Laverne Jacobs, PhD
Laverne Jacobs joined Windsor’s Faculty of Law in 2007. She is a recognized legal scholar whose research interests include human rights law; disability rights; equality; the independence and impartiality of administrative actors; access to information; comparative administrative law; and qualitative empirical research methodology. Her work has been cited by law reform agencies and by courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a member of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law and Co-Director of its Disability Rights Working Group.
Laverne Jacobs founded and directs The Law, Disability and Social Change Project, a research and public advocacy initiative housed at Windsor Law that works to foster and develop inclusive communities.
Through her scholarship, Dr Jacobs fosters inclusion through legal and social change. She is interested in correcting experiences of disability inequality faced by people with disabilities. Her focus lies primarily on addressing these issues within the administrative justice system. She seeks to find ways to improve the law and legal processes for people with disabilities. But, even more fundamentally she seeks to address disability inequality by re-orienting and refining concepts such as “equality” and “process” so that they are foundationally positioned to provide justice for people with disabilities, and she is sensitive to intersectional issues in doing so. As a Black disabled woman, Professor Jacobs is personally committed to this work, and uses qualitative research methods regularly to engage with members of the disability community and ensure that disabled voices are heard.
Her forthcoming book, Disability, the Right of Access and the Law: from Litigation to Citizen Participation (Routledge, 2023), examines consultation with persons with disabilities in the development of laws that affect them, with a focus on accessibility legislation, the newest, and rapidly growing, form of equality law for people with disabilities.
In June 2021, Professor Jacobs was nominated for election to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by countries that have ratified it. The Convention came into force in 2008 and Canada ratified it in 2010. CRPD Committee members serve as independent experts in a part-time and voluntary capacity (they do not receive salary but are reimbursed for expenses directly related to Committee meetings). Professor Jacobs’ nomination represents the first time that Canada has put forward a candidate for election to the CRPD Committee. You may find more information about the UN CRPD Committee here .
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Laverne Jacobs, Ruby Dhand, David Ireland, Richard Jochelson, Freya Kodar and Odelia Bay, Law and Disability in Canada: Cases and Materials (Lexis-Nexis, 2021).
Laverne Jacobs & Sasha Baglay, eds., The Nature of Inquisitorial Processes in Administrative Regimes: Global Perspectives (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013) 416pp.
Laverne A. Jacobs & Justice Anne L. Mactavish., eds., Dialogue Between Courts and Tribunals – Essays in Administrative Law and Justice (2001-2007) (Montreal: Les Éditions Thémis, 2008) 398pp. (Full-text available here)
Articles and Book Chapters
Laverne Jacobs, "The Universality of the Human Condition: Theorizing Transportation Inequality Claims by Persons with Disabilities in Canada 1976-2016" (2018) 7 Canadian Journal of Human Rights pp. 35-66.
Laverne Jacobs, "The Dynamics of Independence, Impartiality, and Bias in the Canadian Administrative State" in Administrative Law in Context, 3d edition, Colleen M. Flood & Lorne Sossin eds. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2018).
Laverne Jacobs, "‘Humanizing’ Disability Law: Citizen Participation in the Development of Accessibility Regulations in Canada" (2016) Revue Internationale des Gouvernements Ouverts, pp. 93-120.
Laverne Jacobs, "The Accessibility for Manitobans Act: Ambitions and Achievements in Antidiscrimination and Citizen Participation," (2016) Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Vol 5, No 4 , pp. 1-24 (with Britney DeCosta and Victoria Cino).
Laverne Jacobs, "From Rawls to Habermas: Toward A Theory of Grounded Impartiality in Canadian Administrative Law" (2014) 51(2) Osgoode Hall Law Journal 543-594.
Laverne Jacobs, “Evaluating Ombuds Oversight in the Canadian Access to Information Context: A Theoretical and Empirical Inquiry” in Jacobs & Baglay, eds., The Nature of Inquisitorial Processes in Administrative Regimes: Global Perspectives (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013) 295-324.
Laverne Jacobs, « Contribuţii aduse studiului instituţiei Ombudsmanului: regimuri juridice polijurale şi impactul soluţionării conflictului în contextul canadian al liberului acces la informaţiile de interes public »in Dacian-Cosmin Dragos and Bogdana Neamţu, Instituţia Ombudsmanului: justitiţie alternativă? (Editura C.H. Beck: Bucharest (Romania), 2011) 185-212. (“Building on the Ombudsman: Polyjuralism and the Impact of Dispute Resolution in the Canadian Access to Information Context” published in Romanian translation). Read a review: http://rtsa.ro/tras/index.php/tras/article/viewFile/92/88
Laverne Jacobs, “A Wavering Commitment?: Administrative Independence and Collaborative Governance in Ontario’s Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability Legislation” (2010) 28(2) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 285-307.