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Bruce P. Elman, Professor of Law Emeritus

Bruce P. Elman is Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Windsor. Professor Elman served as Dean of Law at the University of Windsor from 2000–2011. From 2011–2020, Professor Elman was a member of the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, teaching in the areas of Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility. Professor Elman served two terms (2012–2018) as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario. On July 1, 2020, he was appointed Professor of Law Emeritus. Professor Elman holds a B.Sc. from McGill University (1971), an LL.B. from Dalhousie University (1974), and an LL.M. from Harvard University (1975).

As Dean of Law at the University of Windsor, Professor Elman promoted ethics, professionalism, and competence as pre-eminent values of Windsor Law. Professor Elman served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Legal Assistance of Windsor, Community Legal Aid, and the University of Windsor Mediation Services – at the time, Windsor Law’s three clinics. Professor Elman was a founding member of the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism. His paper on “Creating a Culture of Ethics and Professional Responsibility: A Leadership Role for Law Schools” was delivered at the 8th Colloquium on Legal Profession: The Challenge of Leadership in May 2007.

Prior to assuming the Deanship at Windsor, Professor Elman was the Belzberg Professor of Constitutional Law (1996–2000) and Chair of the Centre for Constitutional Studies (1984–2000) at the University of Alberta. He was first appointed to the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in 1975 and served as the Associate Dean of the Faculty from 1991–1994. He has also held several Visiting Professorships. Professor Elman was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, and the Visiting Scholar in Residence at the Centre for the Legal Profession in 2011–12. He was Visiting Professor of Law and Canadian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1988–89 and 1995–96. In 1994, Professor Elman was Visiting Professor of Canadian Law at Niigata University in Niigata, Japan. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School (1981–82).

Professor Elman is the Co-editor of Rotman, Elman, and Gall, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES, COMMENTARY AND PRINCIPLES (Thomson Carswell - 2008). He has published numerous works on criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, freedom of expression, law and religion, multiculturalism and ethics and professional responsibility. He is frequently invited to speak to professional and general audiences on topics in constitutional law and politics including Federalism and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ethics and professional responsibility, legal education, and Law Reform.

Professor Elman is a celebrated teacher. He was the recipient of the Tevie H. Miller Award for Teaching Excellence in 1999 at the University of Alberta. He received a teaching award from Hebrew University in 1996. In 2019, Professor Elman received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Students’ Law Society at the University of Windsor.

Professor Elman is a member of the Law Societies of Ontario and Alberta (inactive). In June 2018, the Law Society of Ontario bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) on Professor Elman. The Law Society awards honorary doctorates each year to distinguished members of the profession and the public in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. In the fall of 2018, Professor Elman was named a “Builder of Windsor Law.” This Award recognizes “individuals who are not alumni but who have made a significant contribution to Windsor Law”.

Under a unique agreement, Professor Elman serves as the Integrity Commissioner for the City of Windsor, the Town of Amherstburg, and the Municipality of Lakeshore.

Key Works

  • Leonard I. Rotman, Bruce P. Elman, Gerald L. Gall eds., Rotman, Elman, and Gall, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES, COMMENTARY AND PRINCIPLES (Thomson Carswell - 2008).
  • Billingsley, Barbara and Bruce P. Elman, “The Supreme Court of Canada and the Alberta Court of Appeal: Do the Top Courts Have a Fundamental Philosophical Difference of Opinion on Public Law Issues?” (2001) 39 ALBERTA LAW REVIEW 703-737.
  • Elman, “Honouring Memory, Doing Justice: Holocaust Denial, Hate Propaganda and Canadian Law” in Decoste and Schwartz, eds. THE HOLOCAUST’S GHOST: WRITINGS ON ART, POLITICS, LAW AND EDUCATION, University of Alberta Press: Edmonton, 2000.
  • Elman, "The Constitutionalization of Multiculturalism" in Adelman and Simpson, MULTICULTURALISM, JEWS, AND IDENTITIES IN CANADA, Magnes Press: Jerusalem, 1996.
  • Elman, "Her Majesty The Queen v. James Keegstra: The Control of Racism in Canada - A Case Study" in Levitt and Greenspan, UNDER THE SHADOW OF WEIMAR: DEMOCRACY, LAW & RACIAL INCITEMENT IN SIX COUNTRIES, Praeger Publishing, 1993.
  • Elman, "Combatting Racist Speech: The Canadian Experience", (1994) 32 ALBERTA LAW REVIEW 623 - 666.
  • Elman, "Altering the Judicial Mind and the Process of Constitution - Making in Canada", CONSTITUTIONAL STUDIES 1989, 521-534.
  • McLellan and Elman, "Enforcement of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: An Analysis of Section 24", (1983) 21 ALBERTA LAW REVIEW 205.