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Scott Franks

Scott Franks

Assistant Professor
DepartmentFaculty of Law
Areas of ExpertiseAboriginal Law; Indigenous legal orders and constitutionalisms; critical Indigenous legal theory; Indigenous and interdisciplinary research methodologies; criminal law and procedure; administrative law; judicial reasoning and decision-making; legal ethics and professionalism

Scott Franks is an acting assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at Ryerson University. His LLM research investigates barriers and opportunities to the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action in law schools (funded through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [SSHRC CGS-M], Viscount Bennett, York University Graduate Fellowship and Scholarship, and Law Foundation of British Columbia). 

Prior to his L.L.M., Franks clerked for the Honorable Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis at the Supreme Court of Canada and practised at Olthuis Kleer Townshend L.L.P., a national Indigenous rights law firm. He has a juris doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and is an alum of McGill University (Political Science) and Lester B. Pearson, United World College of the Pacific. Franks is Métis from northern Saskatchewan.

Franks' research is in the areas of Canadian Aboriginal law, Indigenous legal orders, constitutional law, legal professionalism and ethics, and Indigenous and interdisciplinary research methodologies. His current research considers how prejudice reduction theory in social psychology may assist educators and administrators in identifying and responding to barriers to Indigenous legal education in Canadian law schools. His planned PhD research considers the self-determination of Métis communities and the construction of Métis legal identity at the Supreme Court of Canada (SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier). He also writes in criminal law and procedure, administrative law, and in other legal areas relevant to Indigenous-settler relations.

Scott Franks, PDF file"Towards Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action in Law Schools: A Settler Harm Reduction Approach to Racial Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Legal Orders in Canadian Legal Education", external link, opens in new window (Toronto: York University, 2020) [Thesis submitted in fulfillment of LLM at Osgoode Hall Law School].

Selected Professional Contributions

“Culturally Competent Legal Services for Indigenous Clients and Communities,” accredited through the Law Society of Ontario for 1.5 hours of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Professional Ethics hours, delivered at OKT Law, Toronto, Ontario.

Selected Publications

“Barton jury instructions may raise racial prejudice”, external link (2019): Canadian Bar Association National Magazine (full journal article currently in draft).


Scott Franks, “Metis,” in Lorraine Land and Matt McPherson (eds.), Aboriginal law handbook, 5th ed (Toronto: Thomson Reuters Canada, 2018) (substantial revisions to chapter).

Scott Franks and Dr. Suzanne Gessner, A Guide to Language Policy and Planning for BC First Nations Communities (Victoria: First Peoples’ Cultural Council, 2013).

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2020

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Masters,  SSHRC, 2019

Viscount Bennet Fellowship, Canadian Bar Association, 2019

Graduate Fellowship, Law Foundation British Columbia, 2019

Roger Carter Leadership Award for Native People, University of Saskatchewan, 2013

TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership, TD Canada Trust, 2007

Northern Saskatchewan Scholarship to Lester B Pearson UWC, Cameco Corporation, 2005

Degree Institution Year
JD (Juris Doctor) Osgoode Hall Law School 2016
BA Hons. (Bachelor of Arts, Honours) McGill University 2010
IB (International Baccalaureate) Lester B. Pearson, United World College of the Pacific 2007