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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).