Laverne Jacobs joined Windsor’s Faculty of Law in 2007. She is a recognized administrative law scholar who teaches in the area of public law. Her research interests include the independence and impartiality of administrative actors; human rights law; disability rights; access to information and privacy; comparative administrative law; and qualitative empirical research methodology. Her work has been cited by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a member of the Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group and a co-editor of its e-Journal.
Dr. Jacobs’ scholarship aims to bridge the gap between public law jurisprudence and public law realities through empirical inquiry. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research, using qualitative empirical research methods from the social sciences. She is particularly interested in ethnography and legal anthropology, and in the intersection of law, norms and informal order.
Dr. Jacobs’ qualitative research on administrative justice has explored meanings of the concept of tribunal independence within Canadian access to information and privacy commissions, and has examined, through qualitative data analysis, the effectiveness of ombudsperson oversight for regulating freedom of information. In 2014, she was named the inaugural Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and, while holding this Chair, conducted the first stage of a multi-year research study on disability rights and administrative law regulation.
In addition to being a Fulbright scholar, Professor Jacobs has been the recipient of a number of research awards including a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and a Young Academics’ Scholarship from Cambridge University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University Law School and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. She received University of Windsor Faculty Recognition Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Research in 2010 and 2014.
Dr. Jacobs supervises graduate students in the areas of administrative law; law, disability and social change; access to information, government transparency, government accountability and public law.