Pascale Fournier is Full Professor in the Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section) at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Barreau du Québec, which awarded her the Advocatus Emeritus (Ad. E.) distinction in 2009. In 2014, the National Assembly of Quebec appointed her as Commissioner to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (CDPDJ). As the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law, Pascale is affiliated with several research centres: the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics at Saint Mary’s College (University of Saint Andrews, Scotland), the “Religion and Diversity Project” at the University of Ottawa, the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child at the University of Ottawa (IRLRC), the Centre for Research in Public Law at the Université de Montréal and the Centre for Research in Ethics at the Université de Montréal. She teaches Rights and Freedoms, Comparative Family Law and Critical Approaches to Law. She has acted as Associate Dean Research from 2010 to 2012.
Professor Fournier received her LL.B from Laval University (1997), her master’s degree from the University of Toronto (LL.M.; 2000) and her doctoral degree from Harvard Law School (S.J.D.; 2007). A Fulbright and Trudeau scholar, she also served as Law Clerk to the Honourable Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000-2001. Pascale has lectured at the State University of Haiti, at McGill University, at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, at Université de Montréal and at the Institute for Women’s Studies and Research in Iran. In 2008, she acted as an expert consultant for the United Nations Development Programme on issues of gender and Islamic law in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia and Nigeria.
Professor Fournier is passionate about issues of access to justice, particularly for women and children belonging to minority groups, and fascinated by the intersections between religious law and secular law. Her research focuses primarily on family law, criminal law, human rights and comparative constitutional law. The author of more than forty academic publications, Pascale Fournier is recognized internationally for her significant contribution to women’s rights. Her scholarship was selected by the Harvard-Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum (2008), the Québec Bar Foundation prize for “best law review article” (2009), and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Scholarly Paper Award (Honorable Mention/2010). Her book Muslim Marriage in Western Courts: Lost in Transplantation was published in 2010 by Ashgate Publishing, and a French version followed in 2013 from Presses de Sciences Po Paris. She has edited two special issues of academic journals: Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture and the Canadian Criminal Law Review.
Pascale Fournier has received several awards and distinctions: the Raymond-Blais medal (2008) and the Gloire de l’Escolle medal (2016) from Laval University, the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011), the « Fulbrighter of the Month Distinction » (November 2011), the Canada-Arab Chamber of Commerce Award for “Academic Excellence and Contribution to Humanity” (2014), the “Wall of Distinguished Graduates of CÉGEP Garneau” distinction (2016) and the Capital Educators’ Award for teaching excellence (2016) presented by the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE). In 2014, Professor Fournier was named Fellow of the International Women’s Forum and, in 2015, she was invited to join the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (Study Group: Northwest Territories).
In 2015, Pascale Fournier was named “one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada” by the Canadian Lawyer Magazine in the “Worldstage” category. In 2016, she was elected Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.