Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search


Constance Backhouse

Constance Backhouse is a professor of law, distinguished university professor, and university research chair at the University of Ottawa. She obtained her B.A. from the University of Manitoba (1972), her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall (1975), and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School (1979). She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978. She teaches feminist law, criminal law, human rights, and labour law. She is the author of many award-winning legal history books, including Petticoats & Prejudice: Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada (1991), Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canadian Law, 1900–1950 (1999) and The Heiress vs. the Establishment: Mrs. Campbell's Campaign for Legal Justice (2004). She received the Law Society Medal in 1998 and an Honorary Doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2002. She has served as an elected bencher of the Law Society from 2002. She became a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004.

Books by Constance Backhouse

Reckoning with Racism

Police, Judges, and the RDS Case

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Royally Wronged

The Royal Society of Canada and Indigenous Peoples

edited by Constance Backhouse, Cynthia E. Milton, Margaret Kovach & Adele Perry

Deux grandes dames: Bertha Wilson et Claire L’Heureux-Dubé à la Cour suprême du Canada

Les deux premières femmes à la Cour suprême du Canada

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Two Firsts

Bertha Wilson and Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Claire L’Heureux-Dubé

A Life

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Petticoats and Prejudice - Women's Press Classics

Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada

by (author) Constance Backhouse

14 Arguments in Favour of Human Rights Institutions

contributions by Shelagh Day, Ken Norman, Gwen Brodsky, Pearl Eliadis, Genevieve Leslie, Michelle Flaherty, Maxwell Yalden, Constance Backhouse, Rachel Cox, Richard Moon, Shaheen Azmi, Paul Eid, Lorne Foster, Lesley Jacobs, Jennifer Carter & Jennifer A. Orange
edited by Lucie Lamarche

The Heiress vs the Establishment

Mrs. Campbell's Campaign for Legal Justice

by (author) Constance Backhouse & Nancy L. Backhouse

People and Place

Historical Influences on Legal Culture

edited by Jonathan Swainger & Constance Backhouse

De la couleur des lois

Une histoire juridique du racisme au Canada entre 1900 et 1950

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Carnal Crimes

Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900-1975

by (author) Constance Backhouse

The Promise and Perils of Law

Lawyers in Canadian History

edited by Constance Backhouse & W. Wesley Pue

The Laskin Legacy

Essays in Commemoration of Chief Justice Bora Laskin

edited by Neil Finkelstein & Constance Backhouse


A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900-1950

by (author) Constance Backhouse

Challenging Times

The Women's Movement in Canada and the United States

by (author) Constance Backhouse & David H. Flaherty

Petticoats and Prejudice

Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada

by (author) Constance Backhouse