Law, Politics, and Society

Law, Politics, and Society explores the relationship between law, political life, and society—it examines how the law is made and changed, how it influences citizens, and how it interacts with societal forces.

The Law, Politics, and Society (LAPS) Program is a systematic but flexible interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between law, political life, and Canadian society. It examines the nature of law and its influence on Canadians and their polity and explores how law is made and changed, and what forces shape it.

Students learn about the institutional character of law making and enforcement and also the social factors that shape and are shaped by law.

Given the growing centrality of law in Canadian society, attention is increasingly being paid to the nature and composition of the bar and bench, and the politics of judicial appointment increasingly make the front page.

Law, Politics, and Society is an interdisciplinary program, but is also a fine complement to studies in Human Rights, Political Science, Criminology, or Sociology.

  • You want to learn about the way law works in advanced democracies
  • You want to explore the influence of law on Canadian society
  • You want to learn more about the types of law in Canada, the judicial system, or the legal profession

It is important not simply to know that Canada is a law-based polity; it is important also to know who makes and interprets that law and to know how the law affects citizens. In this program, you will learn about how law is made and changed, how it interacts with social forces like ethnicity, gender, and economic inequality, and how social and political change leaves its marks on laws and legal processes.

You will learn about the philosophical and institutional foundation of law and courts and become familiar with the factors that influence judicial outcomes—why judges decide cases the way they do. You will also develop a familiarity with how personal conditions and characteristics may bring someone into contact with the law.

The program draws on a number of disciplines including Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, and Human Rights. It will prepare you for a variety of careers, including those in social-justice related fields. You may work in journalism, social work, judicial administration, law enforcement and border security, corrections, the law, public interest advocacy, and other parts of the public service.