Robert Leckey

Study program:
Dean, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Robert Leckey teaches constitutional law and family law. His ongoing research includes the regulation of adult conjugality, relations between parents and children, and the relationship between public and private regulation of intimacy.

Being a Trudeau scholar dramatically enriched my doctoral experience and shaped me as a young researcher and teacher. Lawyers typically work with other lawyers, but through the Foundation I have been exposed to people in political philosophy, geography, political science, and many other disciplines. It has not only changed me as a person but also influenced the research through those encounters. Association with the Foundation allows you to participate in scholarly and public debate as a full-time academic sooner than you otherwise would, and sets a high standard for scholarship and contributions to public discourse. While the Foundation’s financial contributions to my path were extraordinarily generous and enabled me to concentrate my full energies on my research, it is the broadening of my understanding of scholarship and the possibilities of civic engagement that strike me as ultimately most significant.


Robert Leckey is a full professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Faculty of Law; he became director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law in August 2014. He teaches constitutional law and family law.

From 2002 to 2003, he served as law clerk for Justice Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada. From 2003 to 2006, he undertook doctoral studies in law at the University of Toronto as a Trudeau scholar. His dissertation, which received the Alan Marks Medal for best graduate thesis in 2006, was published as Contextual Subjects: Family, State, and Relational Theory, by University of Toronto Press in 2008. In 2005-2006, he worked as a visiting scholar at the Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal (CRÉUM). He joined the Faculty of Law in July 2006 and was named a William Dawson Scholar by McGill University in 2011. During his sabbatical leave in 2012-2013, he was a special visitor at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

He has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 2003 and serves on the editorial boards for Les Ateliers de l’éthique, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and the Review of Constitutional Studies. From 2008-2011, he chaired the McGill Equity Subcommittee on Queer People. In 2010-2011, he served as director of research for the Inquiry Commission on the Process for Appointing Judges (the Bastarache Commission). From 2011 to 2015, he was the president of Egale Canada. From 2011 to 2016, he chaired its Legal Issues Committee.

Robert Leckey has received the Prix de la Fondation du Barreau du Québec (2007), the Canadian Association of Law Teachers' Scholarly Paper Prize (2009), the McGill Law Students’ Association’s John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award (2009), the Canada Prize of the International Academy of Comparative Law (2010), and the Principal's Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2010).

In 2014, he was selected for membership in the Global Young Academy.