Elizabeth Sanderson

Elizabeth Sanderson
Elizabeth Sanderson
Sessional Professor and Public Service Mentor in Residence

FTX 393
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 7914


Upon her departure from Justice Canada in September, 2014, Elizabeth Sanderson was Nunavut's Deputy Minister of Justice until January, 2016.  She currently the Public Service Mentor in residence at the University of Ottawa Common Law School and teaches Public and Constitutional Law.

From February, 2010 to September, 2014, Elizabeth Sanderson was on assignment as Justice Canada’s Public Servant-in-Residence at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, where she developed and taught courses focussed on the role of the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice and government lawyers, and the practice of law within government.  She also taught Torts and Legal Ethics and Professionalism and was a Faculty Advisor to the Ottawa Law Review

Prior to her University of Ottawa assignment, Elizabeth was Justice Canada’s Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio.   During her tenure, her substantive focus was support for the resolution of claims and healing of former students of the “Indian” residential schools and to contribute to reconciliation more broadly.

From 1996 to 2002, Elizabeth established and headed the Public Law Policy Section with responsibility for the Minister of Justice's non-criminal law policy mandate, including reform of the Canadian Human Rights Act, access to information and privacy, international private law, judicial affairs, and more generally, civil policy matters. 

Elizabeth was Justice Canada’s Legal Coordinator during the 1990-1993 Charlottetown Constitutional Reform process.  

She has also held a variety of positions in the Department, beginning in 1979 as an articling student after graduating from the University of Ottawa Law School.

From 1993-94, she was the Executive Director, Task Force on Service to the Client and managed an inclusive process to find ways to improve service in a context of fiscal restraint.  The resulting report laid the foundation for the 1995-96 Department of Justice reorganization and shift to a service orientation. 

From 1987 to1990 she was legal counsel in the Human Rights Law Section of the Public Law Branch, and prior to that, worked in several Legal Services units, including then HRSDC, External Affairs and Secretary of State Departments.

From 1999 to 2005, Elizabeth was Justice Canada’s Employment Equity Champion and led the development of the Department’s Employment Equity organizational strategy.  In 2002, she was awarded a Queen's Jubilee Medal for her work on diversity and employment equity.

Elizabeth was born and raised in B.C.’s Similkameen Valley.  She attended UBC, McGill University, Carleton University and University of Ottawa and since 1981, has been a member of the Law Society Upper Canada.  

She is the proud mother of three sons and thrilled grandmother of several adorable grandchildren.

September, 2018