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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

This is a profile picture of Dr. Les Jacobs, Professor and Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Les Jacobs


Vice-President, Research and Innovation

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC) - Room 2062
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 3267

Research topics

  • Data science applications in comparative public policy and law in Canada, USA, China, and other countries on the Asia Pacific Rim
  • Equal Opportunity and Human Rights
  • Racial Profiling and Race-data Collection
  • Social-legal research methods
  • Courts and social policy
  • Intersections between international human rights law and international economic law
  • Global health and human rights
  • Theoretical work on social justice


  • MA, Political Science Western University in London, Ontario
  • PhD, Politics Oxford University in Oxford, U.K.

Research and expertise

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Tier 1 York Research Chair in Human Rights and Access to Justice
  • Senior Visiting Fellow in Law, European University Institute, Florence (2018)
  • Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair in Canada-United States Relations, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington (2016)
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of Transnational Law, Waseda University Law School, Tokyo (2010)
  • Visitng Research Fellow, Institute of Human Rights, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta (2010)
  • Liberal Arts Fellow, Harvard Law School, Cambridge (1997-98)
  • Wolfson Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, Oxford (1994)
  • Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley (1993)


  • Books

    Lesley A. Jacobs, Yoshitaka Wada, and Ilan Vertinsky. Global Health Security in China, Japan and India: Assessing Sustainable Development Goals (University of British Columbia Press, January 20, 2023).

    The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law (co-edited with Trevor Farrow, the University of British Columbia Press, 2020).

    Racial Profiling and Human Rights in Canada: the new legal landscape (Irwin Law Books, 2018).

    Grey Zones of International Economic Law and Global Governance (University of British Columbia Press, 2018).

    Privacy Rights in the Global Digital Economy: Legal Problems and Canadian Paths to Justice (Irwin Law Books, 2014).

    Linking Global Trade and Human Rights: New Policy Space in Hard Economic Times (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

    Balancing Competing Human Rights in a Diverse Society (Irwin Law Books, 2012).

    Pursuing Equal Opportunities: The Theory and Practice of Egalitarian Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2004; ebook in 2012; new Chinese translation in 2018).

    The Democratic Vision of Politics (Simon & Schuster, 1997; Chinese translation in 1999).

    Rights and Deprivation (Oxford University Press, 1993, ebook edition 2012).

    Out of Apathy (Verso Books, 1989).