Professor Margot Young’s research focuses most generally on equality rights and theory. In particular, her research engages with questions around social justice and economic equality for marginalized groups.

Areas of specialization include:

  1. Constitutional Equality Rights, as captured (or not) by various rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  2. Comparative Social Welfare Law, including social assistance programmes, housing strategies and funding, and anti-poverty policy;
  3. Social Citizenship;
  4. International Human Rights, focusing on sites and methods for dealing with issues around women’s inequality and poverty; and
  5. Equity in Institutions.

Professor Young has given over 100 presentations in various countries: including, Canada, England, United States, Vietnam, Italy, Ireland, France, Switzerland, and Spain. She has presented over a dozen times to various commissions and government committees, including House of Commons Standing Committees and the municipal Council. She has authored or co-authored over 60 articles and reports and published one book (Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship and Legal Activism, UBC Press 2007). Publications include a number of reports authored in conjunction with community non-governmental organizations, several of which were submitted to United Nations human rights committees.

She is on the editorial board of several academic legal journals. Professor Young has organized a number of academic conferences, conducted workshops on social rights accountability for NGOS, participated in community round tables, and served widely as commentator for print, radio, and television media. She has served on the boards of directors or board committees of a number of local and national professional organizations, including the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Chair), Justice for Girls, National Association of Women and the Law, Court Challenges Programme, and Women’s Legal Education and Action Committee.

She is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office. Professor Young has also presented in a number of judicial education courses, most recently as a member of the core team of faculty for sessions on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms organized by the National Judicial Institute. She has also worked on legal argument and briefs for the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of the leading equality law cases.

Professor Young has been involved in three Community University Research Alliances, funded by SSHRC. Two of these projects have focused on issues around social rights accountability and enforcement and involve scholars and community researchers from across Canada. Professor Young participated (one CURA project is ongoing) in these projects as a Co-investigator. The third project was specific to British Columbia and looked at questions of economic justice in the province. Professor Young was a collaborator on this project.

Professor Young has also worked on a CIDA funded project on legislative drafting in Hanoi, Vietnam. Research has also been funded by a number of other granting agencies: including the Law Foundation of British Columbia, UBC Hampton fund, Foundation for Legal Research, and Status of Women Canada. Funded research has looked at such things as equality law and theory, legal philosophy, pay equity law, human rights, and international rights for women.

Professor Young brings to this project both legal and sociological expertise in practical struggles for economic justice in Canada. As a constitutional law scholar, she has experience in equality litigation. She has studied and written on strategic use of rights and public engagement around equality issues using the law. A considerable amount of her scholarly work is done in conjunction with community researchers and activists. She has knowledge of the community of non-governmental organizations in Vancouver and is well situated to bring community groups into the proposed project as active participants.