University of Calgary

Jennifer Koshan

  • Professor

Bar admissions

Member of the Alberta Bar


Before joining the Faculty in 2000, Jennifer practiced for several years in the Northwest Territories as Crown counsel, and worked as the Legal Director of the B.C. branch of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), a non-profit equality rights organization. Jennifer served as Graduate Program Director from 2006-2011, and as Associate Dean (Research) from 2007-2011, and as ABlawg Coordinator from 2007 to 2011 and 2013 to present.

In April of 2010 Jennifer received a Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award, and she received an Honourable Mention in 2015. This award recognizes the outstanding achievement and contributions to students in the classroom by exceptional teachers. In 2015, Jennifer was awarded a University of Calgary ARCH Award Award for Alumni Achievement for her work with Equality Effect's 160 Girls project.

On a national level, Jennifer was awarded the 2013 Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) Prize for Academic Excellence. This award honours exceptional contributions to research and law teaching by a Canadian law teacher in mid-career. In 2016, Jennifer was awarded a Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Award, in the Leadership in the Profession (Broader Roles) category. The WILL Awards are presented annually to female members of the Alberta legal profession.


Law 547: Human Rights Law
Law 596: Feminist Legal Theory

Research/Scholarly Activities

Jennifer's research interests are in the areas of constitutional law, equality and human rights, state responses to violence, feminist legal theory, and public interest advocacy. She spent the fall 2015 term at Kent University’s Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality and the University of Edinburgh Law School, working on a book project on marital rape. She is also working on a textbook in human rights law, to be published with co-authors Michael Lynk and Melanie Randall from Western University Law School by Irwin Law.

In 2016, Jennifer was awarded an SSHRC Insight Grant (more than $175,000 over three years), and is the lead on a team of five researchers who are studying access to justice in domestic violence cases at the intersection of multiple legal systems. Co-investigators are Wendy Chan (Sociology, Simon Fraser University), Michaela Keet and Wanda Wiegers (Law, University of Saskatchewan) and Janet Mosher (Osgoode Hall Law School). Research commenced on phase 1 in the summer of 2016, which is mapping domestic violence laws and policies across Canada. Jennifer worked with third-year law student Irene Oh on this mapping research, and Irene will continue to work on the project in the fall to undertake case law research on domestic violnece and access to justice.


Research Areas

  • Constitutional Law
  • Equality and Human Rights
  • State Responses to Violence
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Public Interest Advocacy

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Jonnette Watson Hamilton and Jennifer Koshan, "The Role of Choice in Women's Freedom of Religion Claims in Canada" (2017) 36(2) Religious Studies and Theology 171-185. Available on ProQuest.
  • Melanie Randall, Jennifer Koshan and Patricia Nyaundi, eds, The Right to Say No: Marital Rape and Law Reform in Canada, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2017) (with two chapters by Jennifer Koshan available at SSRN and SSRN).
  • Jennifer Koshan, “Marriage and Advance Consent to Sex: A Feminist Judgment in R v JA” (2016) 6(6) Onati Socio-Legal Series, Special issue on Radically Rethinking Marriage. Available on SSRN.
  • Jonnette Watson Hamilton and Jennifer Koshan, “Kahkewistahaw First Nation v. Taypotat: An Arbitrary Approach To Discrimination" (2016) 76 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 219. Available on SSRN; see also SSRN.
  • Jennifer Koshan et al, "Farming the Constitution: The Illegality of Excluding Alberta Farmworkers from Labour and Employment Legislation" in S McDonald and B Barnetson (eds), Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism (Edmonton, U of A Press, 2016).
  • Jennifer Koshan, “Inequality and Identity at Work” (2015) 38:2 Dalhousie Law Journal 473. Abstract available on SSRN.
  • Jonnette Watson Hamilton and Jennifer Koshan, "Adverse Impact: The Supreme Court's Approach to Adverse Effects Discrimination Under Section 15 of the Charter" (2014), 19:2 Review of Constitutional Studies 191-235. Abstract available on SSRN.
  • Jennifer Koshan, "Under the Influence: Discrimination Under Human Rights Legislation and Section 15 of the Charter" (2014) 3(1) Can J Human Rights 115-142. Available at Canadian Journal of Human Rights.
  • Jennifer Koshan, "Investigating Integrated Domestic Violence Courts: Lessons from New York" (2014) 51:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 989-1036. Abstract available on SSRN.
  • Leslie Tutty and Jennifer Koshan, "Calgary's Specialized Domestic Violence Court: An Evaluation of a Unique Model" (2013) 50 Alberta Law Review 731-755, available here.

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Professional Service

In 2004 Jennifer was awarded TUCFA's Community Service Award for her contributions to the equality seeking community. Jennifer regularly sits on LEAF case subcommittees. She is a member of the Equality Effect's 160 Girls volunteer legal team and a founding member of the Women's Court of Canada.

Photograph of Jennifer Koshan
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