Christine Boyle Portrait

Christine Boyle

LL.B. Queens University Belfast 1971; LL.M. Queens University Kingston

  • 1822 East Mall, Peter A. Allard School of Law

    V6T 1Z1 Vancouver


Personal profile


Professor Boyle taught law in a number of universities before joining the University of British Columbia - Queen's University, Belfast, the University of the West Indies, the University of Windsor, and Dalhousie University.


Formerly a member of the Bar of Nova Scotia, she is a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland (1973) and retired from the Law Society of British Columbia in 2021, and formerly associated with the firm of Smart, Harris & Martland in Vancouver. She has been active in the field of test case equality litigation, most recently with respect to the issue of sex equality in criminal defences and the abolition of prostitution. She was also active in the field of continuing education for judges and administrative decision-makers.


Professor Boyle has, at various times, taught Evidence, Race, Racism and the Law, Feminist Perspectives on Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Contracts, Family Law, Judicial Remedies, Torts, and Legal Process.  Her research interests have been most recently in the fields of equality, criminal law, and evidence. Formerly the Walter S. Owen Professor of Law at UBC, she was awarded the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award for Academic Excellence, 1995, the Killam Teaching Award at the Allard School of Law, UBC, in1997, and the Allard School of Law Alumni Association Award for Research, 2006.


In recognition of her many contributions as an academic and lawyer, Christine Boyle was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2011.


Representative Published Works

  • Sexual Assault , Carswells, 1984.
  • “Teaching Law As If Women Really Mattered" (1986), 2 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 96 (R) (reprinted in part in several other publications and based on paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers, 1986).
  • "A Feminist Approach to Criminal Defences", in Richard Devlin, ed. Canadian Perspectives on Legal Theory, Emond Montgomery, 1991.
  • Co-author of A Feminist Review of Criminal Law, Status of Women Canada , 1986 (with Marie-Andree Bertrand, Celine Lamontagne and Rebecca Shamai).
  • "Equality, Fairness and Relevance: Disclosure of Therapists' Records in Sexual Assault Trials" in Marilyn T. MacCrimmon and Monique Ouellette, eds., Filtering and Analysing Evidence in an Age of Diversity, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 1993 (with Marilyn MacCrimmon).
  • Co-author of The Law of Homicide, Carswells, 1994, (with Isabel Grant and Dorothy Chunn), with 1995, 1996 and 1999 updates.
  • "Sexual Assault in Abusive Relationships: Common Sense About Sexual History" (1996), 19 Dalhousie Law Journal 223.
  • "What Makes "Model" Sexual Offenses? A Canadian Perspective" (2000), 4 Buffalo Criminal Law Review 487.
  • "To Serve the Cause of Justice: Disciplining Fact Determination" (R) (2002) XX (Anniversary Issue) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 55 - 85, (with Marilyn MacCrimmon).
  • “A Principled Approach to Relevance: The Cheshire Cat in Canada, in Paul Roberts and Mike Redmayne, eds., Innovations in Evidence and Proof: Integrating Theory, Research and Teaching, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2007.
  • “Reasonable Doubt in Credibility Contests: Sexual Assault and Sexual Equality” (2009), 13 International Journal of Evidence and Proof 269-292 (R).

Additional Information

Degrees and professional qualifications

  • LL.B., Queen's University, Belfast, 1971.
  • LL.M., Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, 1972 (Thesis: "Confidentiality in Medicine and Corrections").
  • Barrister-at-Law, of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland, 1973 (Bernard J. Fox Memorial Prize).
  • Call to the Nova Scotia Bar, 1984(-1991).
  • Call to the British Columbia Bar, 1995 - 2021.

Work history

  • Legal Writing teaching assistant, Queen's University, Kingston, 1971-72.
  • Lecturer in Law, Queen's University, Belfast, 1972-73.
    Subjects: Contracts, Juristic Technique. Attached to the Office of the Parliamentary Draftsmen during this time.
  • Lecturer in Law, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, 1973-75.
    Subjects: Torts, Family Law, Law in Society.
  • Assistant Professor, University of Windsor, Ontario, 1975-77.
    Subjects: Legislation, Contracts, Family Law.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Queen's University, Belfast, 1978-79.
    Subjects: Administration of Criminal Justice, Legal Process, Law and Children.
  • Associate Professor, University of Windsor, 1977-81 (awarded tenure 1978-79).
    Subjects: Family Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure.
  • Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University, 1981-1992.
    Subjects: Criminal Justice: the Individual and the State, Contracts, Family Law, Legal Process, Judicial Remedies, Charterwatch.
  • Visiting Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, May-August, 1989.
    Subject: Criminal Law.
  • Walter S. Owen Visiting Professor, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, 1990-92.
  • Professor of Law, University of British Columbia, 1992 - 2012.
    Subjects: Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Feminist Perspectives on Law, Race, Racism and Law, Evidence.


  • Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence