Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa

I graduated from the Bachelor of Humanities in 2006. With an interest in human rights for members of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, I decided to embark on a journey into law. Upon graduating from the University of Ottawa in 2009, I went on to serve as a law clerk to the Honourable Madam Justice Louise Charron at the Supreme Court of Canada and worked at a national law firm in Toronto. I completed graduate studies at Yale Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where I studied as a Trudeau Scholar and a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholar. I returned to the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor in 2016. I teach courses in public and constitutional law, along with criminal law and procedure.

My research explores the role of police, courts, and prisons in maintaining, contesting, and transforming contemporary norms of gender identity and sexuality. For example, I have written about police strip search procedures for transgender people, the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, and the meaning of “gender identity” and “gender expression” in Anglo-American legal discourse.

I am also deeply committed to making complex legal issues accessible to the public. To this end, I have published editorials in places like The Globe and Mail and have been interviewed by international, national, and local media outlets. I have also been invited to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights as an expert witness.

I often think about The College of the Humanities, and how it fundamentally shaped me as a person — not only did the B.Hum program teach me to think deeply and critically, but it also pushed me to be a disciplined writer, a thoughtful colleague, and an engaged citizen.

Perhaps most importantly, the Bachelor of Humanities encouraged me to seek out opportunities to contribute meaningfully to public dialogue, whether by pursuing a life in literature, art, science, history, medicine, or law.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity to study, learn, and engage with professors, students, and mentors in this world-class academic program.

Kyle Kirkup is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law Section).

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