoral research assessed the social license model as a private self-governance regime in Canada’s agri-food sector and provides unique insights into its varied conceptualizations by diverse stakeholders across the agbiotech supply chain. Dr. Ndelle also holds a BSc honours degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea, Cameroon. 

Dr. Ndelle has several years of research experience in mobilizing and translating knowledge for broader use. She was Research Coordinator for the Students’ Innovation and Business Analysts (SIBA) program at the former Innovation Enterprise (University of Saskatchewan’s Technology Transfer Office) and was an Executive Intern with the Saskatchewan Institute, Conference Board of Canada. In Cameroon, she worked with Agroproduce Management Services (AMS) Ltd, where she managed a network of over 3000 smallholder cocoa farmers across 42 rural communities. These farmers were involved in third party quality certification, along with the use of sustainability and traceability tools for socially and environmentally responsible cocoa production using the UTZ Certified standard. She has won a number of awards and enjoys listening to country music. 

Twitter:  @DrNdelleNyaks

Cristiano Therrien

Cristiano Therrien

Scotiabank Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Regulation (2022-2023)
University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative
Centre for Law, Technology and Society
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Dr. Cristiano de Souza Therrien is a Scotiabank Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Regulation and a Program Manager for the University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative. 

As Program Manager, Dr. Therrien will assist Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau in developing the AI + Society Initiative to promote research, inclusion, and highlighting injustices in AI. He will coordinate the management, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization for the Initiative’s research projects; as well as related projects of the University Research Chair in Technology and Society.

Dr. Therrien holds a doctorate in law (LL.D.) from Université de Montréal. His many research interests include the application of data analytics to legal research, governance of Big Data projects in the public sector, and ethical and intellectual property issues in artificial intelligence. 

Work E-mail[email protected]
Personal E-mail[email protected]

Amanda van Beinum

Amanda van Beinum

Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2023)
Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Amanda van Beinum is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Chandler.

Amanda’s postdoctoral research employs a critical science and technology studies (STS) perspective to explore the social and technological impacts of deep brain stimulation as an emerging therapy for the treatment of psychiatric illness. Amanda is also involved in HYBRID-MINDS, an international and interdisciplinary collaborative project aiming to provide the first systematic exploration of the experiential, ethical, and legal significance of the functional integration of neuroprostheses with the human mind.

Amanda completed her PhD in Sociology at Carleton University where her doctoral work involved an STS-informed analysis of the tensions and meanings of death amidst life-support technology in the intensive care unit. This cross-disciplinary project built on findings from her MSc. (Epidemiology) obtained previously at the University of Ottawa.

With training in both science and arts, Amanda has a passion for interdisciplinary work and is drawn to teaching, writing, and researching at critical intersections. She has recently co-designed and taught a course on race and medicine and has published work in medical journals in addition to her ongoing involvement in social science research communities.

Email: [email protected]

Former postdoctoral fellows

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn

Scotiabank Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Regulation (2020-2022)
University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative

Centre for Law, Technology and Society
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Michael Da Silva

Michael Da Silva

Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Healthcare (2020-2022)
Centre for Law, Technology and Society
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

View his current biography at the University of Southampton.

David Hughes

David Hughes

Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2022)
Human Rights Research and Education Centre

Refugee Hub
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

David Hughes has accepted an Assistant Professor Position at the Canadian Forces College.

Lindsey McKay

Lindsey McKay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2017-2018)
Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

View her current biography at Thompson Rivers University.

Contact us

For questions regarding postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Ottawa, please contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at postdoc@uottawa.ca.

For questions specifically related to postdocs at the Faculty of Law, please contact [email protected].