Concordia University

James B. Kelly, PhD

Professor, Political Science

Office: S-H 1225-41 
Henry F. Hall Building,
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2112

Teaching Activities

POLI 204   Introduction to Canadian Politics

POLI 313   The Politics of Northern Ireland

POLI 324   Parliament and the Charter

POLI 407   Parliamentary Bills of Rights

POLI 428   Constitutional Politics in Canada

POLI 611   Judicial Politics and Policy Making

Selected Publications

Books and Guest Editorships

James B. Kelly, Guest Editor. Publius: The Journal of Federalism (2017). Virtual Issue: Federalism and Supreme Courts.

Janet L. Hiebert and James B. Kelly, Parliamentary Bills of Rights: The Experiences of New Zealand and United Kingdom.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

James B. Kelly and Christopher P. Manfredi, eds., Contested Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.

Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay, James B. Kelly, Michael Lipson, and Jean-Francois Mayer, Understanding Human Rights: Origins, Concepts, and Critiques.  Toronto: Nelson Canada, 2008.

James B. Kelly, Governing with the Charter: Legislative and Judicial Politics and Framers' Intent.  Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005. 


James B. Kelly and Kate Puddister, "Criminal Justice Policy During the Harper Era: Private Members' Bills, Penal Populism, and the Criminal Code of Canada," Canadian Journal of Law and Society 32:3 (2017), 391-415.

James B. Kelly, "Editor's Note - Introduction to the Publius Virtual Issue: Federalism and Supreme Courts," Publius: The Journal of Federalism (2017), 1-11.

James B. Kelly and Matthew Hennigar, “The Canadian Charter of Rights and the Minister of Justice: Weak-form review within a Constitutional Charter of Rights,” International Journal of Constitutional Law 10:1 (2012), 36-68.

James B. Kelly, “Judicial and Political Rights Review as Limited Insurance: The Functioning of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990,” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 49:3 (2011), 295-317.

James B. Kelly, “A Difficult Dialogue: Statements of Compatibility and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act,” Australian Journal of Political Science 46:2 (2011), 257-278.

James B. Kelly and Michael Murphy, “Shaping the Constitutional Dialogue on Federalism: The Canadian Supreme Court as Meta-Political Actor,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 35:2 (2005), 217-243.

James B. Kelly, “Reconciling Rights and Federalism during Review ofthe Charter of Rights and Freedoms: The Supreme Court of Canada and the Centralization Thesis, 1982-1999,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 34:3 (2001), 321-55. 

Christopher P.  Manfredi and James B. Kelly, “Six Degrees of Dialogue: A Response to Hogg and Bushell,” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 37:3 (1999), 513-527.


Janet L. Hiebert and James B. Kelly, "Intra-parliamentary dialogue in New Zealand and the United Kingdom: a little less conversation, a little more action please,' in Rosalind Dixon, Geoff Sigalet, and Gregoire Webber, eds., Constitutional Dialogue: Democracy, Rights, and Institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 235-266.

James B. Kelly, "The Charter of the French Language and the Supreme Court of Canada: assessing whether constitutional design can influence policy outcomes," in Emmett Macfarlane, ed. Courts and the Constitution: Policy Impact. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018, pp. 250-268.

James B. Kelly, "The Charter of Rights, the Supreme Court of Canada, and Public Policy," in Jonathan Craft and Amanda Clarke, eds., Issues in Canadian Governance.  Toronto: Emond Publishing, 2018, pp. 91-108.

Kate Puddister and James B. Kelly, "With or Without You: Quebec, the Conservative movement, and the Pursuit of Majority Government,"in J. P. Lewis and Joanna Everett, ends., The Blueprint: Conservative parties and their impact on Canadian Politics.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017, pp. 150-171

Kate Puddister and James B. Kelly, “The Judicialization of (past) Politics under Danny Williams: The Cameron Inquiry and the Green Commission,” in First Amongst Unequals: The Premier, Politics, and Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Alex Martland and Matthew Kerty, eds., Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014, pp. 114-129.

James B. Kelly, «Les limites de la mobilisation judiciaire: Alliance Québec, la Charte de la langue française et la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés» Le nouvel ordre constitutionnel canadien: du rapriement de 1982 à nos jours, sur la direction François Rocher et Benoît Pelletier.  Montreal:  Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2013, pp. 205-233.

Conference Participation

Public Lectures


James B. Kelly, "Confronting the Court: the Charter of the French Language and the Charter of Quebec Values," School of Law, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, November 13, 2013.

James B. Kelly, "Strong and weak-form judicial review: the complexity of Canada's constitutional Charter of Rights," Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, School of Law, The University of Melbourne, February 27, 2008.

James B. Kelly, "Legislative Activism in Canada and New Zealand," Crown Law Office, Wellington, New Zealand, July 25, 2006.

James B. Kelly, Legislative Activism and the Canadian Charter of Rights: lessons for the Australian Capital Territory's Human Rights Act 2004," Parliamentary Counsel Office, Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Australia, June 14, 2005.

James B. Kelly, "Rights Scrutiny in Parliamentary Democracies," Ministry of Justice, Wellington, New Zealand, May 21, 2004.


James B. Kelly, "The Parliamentary Reporting Duty of the Minister of Justice: time to rethink section 4.1.1 of the DOJ Act," Thirty Years On: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Parliament of Canada, April 27, 2012.

James B. Kelly, "Governing with the Charter of Rights: Improving Parliamentary Scrutiny of Legislation," Privy Council Office, Government of Canada, Ottawa, February 18, 2004.

James B. Kelly, "Who Makes the Laws? The Struggle for Legislative Supremacy in Canada," The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Breakfast on the Hill Series, Parliament of Canada, October 2, 2003.

Government Reports and Media

Government Reports and Submissions

James B. Kelly, The Senate of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Expert Evidence. The Special Senate Committee on Modernization. Parliament of Canada, May 10, 2017.

James B. Kelly and Lorne Sossin, The Federal Government in Court: Litigation Drivers in the Canadian and International Context.  Ottawa: Department of Justice, 2005.

James B. Kelly and Janet L. Hiebert, Submission to the Human Rights Consultative Committee on Adopting a Bill of Rights.  Department of Justice, Government of Victoria, Melbourne Australia, 2005.


Election Issues 2015: A Maclean's premier on coalitions. Maclean's (August 2, 2015).

Whistleblower prompts call for more debate on whether bills violate Charter. Globe and Mail (January 17, 2013).

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