Mark D. Walters

Full Professor
F.R. Scott Professor of Public and Constitutional Law

Chancellor Day Hall
3644 Peel Street
Room 34
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-4742 [Office]
mark.walters [at] (Email)

View FileProfessor Walter's academic CV (July 2016).

Professor Mark Walters


Mark Walters obtained a B.A. (Political Science) from the University of Western Ontario in 1986, a LL.B. from Queen’s University in 1989, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1996. After practicing law briefly, he returned to Oxford to teach for several years and then joined the Faculty of Law at Queen’s in 1999. He became a Full Professor at Queen’s in 2008 and served as Associate Dean (Graduate Studies and Research) between 2008 and 2010.

Professor Walters researches and publishes in the areas of public and constitutional law, legal history, and legal theory, with a special emphasis on the rights of Indigenous peoples, institutional structures, and the history of legal ideas.

He has held a number of fellowships, including the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship (SSHRC), the Sir Neil MacCormick Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), the Herbert Smith Fellowship (Cambridge University) and the H.L.A. Hart Fellowship (Oxford University).

He was appointed F.R. Scott Professor of Public and Constitutional Law at McGill University on July 1, 2016.


1995 – Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University, University College/Faculty of Law

1989 – Bachelor of Laws, Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

1986 – Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario


2016-… – Full Professor and F.R. Scott Professor of Public and Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University

2008-2016 – Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University

2008-2010 – Associate Dean (Graduate Studies & Research), Queen’s University

2002-2008 – Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University

1999-2002 – Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University

1997-1999 – Fellow and Tutor in Law (five-year fellowship), New College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

1996-1997 – Lecturer in Law, Merton College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

1996 – Associate Lawyer, Lerner & Associates, Barristers & Solicitors, Toronto

1989-1990 – Law Clerk for Chief Justice Howland and Justices Carthy, Finlayson and Brooke, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Osgoode Hall, Toronto


Public and constitutional law, legal history, legal theory, the rights of Indigenous peoples, institutional structures, and the history of legal ideas


Work in progress

A.V. Dicey and the Common Law Constitutional Tradition: 'A Legal Turn of Mind' – a book on the constitutional thought of Albert Venn Dicey, under contract with Cambridge University Press

Book chapters

“Rights and Remedies within Common Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions: Can the Covenant Chain be Judicially Enforced Today?” in John Borrows and Michael Coyle (eds.), The Right(s) Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming)

“The Unwritten Constitution as a Legal Concept” in David Dyzenhaus and Malcolm Thorburn (eds.), The Philosophical Foundations of Constitutional Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), chapter 3, 33-52

“‘Looking for a knot in a bulrush’: Reflections on Aboriginal and Crown Sovereignty”, in Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson (eds.), From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), chapter 2, 35-64

“The Aboriginal Charter of Rights: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Constitution of Canada” in Terry Fenge and Jim Aldridge (eds.), Creating Canada: From the Royal Proclamation of 1763 to Modern Treaties (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015)

“Respecting Deference as Respect: Rights, Reasonableness and Proportionality in Canadian Administrative Law” in Mark Elliott and Hanna Wilberg (eds.), The Scope and Intensity of Substantive Review: Traversing Taggart's Rainbow (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015), chapter 15, pp. 395-422

“Succession to the Throne and the Architecture of the Constitution of Canada” in Philippe Lagassé and Michel Bédard (eds.), The Crown and Parliament (Montreal: Éditions Yvon Blais, 2015), chapter 10, 263-292

“‘Your Sovereign and Our Father’: The Imperial Crown and the Idea of Legal-Ethnohistory” in Shaunnagh Dorsett and Ian Hunter (eds.), Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), chapter 5, pp. 91-108

“Jurisdiction, Functionalism and Constitutionalism in Canadian Administrative Law”, in Christopher Forsyth, Mark Elliott, Swati Jhaveri, Michael Ramsden, & Anne Scully Hill (eds.), Effective Judicial Review: A Cornerstone of Good Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), chapter 18, pp. 300-316

“Promise and Paradox: The Emergence of Indigenous Rights Law in Canada” in Shin Imai, Kent McNeil and Benjamin J. Richardson (eds.), Indigenous Peoples and the Law: Comparative and Critical Perspectives (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2009), chapter 2, pp. 21-50

“The Jurisprudence of Reconciliation: Aboriginal Rights in Canada” in Will Kymlicka & Bashir Bashir (eds.), The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), chapter 8, pp. 165-191

“Written Constitutions and Unwritten Constitutionalism” in Grant Huscroft (ed.), Expounding the Constitution: Essays in Constitutional Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), chapter 10, pp. 245-276

“Human Rights at Common Law and under the Constitution Act, 1867” in Leonard Rotman (ed.), Constitutional Law: Cases, Commentary and Principles (Toronto: Carswell, 2008), chapter 15, pp. 733-767

“‘Common Public Law in the Age of Legislation’: David Mullan and the Unwritten Constitution” in Michael Taggart and Grant Huscroft (eds.), Inside and Outside Canadian Administrative Law: Essays in Honour of David Mullan (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp. 421-447

“Constitutional Law and Aboriginal Economic Development in Canada” in Dwight Dorey and Joseph Magnet (eds.), Legal Aspects of Aboriginal Business Development (Toronto: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2005), chapter 12, pp. 241-261

“The Common Law Constitution and Legal Cosmopolitanism” in David Dyzenhaus (ed.), The Unity of Public Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2004), chapter 16, 431-454

“Towards a 'Taxonomy' for the Common Law, Legal History, and the Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Law” in Cathy Colborne and Diane Kirkby (eds.), Law, History, Colonialism: The Reach of Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), chapter 8, 125-139

(with Paul Craig) “The Courts, Devolution and Judicial Review” in Christopher Forsyth (ed), Judicial Review and the Constitution (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2000), chapter 10, pp. 213-243 [reprint of “The Courts, Devolution and Judicial Review” [1999] Public Law 274-303]

Journal Articles and essays

“Public Law and Ordinary Legal Method: Revisiting Dicey’s Approach to Droit Administratif” (2016) 66 University of Toronto Law Journal 53-82

“Federalism in its Biggest Sense: Justice Louis LeBel and the Federal Idea in Canadian Constitutional Law” (2015) 70 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 307-336

“The Constitutional Form and Reform of the Senate: Thoughts on the Constitutionality of Bill C-7” (2013), 7 Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 37-61

Review of Parliamentary Sovereignty: Contemporary Debates by Jeffrey Goldsworthy, [2012] Public Law 792-796

“Is Public Law Ordinary?” (2012), 75 Modern Law Review 899-918

“Dicey on Writing the Law of the Constitution” (2012), 32 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 21-49

“The Law behind the Conventions of the Constitution: Reassessing the Prorogation Debate” (2011), 5 Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 131-154

“Legality as Reason: Dicey, Rand and the Rule of Law” (2010), 55 McGill Law Journal 563-586

“Legal Humanism and Law as Integrity” (2008), 67 Cambridge Law Journal 352-375

“Histories of Colonialism, Legality and Aboriginality” (2007), 57 University of Toronto Law Journal 819-832

“‘Let Right Be Done’: A History of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University” (2007), 32 Queen's Law Journal 314-388

“The Morality of Aboriginal Law” (2006), 31 Queen's Law Journal 470-520

“How to Read Aboriginal Legal Texts from Upper Canada” (2003), 14 Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 93-116

“St. German on Reason and Parliamentary Sovereignty” (2003), 62 Cambridge Law Journal 335-370

“Common Law, Reason, and Sovereign Will” (2003), 53 University of Toronto Law Journal 65-88

“Incorporating Common Law into the Constitution of Canada: EGALE v. Canada and the Status of Marriage” (2002), 41 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 75-113

“Brightening the Covenant Chain: Aboriginal Treaty Meanings in Law and History after Marshall” (2001), 24 Dalhousie Law Journal 75-138 

“The Common Law Constitution in Canada: Return of Lex Non Scripta as Fundamental Law” (2001), 51 University of Toronto Law Journal 91-141 

Book Review of White Man's Law: Native People in Nineteenth Century Canadian Jurisprudence (2000), 25 Queen's Law Journal 719-724

“The ‘Golden Thread’ of Continuity: Aboriginal Customs at Common Law and Under the Constitution Act, 1982” (1999), 44 McGill Law Journal 711-752 

“Nationalism and the Pathology of Legal Systems: Considering the Quebec Secession Reference and Its Lessons for the United Kingdom” (1999), 62 Modern Law Review 371-396

(with Paul Craig) “The Courts, Devolution and Judicial Review” [1999] Public Law 274-303 

“‘According to the Old Customs of Our Nation’:  Aboriginal Self-Government on the Credit River Mississauga Reserve, 1826-1847" (1999), 30 Ottawa Law Review 1-45 

“Aboriginal Rights, Magna Carta and Exclusive Rights to Fisheries in the Waters of Upper Canada” (1998), 23 Queen's Law Journal 301-368 

“The Extension of Colonial Criminal Jurisdiction over the Aboriginal Peoples of Upper Canada: Reconsidering the Shawanakiskie Case (1822-26)” (1996), 46 University of Toronto Law Journal 273-310 

Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut (1705-1773) and the Legal Status of Aboriginal Customary Laws and Government in British North America” (1995), 33 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 785-829

“British Imperial Constitutional Law and Aboriginal Rights: A Comment on Delgamuukw v. British Columbia” (1992), 17 Queen's Law Journal 350-413 

“Ecological Unity and Political Fragmentation: The Implications of the Brundtland Report for the Canadian Constitutional Order” (1991), 29 Alberta Law Review 420-449

Reports and submissions to legislatures, governments and courts

Submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Concerning Bill C-53, An Act to assent to the alternations in the law touching the Succession to the Throne, 5 March 2013

Expert witness appearing for the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation in a constitutional challenge to provincial labour laws: Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation v. National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-Canada), Local 444 et al. [2006] O.J. No. 2159 (Div. Ct.); aff’d (2007), 88 O.R. (3d) 583 (C.A.); leave to appeal denied [2008] S.C.C.A. 35.

Report to the Government of Quebec on the history of provincial maritime boundaries, 23 March 2005