Janet Epp Buckingham, LLD

Professor of Political Studies; Retired

Janet Epp Buckingham is a professor at Trinity Western University and the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre, an Ottawa-based, live-in, extension program focusing on leadership in public policy, business and communications. She has been the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre since 2006. Janet researches and publishes on religious freedom in Canada and internationally. She is also interested in the relationship faith, public policy and the legal system.

Janet has lived and studied in England, France and South Africa. Before teaching at Trinity Western, Janet was the Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship (1991-94) and worked with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada as general legal counsel (1999-2003) and director, law and public policy (2003-2006).

Janet currently resides in Ottawa, Canada with her husband Don. They have two children.

  • LLD (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • BA History (Western Ontario)


Religious Freedom, Human Rights, Church/State Relations

Awards & Honors

  • Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (December 2012)
  • SSHRC ASU grant (2007)
  • Rotary Scholarship (1997)

Recent Publications

  • “Down a Long and Dimly Lit Path: Are We There Yet with Standards of Review and Religious Freedom?” (2021), 2 Journal of Commonwealth Law 151-194.
  • “Where are the Goalposts Now? Christian Theology on Sexuality from a Changing World,” (2020), 44:3 Evangelical Review of Theology 218-227.
  • “Just Check the Box: Why Religious Institutions Still Make Canada a Better Place to Live and Flourish,” in The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law, Barry Bussey (ed.), (New York: Anthem Press, 2020), ch. 8.
  • “The Role of the Secular State vis-à-vis Religion,” in Canadian Pluralism and the Charter, edited by Derek Ross, (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2019), 187-217.
  • "Trinity Western University's law school: reconciling rights," in Research Handbook on Law and Religion, Rex Ahdar (ed.), (Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2018), 420-441.
  • “Competing Rights under the Canadian Charter: Are Some Issues More Equal than Others?,” in Religion, Liberty and the Jurisdictional Limits of Law, Iain T. Benson and Barry W. Bussey (eds.) (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2017), 261-286. Published simultaneously in (2017) 79 S.C.L.R. (2d) 261-286.
  • “Religious Education and Identity” in Religious Freedom and Communities, Dwight Newman (ed.), (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2016), 197-208. Published simultaneously in (2016), 75 S.C.L.R. (2d) 197-208.
  • “The Balancing Act: Courts and Constitutional Protection for Human Rights,” in Judicatura y Constitución: Memoria del Congreso Internacional, (D.R. Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación: 2015), 277-286.
  • “Constitutional interpreters: High priests or priesthood?” in Memory and Meaning: Lourens du Plessis and the haunting of justice, edited by Jacques de Ville, Lexis Nexis, 2015, pp. 101-122.
  • Fighting over God: A Legal and Political History of Religious Freedom in Canada, (McGill-Queen’s University Press: Montreal, 2014).

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Canadian Law and Society Association
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Religion
  • Canadian Study of Parliament Group
  • Canadian Political Science Association
  • Christian Legal Fellowship
  • International Institute for Religious Freedom - Academic Advisor
  • Law Society of Ontario (member in good standing since 1991)
  • Law and Religion Scholars Network
  • Religion in Canada Institute

  • POLS/HIST/SOCI 391 Canadian Governmental Leadership
  • POLS/SOCI 392 Ethics and Public Affairs
  • POLS/IDIS 393 Law, Public Policy and Cultural Change