Ruby Dhand, B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D, is an Associate Professor of Law on the faculty at Thompson Rivers University in Canada. She has worked as a human rights attorney, specializing in disability law and mental health law, and been on the litigation team for major cases at the Supreme Court of Canada and Federal Court of Canada. As a researcher she has authored a number of articles in professional publications. Her major areas of research are mental health law (civil and forensic), human rights law, health law and policy, and the impact of race, culture, ethnicity and other intersectional factors upon the law, among other areas.
From Dr. Dhand's Thompson River University (TRU) Faculty of Law bio:
Dr. Dhand has an MA from Carleton University (NPSIA), an LLB from the University of Ottawa, an LLM from the University of Toronto and a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2008. Dr. Dhand joined the Faculty of Law in 2012. She was awarded the TRU Law Teaching Excellence Prize by the Student Law Society in 2019 and the Recognition of Excellence Award by the TRU Board of Governors in 2020.
Dr. Dhand has been awarded a number of Tri-Agency research grants including the SSHRC Insight Development Grant, the CIHR Fellowship in Health Law and Policy, the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, along with multiple Law Foundation of BC Grants. Her major areas of research are mental health law (civil and forensic), human rights law, health law and policy, disability law, access to justice, the impact of race, culture, ethnicity and other intersectional factors upon the law, clinical legal education and science and law. Dr. Dhand has published extensively in refereed journals including the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law, the Manitoba Law Journal (Criminal Law Edition) and the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. She is a co-author for three editions of the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada: Mental Health (LexisNexis, Canada) and a co-author of the book “Law & Disability in Canada: Cases & Materials” (LexisNexis Canada, forthcoming, 2021). Dr. Dhand is currently the Principal Investigator for a SSHRC-funded qualitative legal research project examining mental health courts and specialized courts in Canada and access to justice for people diagnosed with mental health and substance use issues. Her research has been used for law reform initiatives to increase access to justice across Canada.
Dr. Dhand has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada as part of test-case litigation teams. She advocates for systemic change on behalf of people with disabilities, people diagnosed with mental health and substance use issues, people experiencing sexual violence and those from other equity-seeking communities experiencing discrimination. Dr. Dhand recently appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada as part of a legal team on behalf of the Empowerment Council, presenting a Charter challenge in mental health law in Ontario (AG) v G. Prior to joining the Faculty, Dr. Dhand worked at ARCH Disability Law Centre in disability rights law and firms specializing in mental health law and human rights law. She also taught at Osgoode Hall Law School as an Instructor with the LRW Program.
Dr. Dhand led the development and establishment of the TRU Community Legal Clinic, the faculty’s first clinical law program. Dr. Dhand teaches in the areas of Human Rights Law, Health Law, Mental Health Law & Policy in Canada and Community Lawyering.