profile picture

Eric M. Adams, BA (McGill), LLB (Dalhousie), SJD (University of Toronto)

Vice Dean / Professor


About Me

Eric M. Adams, BA (McGill), LLB (Dalhousie), SJD (Toronto), is a Professor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law. Professor Adams has won multiple awards for his teaching and research including several article prizes for his legal historical work, a Provost’s Award for Early Career Teaching Excellence, and a Killam Annual Professorship in 2016-2017 for excellence in research, teaching, and service. Professor Adams publishes widely in the fields of constitutional law, legal history, employment law, human rights, and legal education. In particular, his multidisciplinary work engages with all aspects of Canadian constitutional law, theory, and history including studies of the classic cases, Christie v York, Roncarelli v Duplessis, and R v Drybones. He is the lead legal historian on the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant, Landscapes of Injustice, investigating the internment, incarceration, dispossession, and exile of Japanese Canadians during the mid-twentieth century. He is currently working on several projects extending from that research, as well as a manuscript on the history of Canadian constitutional law, politics, and culture. A frequent media commentator, his many editorials have appeared in newspapers across the country.


  • Constitutional Law and theory

  • Legal History

  • Labor and Employment Law


  • “Judicial Agency and Anxiety: a Constitutional History of R v Drybones” (2018) National Journal of Constitutional Law [forthcoming]

  • “Constitutional Stories: Japanese Canadians and the Constitution of Canada” (2018) Australasian Canadian Studies [forthcoming].

  • “The Law of Food Allergy and Accommodation in Canadian Schools” (2018) Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology [forthcoming]

  • “Promises of Law: The Unlawful Dispossession of Japanese Canadians” (2017) 54:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 687 (with Jordan Stanger-Ross)

  • “Judging the Limits of Cooperative Federalism” (2016) 76 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 27

  • “The Dean Who Went to Law School: Searching for Purpose in North American Legal Education, 1930-1950” (2016) 54: 1Alberta Law Review 1

  • “Human Rights at Work: Physical Standards for Employment and Human Rights Law” (2016) 41(6) Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 63

  • “Canadian Constitutional Identities” (2015) 38(2) Dalhousie Law Journal 311

  • “Errors of Fact and Law: Race, Space, and Hockey in Christie v. York” (2012) 62 University of Toronto Law Journal 463

  • “Building a Law of Human Rights: Roncarelli v. Duplessis in Canadian Constitutional Culture” (2010) 55 McGill Law Journal 437

  • “Canada’s ‘Newer Constitutional Law’ and the Idea of Constitutional Rights” (2006) 51 McGill Law Journal 435

  • “Ghosts in Court: Jonathan Belcher and the Proclamation of 1762” (2004) 27 Dalhousie Law Journal 321