Dr. Jennifer Chandler

Dr. Jennifer Chandler
Dr. Jennifer Chandler
Cross-Appointed Member, Professor

BSc, University of Western Ontario
LL.B., Queen's University
LL.M., Harvard University

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


Jennifer A. Chandler researches and writes about the legal and ethical aspects of biomedical science and technology, with focuses on mental health law and policy, neuroethics, organ donation and regenerative medicine.  She has published widely in legal, bioethical and health sciences journals and is the co-editor of the recent book Law and Mind:  Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada (2016)

She is internationally recognized for her research and writing in the law and ethics of the brain sciences.  She is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Neuroethics Society, and 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.  She is also a member of the international advisory boards for the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière (ICM) Neuroethics Network (Paris), and the Société française de psychologie juridique (Paris).

She contributes to work on legal policy and the administration of justice in Canada as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, and is active in public policy in organ donation and transplantation as a member of the ethics committees of the Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Network and Canadian Society of Transplantation.

She holds the Bertram Loeb Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, leading several research teams addressing trust in the organ and tissue donation system, family decision-making at end of life, and the law and ethics of ante-mortem interventions intended to support organ donation.  She is also a co-lead of the Research Core on Ethics, Law and Society for the Canadian National Transplant Research Program.

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.

At the University of Ottawa, Professor Chandler teaches courses in Mental Health Law and Neuroethics, Medical-Legal Issues, and Tort Law, and holds an interdisciplinary reading group called “Mind Brain Law” on ethico-legal questions raised by emerging research in the brain sciences, behavioural genetics, and mental health law.  She is a member of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, where she co-leads the interdisciplinary working group on Power, Vulnerability and Health.

She holds degrees in Law from Harvard University and Queen’s University, and a degree in Biology from the University of Western Ontario.  She joined the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law in 2002, after serving as clerk to the Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada. 

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 www.jenniferchandler.ca.  

Interested students should contact Professor Chandler.

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)