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, 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 and 2018. This award recognizes the outstanding achievement and contributions to students in the classroom by exceptional teachers. She also received the Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014-15 from the Faculty of Law.

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 2017, she was recognized as a University of Calgary Peak Scholar, which celebrates achievements in entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge engagement resulting in a positive social or economic impact in our communities.


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. In 2016, Jennifer was awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant ($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), as well as LLM student Elysa Darling. Research on phase 1 mapped domestic violence laws and policies across Canada and will be disseminated in a website funded by a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario Access to Justice Fund.


Research Areas

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

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Jennifer Koshan, "Specialised Domestic Violence Courts in Canada and the United States: Key Factors in Prioritising Safety for Women and Children," forthcoming, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, volume 40(40). Available on SSRN.
  • Jennifer Koshan and Jonnette Watson Hamilton, Alberta v Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony (2018) 30(2) Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 292, [2018] 1 WCR 299. Available on SSRN.
  • Jennifer Koshan, R v JA (2018) 30(2) Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 323, [2018] 1 WCR 329. Available on SSRN.
  • 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).
  • 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.

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Professional Service

Jennifer regularly sits on LEAF case subcommittees. She is a member of the Equality Effect's volunteer legal team and a founding member of the Women's Court of Canada. She also sits on the boards of the Alberta Law Reform Institute and Public Interest Law Clinic. In 2004 Jennifer was awarded TUCFA's Community Service Award for her contributions to the equality seeking community. In 2015, she received a University of Calgary ARCH Award for Alumni Achievement for her work with Equality Effect's 160 Girls project. In 2016, Jennifer received a Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Award, in the Leadership in the Profession (Broader Roles) category, recognizing female members of the Alberta legal profession. 

Photograph of Jennifer Koshan
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