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Marie-Eve Sylvestre

Dean and Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

Marie-Eve Sylvestre is Dean and Full Professor at the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section. Dean Sylvestre teaches criminal law, punishment theory and legal theory from a critical and multidisciplinary perspective. She was Visiting Professor at Paris X-Nanterre in 2010 and the Director of Graduate Studies in Law from 2010 to 2012. She holds an LL.B. from the Université de Montréal (1999: Gold Medallist), as well as a LL.M (2002) and a S.J.D. (2007) from Harvard Law School where she was a Frank Knox Memorial Foundation and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) fellow. In 2000-2001, she served as a law clerk to Justice Charles D. Gonthier at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Her research focuses on the punitive regulation of poverty and social conflicts related to the occupation of public spaces in Canada (including conflicts related to homelessness, sex work, drug and alcohol use and political protests), as well as alternatives to criminalization including in the Indigenous context. She has published extensively in international and Canadian journals in law, criminology and geography. Her book Red Zones: Criminal Law and the Territorial Governance of Marginalized People, written with co-authors Nicholas Blomley and Céline Bellot was published at Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Dean Sylvestre is a founding member and administrator of the Observatory on Profiling and the Ottawa Hub for Harm Reduction. From 2016 to 2019, she acted as the Justice Expert for the Public Commission of Inquiry into the relationships between Indigenous People and Certain Public Services in Quebec: listening, reconciliation, progress. She is an elected member of the Global Young Academy (2018-2023) and of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (2018-2025). In 2011, she also received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled “Rethinking Criminal Responsibility for Poor Offenders, published in the McGill Law Journal as well as the Quebec Bar Foundation Award for best legal manuscript for an article on the penalization of homelessness in Canada published in the Canadian Journal Law and Society. In 2012, she was the first law professor to be granted the Young Researcher of the Year Award, for the arts, humanities and social sciences, at the University of Ottawa.

Marie-Eve Sylvestre is also a member of the Quebec Bar and a collaborator at the International Center for Comparative Criminology (ICCC).


Member of the College of New Scholars and Creators of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Global Young Academy