Law and Public Policy

The study of law and public policy aims to provide students with an understanding of the legal underpinnings of public policy as it applies to state and non-state actors, across a wide range of domestic and international challenges.

Law and Public Policy electives

Below is a list of all Law and Public Policy electives that anyone can register for, because they have 0 or just 1 prerequisite. For a complete list of our Law and Public Policy courses, see the university calendar

LWPP 2600 Public Policy and Administration

This course outlines major concepts in, and issues relating to, the fields of public policy and administration. Introduces students to major conceptual issues that shape public policy and government, such as agenda setting, types of public policy models and public management processes. Open to all students interested in the study of public policy and public administration.

EQ: Political Science 2600

LWPP 3210 International Law

This course is concerned with the interaction of international political and legal systems. Topics discussed are sources, agreements, membership, recognition, territory, jurisdiction, immunities, state responsibility, and force and war. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

EQ: Political Science 3210

LWPP 3215 International Human Rights

This course introduces students to international human rights, in theory and practice. Course topics include the history and  philosophy of human rights, and international and Canadian structures and provisions. The course includes an examination of selected areas of international human rights, such as children’s rights, environmental rights, and humanitarian intervention. It explores current and future applications of human rights. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: the former LWSO 3300, the former Political Science 4215
EQ: Political Science 3215, the former LWSO 3215

LWPP 3230 The Global Politics of the End of the World (As We Know It)

This course explores how human societies have imagined, predicted, and faced the prospects of the end of their world. Students will study recorded collapses of societies, how law and public policy depend on environmental factors, the threat of modern and thermonuclear war, and current scholarship on planet politics and the Anthropocene. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

EQ: Political Science 3230

LWPP 3260 Global Food Politics

This course examines the global governance of agriculture and food, and explores how new global actors, institutions, and regulations shape the politics of food production, distribution, and consumption. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

EQ: Political Science 3260

LWPP 3290 Human Security

This course examines political concepts and government policies related to international security contexts, such as the displacement of citizens, food supply issues, energy, information flows, war and/or the environment. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: the former Political Science 3391
EQ: Political Science 3290

LWPP 3295 Migration and Security

This course explores how population movements, both within and across borders, impact international, national, and human security. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

EQ: Political Science 3295

LWPP 3315 Gender and Sexuality in Canadian Law

This course looks at legal issues affecting gender and sexuality in Canada, such as equality, family law, gender and crime.

EQ: the former LWSO 3015

LWPP 3385 Religion and the Law in Contemporary Canada

This course examines contemporary legal debates on the place and contours of ‘religion’ in Canada. Through consideration of a number of post-Charter Supreme Court of Canada decisions, as well as sociological research on different religious communities, we delve into the changing meanings of religious diversity in Canada.

EQ: Political Science 3385, Religious Studies 3385, the former Religious Studies 2850

LWPP 3600 Comparative Public Policy

This course is an examination of the relationship between public policy development and changes in the social and economic policy environment. Students will apply theories and models of public policy to a variety of topical case studies in established democracies.

EQ: Political Science 3600
PR: prior successful completion of LWPP 2600 or Political Science 2600 is recommended but not required

LWPP 3620 Law and Judicial Authority

This course reviews and critiques traditional theories about law. The concept of law as a process of authoritative decision-making will be used to examine the function of judicial authority.

CR: the former Political Science 3521
EQ: Political Science 3620

LWPP 3640 Ethics, Leadership, and Policy Analysis

This course examines the political, professional, and ethical trade-offs faced by public servants and other actors working to advance the common good. Students will be trained in moral reasoning and strategic thinking through exposure to several real-world policy cases on topics ranging from whistleblowing and the management of conflicts of interest, to the challenges of exercising leadership in professional environments that are politically and ethically complex.

EQ: Political Science 3640
PR: LWPP 2600 or Political Science 2600

LWPP 3800 Federalism in Canada

This course examines relationships between governments in the Canadian federation ranging from high-profile disputes to efficient diplomacy. This course reviews longstanding intergovernmental stresses such as the constitution, legislative powers, legal matters, Indigenous governance, local government, sub-state nationalism, and wealth distribution.

EQ: Political Science 3800

LWPP 3810 Executive-Level Governance in Canada

This course explores the roles of political elites, such as prime ministers, premiers, and ministers, and executive institutions in government such as the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office, in addressing and shaping important political issues in Canada.

EQ: Political Science 3810

LWPP 3820 Canadian Politics and the Constitution

This course uses a casebook approach to examine critical issues of Canadian constitutional law. The development of the Canadian Constitution and processes of judicial review, as well as the legal development of federalism and protection of civil rights, are examined in detail.

EQ: Political Science 3820

LWPP 3825 Canadian Judicial System

This course emphasizes how the judicial system and law are intertwined with politics and public policy in Canada.

EQ: Political Science 3825, the former LWSO 2000

LWPP 3830 Indigenous Peoples: Concepts of Land, the Law, and the Constitution

This course traces the historical development of Indigenous land and resource rights; colonial and Canadian law; and the Constitution of Canada as it relates to the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people of Canada. The developing concept of Indigenous law is presented within the context of the treaty process, Indian Act, contemporary land claims, the Canadian Constitution, and federal/provincial relations.

CR: the former LWSO 3012
EQ: Political Science 3830 and the former LWSO 3830

LWPP 3850 Canadian Political Economy

This course introduces students to major debates about the role of the state in Canadian economic development and public policy. Topics may include: the challenges of natural resource dependency, regionalism, globalization, and the relationship between Canada and the United States.

EQ: Political Science 3850, the former Political Science 3650 

LWPP 4255 Controversies in Political Economy

This course examines current political and public policy challenges from a global political economy perspective. Topics may include the global politics of the environment, food, development, finance, and/or security. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

EQ: Political Science 4255
PR: Political Science 2200 or the instructor's permission

LWPP 4640 Democratic Innovations in Public Policy

This course explores the exciting field of participatory innovations in democratic governance and public policy. The goal is to identify proposals that generate effective citizen participation and engagement while addressing pressing public problems. Discussions are grounded in an analysis of real-world cases, from elections and criminal justice to international development and urban planning.

CR: the former Political Science 4120
EQ: Political Science 4640