Jennifer Raso, SJD (University of Toronto), LLB (University of Victoria), BA (Concordia)

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law

Pronouns: she/her


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law


Area of Study / Keywords

Artificial Intelligence; Socio-Legal Studies; Front-Line Decision-Makers; Administrative Law; Human Rights


Dr. Jennifer Raso is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law ( investigating the relationship between discretion, data-driven technologies, and administrative law. She is particularly intrigued by how humans/non-humans collaborate and diverge as they produce institutional decisions, and the consequences of this hybrid arrangement for procedural fairness and substantive justice. Dr. Raso is presently exploring these issues as the PI on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant project, "Shifting Front Lines in the Digital Welfare State: Coding Canadian Social Assitance Laws." This work builds on Dr. Raso’s doctoral research, which included a qualitative socio-legal study of how municipal caseworkers locate and use discretion to deliver the notoriously rule-bound Ontario Works program. An award-winning interdisciplinary scholar, her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the Endeavour Fellowships Program (Australia), and recognized by the Canadian Law and Society Association (best article prize, 2018) and the University of Cambridge (Richard Hart Prize, 2016).

Recent publications appear in the University of Toronto Law Journal, the Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Dr. Raso's work has been cited in the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty's 2019 Report on Digital Technology, Social Protection and Human Rights, and she is an advisory board member on the Law Commission of Ontario's AI and Administrative Decision-Making project. Before pursuing graduate studies, Dr. Raso litigated social welfare, administrative, and human rights matters with the City of Toronto's Legal Services Division.

  • Other
  • Socio-legal Studies & Research Methods
  • Municipal Law
  • Legal Theory

Select Publications

  • "Implementing Digitisation in an Administrative Justice Context," in The Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice, eds Joe Tomlinson, Robert Thomas, Marc Hertogh, Richard Kirkham (Oxford University Press, 2021).
  • "Data" (coauthor: Nofar Sheffi) in The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society, eds Mariana Valverde, Eve Darian-Smith, Kamari Clarke, Prabha Kotiswaran (Routledge, forthcoming 2021).
  • “Much Ado About Quite A Bit: Administrative Agencies,” in Administrative Law in Context, 4th ed, eds Colleen Flood & Paul Daly (Emond, forthcoming 2021).
  • "Artificial Intelligence and Administrative Law” in Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada, eds Teresa Scassa & Florian Martin-Bariteau (LexisNexis Canada, forthcoming 2020).
  • “Unity in the Eye of the Beholder? Reasons for Decision in Theory and Practice,” (2020) University of Toronto Law Journal 70(1): 1-39.
  • "The In-Between Space of Administrative Justice: Reconciling Norms at the Front-Lines of Social Assistance Agencies,” in The Frontiers of Public Law, eds Jason Varuhas, Shona Wilson Stark (Hart Publishing, 2020) 471-98.
  • "Them's the Brakes: Enforcing Speed Limits in the ‘Smart City’ of Edmonton, Alberta,” in Smart Cities in Canada, eds Mariana Valverde & Alexandra Flynn (Lorimer, 2020).
  • “Governing Infrastructure in the Age of the ‘Art of the Deal’: Logics of Governance and Scales of Visibility,” (co-authors: Mariana Valverde, Fleur Johns) (2018) PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 41(S1): 118-32.
  • “Displacement as Regulation: New Regulatory Technologies and Front-Line Decision-Making in Ontario Works,” (2017) Canadian Journal of Law & Society 32(1): 75-95.
  • “Tranchemontagne and the Administration of Rights: Lessons from the Game of Jurisdiction,” (2017) Journal of Law & Equality 13: 31-59.
  • “Accessible Information and Democratic Dissent: Who Counts?” (2016) Journal of Law & Equality 12: 10-34.
  • “From Enforcement to Integration: Infusing Administrative Decision-Making with Human Rights Values,” (2015) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 32: 71-102.


Courses Taught

  • Law 599 - Law and Technology: From Pencils to Platforms
  • Law 599 - Law and Computer Science
  • Law 450 - Administrative Law
  • Law 435 - Constitutional Law


LAW 450 - Administrative Law

Designed to provide an understanding of the legal constraints courts have placed on the behavior of administrative tribunals and government departments. Topics to be discussed: What is Administrative Law? How the courts supervise the acts and decisions of administrative bodies. Pitfalls to be avoided by administrative officers: errors of fact and law; excesses of discretion; breach of natural justice. How administrative acts and decisions may be attacked by an aggrieved citizen: remedies. Appeal and review, time limits, locus standi, choice of remedy, procedure. How to avoid attacks by aggrieved citizens. The practical outcome; strength of review. Recent trends in Administrative Law in Canada.

Fall Term 2021 Winter Term 2022
LAW 507 - Canadian Human Rights Law

This course focuses on the practice of human rights law in Canada. The importance of anti- discrimination legislation will be discussed, as will the development, interpretation, and enforcement of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the provincial legislative schemes. Reference will also be made to the international context and to the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Students will also learn the practical aspects of litigating a human rights case in Canada.

Winter Term 2022
LAW 599 - Seminars on Specialized Legal Topics

These seminars will cover specialized topics of emerging importance in the law at a senior level. The particular topic covered would vary dependent on the availability of Faculty with necessary teaching competence, student interest, and the needs of the legal profession. Sections may be offered at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations sections of the Calendar.

Fall Term 2021

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