Jennifer Chandler

Jennifer Chandler
Jennifer Chandler
Full Professor
Vice-Dean, Research

BSc (University of Western Ontario)
LLB (Queen's University)
LLM (Harvard)

57 Louis Pasteur St., Room BRS 329
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3286
Office: 613-562-5124


Jennifer A. Chandler studies the legal and ethical aspects of biomedical science and technology, with a focus on (1) the intersection of the brain sciences, law and ethics, and (2) legal policy related to organ donation and transplantation. She holds the University of Ottawa’s Bertram Loeb Research Chair, and teaches mental health law and neuroethics, tort law, and medico-legal issues. She leads the “Neuroethics Law and Society” Research Pillar for the Brain Mind Research Institute and sits on its Scientific Advisory Council. She co-leads the Mental Health and Brain Research Theme for the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.

In her research, she collaborates with a diverse international group of academics and clinicians and she led the recent publication of the first international comparative study of the laws of “psychosurgery” with the contributions of leading functional neurosurgeons from Europe, Asia and the Americas. She coordinates a new tri-national project – Hybrid Minds – bringing together researchers from Switzerland, Germany and Canada to examine the implications of embedding artificial intelligence within neuroprosthetics. For the past several years, she has run a discussion group called “Mind-Brain-Law,” which sent online during the pandemic and includes nearly 100 members from North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.

She is active in Canadian neuroscience research funding policy, and currently sits as a member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (a division of the Canadian national health science research funding body).

Jennifer Chandler regularly contributes to Canadian governmental policy on contentious matters of biomedicine. She is a member of the Government’s independent panel advising on safeguards related to medical assistance in dying in the context of mental illness in 2022, and was a member of the 2018 government-commissioned National Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying. She is currently co-chairing the law and ethics working group of a CBS-sponsored clinical guideline development process looking at the definition of brain death and criteria for the determination of brain death, and she also chairs the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Society for Transplantation.

She is an Associate Editor for the journal Neuroethics, and currently serves on international editorial boards in the field, including Clinical Neuroethics (part of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics), the Springer Book Series Advances in Neuroethics, and the Palgrave-MacMillan Book Series Law, Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Her ethico-legal and qualitative empirical research at the cutting edge of advances in biomedical science and technology has been funded by CIHR, SSHRC, Canadian Blood Services, the Stem Cell Network, Genome Canada, Law Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian National Transplant Research Program.

She holds degrees in Law from Harvard University and Queen’s University, and a degree in Biology from the University of Western Ontario. She a Full Professor in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, with cross-appointment to the Faculty of Medicine.

Personal website

Courses Taught

Mental Health Law and Neuroethics

Tort Law

MInd, Brain, Law - Interdisciplinary discussion group

Professor Chandler holds a reading group for students interested in ethico-legal questions raised by emerging research in cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetics, as well as issues in mental health law. The group meets approximately for about 1.5-2 hours every 2 weeks to discuss journal articles selected by the group. Members need not have a scientific background.  Summaries of some of our discussions are at  

Interested students should contact Professor Chandler at [email protected].

Graduate Students

Professor Chandler welcomes communication from excellent students seeking to pursue graduate studies in law in the following areas:

  • Mind, Brain and Law (neuroscience and the law, neuroethics, mental health law (civil, criminal and human rights aspects)
  • Organ donation and transplantation, regenerative medicine (legal and ethical aspects)