Basil Alexander

Assistant Professor

Law, Faculty of

Room 215

1 506 458 7837

Research interests

  • law and social change
  • cause lawyering and public interest legal issues
  • civil procedure and litigation
  • legal ethics and professionalism
  • demonstrations and the Law


Basil holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science (Honours) from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Laws (Co-op) and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Victoria, and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. During law school, he worked for the judges of the Nunavut Court of Justice and with Woodward & Company on Indigenous issues and litigation. His Master of Laws thesis and professional experience forms the foundation for his work regarding demonstrations and the law. His PhD (Queen`s University, in progress) focuses on Canadian cause lawyering (i.e. how lawyers work with and support social causes).

Before returning to academia, Basil spent several years practising at a public interest and social justice law firm in Toronto, where he participated as a team member during the Ipperwash Inquiry (for the Estate of Dudley George and George family members) and during the early stages of the Toronto G20 class action. His experience has involved all levels of Ontario’s courts, including significant litigation on behalf of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. In addition to working on Indigenous, non-profit, and other issues, he also appeared regularly for Pollution Probe before the Ontario Energy Board. He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, and brings critical and practice-informed perspectives to his research and teaching.

Basil regularly attends and presents at academic conferences. His memberships have included the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics, the Canadian Law and Society Association, the Law and Society Association, the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education, and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers.

Basil also has extensive experience serving universities and communities in assorted roles and different contexts. For example, he was repeatedly elected to governing bodies and positions connected to McMaster University and the University of Victoria. While in Toronto, he served for eight years with the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association of Food Banks, including three years as its chair.

Basil taught as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School (Native Rights; Indigenous Peoples and the Law; and Law and Social Change: A Practical Perspective/Approach) and as a lecturer at the Université de Sherbrooke (Globalization and Professional Ethics). He joined UNB Law in July 2019, and is the 2020-21 recipient of the Faculty of Law Teaching Excellence Award.

Courses taught

  • Foundations of Law
  • Legal Research and Advocacy
  • Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Selected publications

Basil S. Alexander, “Pragmatic Assorted Strategies: How Canadian Cause Lawyers Contribute to Social Change” (2019) 90 Supreme Court Law Review (2nd series) 3–30; published simultaneously in Cheryl Milne & Kent Roach, eds., Public Interest Litigation in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2019) 3–30.

Basil S. Alexander, “Exploring a More Independent Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Canada” (2018) 8:1 Western Journal of Legal Studies, Article 4.

Basil S. Alexander, “Demonstrations and the Law: Patterns of Law’s Negative Effects on the Ground and the Practical Implications” (2016) 49:3 University of British Columbia Law Review 869–930.

SSRN author page.