Photo of Vincent Kazmierski

Vincent Kazmierski

Associate Professor

Degrees:B.A., M.A. (McGill), LL.B. (Dalhousie), S.J.D. (Toronto), of the Bar of Ontario
Office:D599 LA (Loeb Building)

Profile and Current Research

I bring experience in a variety of legal settings to my teaching and research. During law school, I worked as an intern at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and as a student at the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic.  While at Dal Legal Aid, I worked as part of the team that represented the claimant in R. v. S. (R.D.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 484.  After law school, I served as a law clerk to Justice Beverley McLachlin (as she then was) at the Supreme Court of Canada. Between 1999 and 2001, I worked as an associate lawyer at a national law firm where I practiced civil and commercial litigation.  I also worked on administrative law and constitutional law cases, including Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General, 2001 SCC 94.  I left legal practice to begin my graduate studies in law in 2001.  I have been teaching in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University since 2005.

I research and write in three different areas of law and legal studies. First, I study the operation of unwritten constitutional principles in Canadian constitutional law and the role of law in promoting democratic accountability. In particular, I explore the roles that unwritten constitutional principles may play in reinforcing and protecting fundamental elements of the democratic process. I also study the effectiveness of access to government information legislation in promoting the accountability of public officials. Second, I research the role of law in promoting the inclusion (or exclusion) of disabled persons within society. Finally, I write about different approaches to teaching within undergraduate, interdisciplinary legal studies programs.


Since joining Carleton, I have focused on teaching and developing courses at the undergraduate level.  I draw on my practical experience in various legal settings to help my students understand the fundamentals of the legal system and to critically assess the ways in which different actors function within the legal system as they interpret, apply and ultimately create binding rules that affect our lives and relationships. In class, I try to engage my students with a combination of humour and real-life examples in order to make difficult concepts more accessible.

I was awarded the Faculty of Public Affairs Teaching Excellence Award in 2010, the Carleton University Teaching Achievement Award in 2012, and the Provost’s Fellowship in Teaching in 2014.

In 2022-23, I will be teaching LAWS 1001 – Introduction to Legal Studies 1  and LAWS 4503 – Law, Disability and Society in both the Fall and Winter terms.

Recent Publications

Visit my author page at SSRN for abstracts and electronic copies of articles:

Vincent Kazmierski, Brettel Dawson and Zeina Bou-Zeid, “Teaching and Learning Methods for Legal Studies Inquiry: An Instructional Design Case Study” (2021) Canadian Legal Education Annual Review 23

Vincent Kazmierski and Darren Pacione, “From Law to Legal Studies and Beyond: 50 Years of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University” (2019) 41:2 Dalhousie Law Journal 379-409

Barry Wright, Vincent Kazmierski, Betina Appel Kuzmarov and Rebecca Bromwich, Looking at Law: Canada’s Legal System, 7th ed (Toronto: LexisNexis, forthcoming)

Steve Tasson, Rebecca Bromwich, Jane Dickson, Vincent Kazmierski, Betina Kuzmarov, Sebastien Malette, and Umut Oszu eds, Introduction to Legal Studies: Processes and Power (Volume 2) (Toronto: Captus Press, 2019).

Steve Tasson, Rebecca Bromwich, Jane Dickson, Vincent Kazmierski, Betina Kuzmarov, Sebastien Malette, and Umut Oszu eds, Introduction to Legal Studies: Foundations and Rights Protection (Volume 1) (Toronto: Captus Press, 2019).

Vincent Kazmierski, “Taking One Step Forward, Preventing Two Steps Back:  Applying Criminal Lawyers’ Association to Invalidate Extreme Legislative Restrictions on Access to Government Information” (2018) 38:2 National Journal of Constitutional Law 209-246

Vincent Kazmierski, “Accessing with Dinosaurs: Protecting Access to Government Information in the Cretaceous Period of Canadian Democracy” (2016) 25:3  Constitutional Forum 57-66

Vincent Kazmierski, “From Moore to More: How the Social Model of Disability May be Applied to Build More Inclusive and Accessible Education Systems” (2016)  5:1 Education Review 35-41.

Lisa Wright, Dawn Moore, and Vincent Kazmierski, “Policing Carceral Boundaries: Access to Information and Research with Prisoners” (2015) 42 Social Justice Journal 113

Steve Tasson, Jane Dickson, Vincent Kazmierski, Betina Kuzmarov and Sebastien Malette, eds, Introduction to Legal Studies, 5th ed (Toronto: Captus Press, 2015).

Alan Davoust, Babak Esfandiari, Vincent Kazmierski and Alexander Craig, “P2Pedia: a P2P Wiki for Decentralized Collaboration” (2014) Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience ISSN1532-0634, DOI: 10.1002/cpe_3420

Vincent Kazmierski, “How Much Law in Legal Studies? Approaches to Teaching “Legal” Research and Doctrinal Analysis in a Legal Studies Program” (2014) 29:3 Canadian Journal of Law and Society 297-310

Vincent Kazmierski, “Lights, Judges, Access: How Active Judicial Review of Discretionary Decisions Protects Access to Government Information” (2013) 51:1 Alberta Law Review 49-76.

Vincent Kazmierski, “Accessing Democracy: The Critical Relationship Between Academics and the Access to Information Act” (2011) 26:3 Canadian Journal of Law & Society 613-622.

Vincent Kazmierski, “Draconian But Not Despotic: The ‘Unwritten Limits of Parliamentary Sovereignty in Canada” (2010) 41 Ottawa Law Review 245-287.

Vincent Kazmierski et al, eds, Introduction to Legal Studies, 4th ed  (Toronto: Captus Press, 2010).

Patrick Fitzgerald, Barry Wright and Vincent Kazmierski, Looking at Law: Canada’s Legal System (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2010).

Vincent Kazmierski “Something to Talk About: Is There a Charter Right to Access Government Information?”  (2009) 31 Dalhousie Law Journal 351-399.

Podcasts and Videos

To see a video I produced about my brother Greg, who has Down Syndrome, and his impact on his community, go to:

To see a podcast of my presentation at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law (Nov. 19, 2012), entitled “Judging Democracy: Will the Supreme Court of Canada Protect Our Right to Access Government and Its Information?” go to:

To see a podcast of Chief Justice McLachlin’s Chet Mitchell Lecture on “The Relationship Between the Courts and the Media” and the Q&A session that followed (Jan 31, 2011) go to: