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Rebecca Johnson - University of Victoria. Victoria, BC, CA

Rebecca Johnson

Professor, Faculty of Law | University of Victoria

Victoria, BC, CANADA

Rebecca Johnson is a pioneer in Canadian law-and-film scholarship.



Rebecca Johnson Publication








Professor Johnson joined the UVic Faculty of Law in 2001, after 6 years on the Faculty at the University of New Brunswick. Before that, she clerked for Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada, and completed her LLM and SJD at the University of Michigan. The work there resulted in her award-winning book, Taxing Choices: the Intersection of Class, Gender, Parenthood and the Law.

Her research interests are marked by interdisciplinary, and include judicial dissent, cinema as a site of inter-cultural legal encounter, the economic imaginary, Indigenous legal methodologies, and sexuality. A pioneer in Canadian law-and-film scholarship, she has written on such topics as same-sex family formation, colonialism, dissent, mothers and babies in prison, cinematic violence, the Western, affect and emotion, and Inuit cinema. She co-edited a special issue of The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law on “Law, Film and Feminism”, and has a blog dedicated to the same. Professor Johnson’s internationally acknowledged collaborative work on judicial dissent with Professor Marie-Claire Belleau (University of Laval), has been published nationally and internationally in both French and English. Their work, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, has also been translated into Russian. Professor Johnson has also been working for several years on a number of initiatives with the Indigenous Legal Research Unit. She has also worked on the development of the TRC-inspired blog #ReconciliationSyllabus.

Professor Johnson has taught courses in Criminal Law, Business Associations, Law-and-Film, Legal Theory, Legal Method, Legal Process, Law Legislation & Policy, Constitutional law, Civil Liberties, and Feminist Advocacy. She supervises graduate students in a variety of fields: veterans, restorative justice, embodiment, mediation, homelessness, and social enterprise.

Industry Expertise (3)



Legal Services

Areas of Expertise (9)

Intercultural Communication

Indigenous Affairs

Sexuality and the Law

Same-sex Couples


Cinema Studies

Feminism & Gender Studies

Legal Theory

Restorative Justice

Education (5)

University of Michigan: J.D., Law 2000

University of Michigan: LL.M., Law 1995

University of Alberta: LL.B., Law 1991

University of Alberta: M.B.A., Business 1990

University of Calgary: B.Mus, Music 1985

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Media Appearances (4)

Comment: Ghomeshi case raises disturbing legal issues

Times Colonist  


The R. vs. Ghomeshi judgment begins with the word “warning.” And although the warning is about the publication ban for two of the complainants, it might as well be an image of a dragon on a 14th-century map, scaring off those about to navigate the words of the judgment due to dangers that lie below the surface.

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TRC offers a window of opportunity for legal education

Canadian Lawyer  


In June 2015, after seven years of collecting evidence the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its 388-page executive summary, centred on the TRC’s 94 recommendations and written as a call to action.

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Law schools across Canada debate how to enact TRC recommendations

The Globe and Mail  


We are being asked how to build a multijuridical society,” said Rebecca Johnson, who co-founded the Reconciliation Syllabus and is a professor at UVic’s law school ...

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Reconciliation not for the few, prof says"

NewsKamloops  online


A year after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued a call to action, an open workshop at TRU Thursday drew about 120 people looking for ways to follow through in earnest.

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Articles (5)

Journeying North: Reflections on Inuit Stories as Law

University of Victoria Faculty of Law

2014 In the summer of 2012, Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland ran an intensive Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

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Reimagining ‘The True North Strong and Free’: Reflections on Going to the Movies with James Boyd White

Michigan Publishing

2014 In Living in a Law Transformed: Encounters with the Works of James Boyd White.

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Justice and the Colonial Collision: Reflections on Stories of Intercultural Encounter in Law, Literature, Sculpture and Film

Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice

2012 Communities, and particularly national communities, are constituted in part through narratives about their origin. In settler societies, originary stories of contact and arrival have played foundational roles in the national imaginary.

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The Jane Doe Coffee Table Book about Rape: Reflections on Rebellious Writing and Teaching

University of Ottawa Press

2012 In Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism.

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Strange Encounters: Exploring Law and Film in the Affective Register

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

2009 This paper argues that taking seriously the embodied and affective dimensions of thought is important in relation both to the critical and transformative possibilities of Law-and-Film scholarship.

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