Government and Public Administration Stream

Faculty Advisor: Professor Wade Wright

The curricular stream in Government and Public Administration (“GPA”) focuses on the nature and scope of government power. While most courses in the JD curriculum focus on judicial reasoning and the creation of law by judges, the courses in the GPA stream deal primarily with the exercise of state power through statutes and administrative action. Core courses in this stream (including Administrative Law, Municipal Law, Aboriginal Law and others) explain and explore the authority of Canada’s various orders of government, while others (such as our advanced constitutional offerings) explore the limits that have been placed upon state authority. Other topics featured in the GPA stream include the judicial review of executive action, the courts’ response to legislative attempts to alter the common law, and the many functions of specific statutory tribunals.

Western Faculty who teach and research in the GPA field have produced research, published books, and delivered lectures that have influenced the development of public law in Canada and abroad. Over the last several years Western Law’s GPA program has managed to attract some of the world’s top scholars to deliver public lectures and seminars. In recent years, these have included Jeremy Waldron (New York University/Oxford), Lawrence Solum (Georgetown), Jeffrey Goldsworthy (Monash), and Aileen Kavanagh (Oxford University).


Core Courses
(prerequisites to Capstone)

  • Administrative Law
  • Aboriginal Law
  • Statutory Interpretation
  • + 1 Applied Administrative Law

Highly Recommended 

  • Labour Law
  • Canadian Human Rights
  • Environmental Law

* Electives:

  • Constitutional Theory
  • Advanced Public Law (ST)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (Federalism)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (Charter)
  • Wilson Moot

* Electives:
Applied Administrative Law

  • Advanced Legal Ethics and Professionalism
  • Canadian Competition Law and Policy (IC)
  • Canadian Human Rights Law
  • Comparative Copyright Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Healthcare Law and Policy
  • Immigration and Refugee Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Environmental Law
  • Labour Arbitration Law and Procedure
  • Labour Law
  • Laskin Moot
  • Law and Sport
  • Media Law
  • Mining Law and Sustainability
  • Municipal Law
  • Natural Resources and Energy Law
  • Planning Law
  • Securities Regulation
  • Theory and Practice of Sport Law (ST)

* NOTE: not all courses are offered every year

Relevant Co-Curricular Activities