University of Victoria introduces world’s first Indigenous law degree
A new program introduced in September 2018 at the University of Victoria offers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous law studies, the first such joint degree available anywhere in the world.
The four-year program, known as JD/JID, enables students to graduate with two professional degrees: one in Canadian Common Law (Juris Doctor or “JD”), and one in Indigenous Legal Orders (Juris Indigenarum Doctor, or “JID”). Whereas common law refers to casebooks for guidance, Indigenous law looks to nature and to the land for principles of law and order, and ways of creating peace between peoples.
Students will gain much experience outside the classroom. The program includes mandatory field studies in Indigenous communities across Canada, introducing students to diverse Indigenous legal traditions. In addition, a new Indigenous Legal Lodge will act as a national forum for critical engagement, debate, learning, public education and partnership on Indigenous legal traditions and their use, refinement and reconstruction.
- World’s first Indigenous Law degree to be offered at UVic, backgrounder, 2018