Micah B. Rankin

Associate Professor

BA (Simon Fraser), Dp Int (Sciences Po, Paris), JD (UVic), LLM (Toronto)

Professor Rankin is one the founding members of TRU law. He obtained his first law degree at the University of Victoria where he received numerous prizes for academic excellence.  He went on to clerk with the British Columbia Court of Appeal (2006 – 2007). He articled with Mr. Joe Arvay, QC, one of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers; and thereafter practiced civil litigation for several years at Hunter Litigation Chambers, a leading civil litigation boutique in Vancouver.  Professor Rankin left practice in 2010 to pursue an LLM at the University of Toronto.

Professor Rankin teaches in the areas of constitutional law, evidence and criminal law. His past research has focused on judicial independence, access to justice, the law of evidence and empirical trends in criminal sentencing. More recently, Professor Rankin has begun to conduct research in the area of regulatory law, heuristics in judicial decision-making, and legal ethics. He has published peer reviewed articles in numerous journals including: the UBC Law Review, the Queens Law Review, the Oxford University Common Wealth Law Journal, the Global Journal of Comparative Law, Legal Ethics, and the International Journal of Evidence & Proof. He is also a co-author of British Columbia Annual Criminal Practice.

In addition to his academic work, Professor Rankin regularly assists as counsel in public interest cases and on criminal appeals. As a lawyer, he has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, in the Federal courts (tax, trial and appeal), and on several occasions, in the Supreme Court of Canada. He has acted as counsel for organizations such as the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

Professor Rankin teaches criminal law in the first year curriculum, and evidence and civil liberties in the upper year curriculum.

  1. British Columbia Annual Criminal Practice, 2014 (Canada Law Book, 2013) (with R. Hira, Q.C., Hon. W. B. Ehrcke, Hon. C. Baird Ellan)
  2. British Columbia Annual Criminal Practice, 2015 (Canada Law Book, 2014) (with R. Hira, Q.C., The Hon. Judge Therese Alexander, Mary Ainslie, QC)
  3. British Columbia Annual Criminal Practice, 2016 (Canada Law Book, 2015) (with R. Hira, Q.C., The Hon. Judge Therese Alexander, Mary Ainslie, QC)
Book Chapters
  1. “Gerry Laarakker: From Rustic Rambo to Rebel with a Cause” in Adam Dodek & Alice Woolley eds. Canadian Legal Ethics Stories, UBC Press [Accepted Forthcoming 2015]
  2. “Extending the Limits or Narrowing the Scope: Interpreting the OAU Refugee Definition 30 Years On” republished in James C. Hathaway et al. ed. Human Rights and Refugee Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013)
Articles and Comments
  1. “The Constitutionality of Using Court Orders to Supervise, Manage and Control the Mentally Disordered” [Submitted for peer review]
  2. R v St-Cloud: Searching for a Silver Lining” (2015) Criminal Reports [Forthcoming 2015]
  3. R v. Spencer: Anonymity, the Rule of Law and the Shriveling of the Biographical Core” McGill Law Journal (with Chris Hunt) [Forthcoming 2015]
  4. “The Admissibility of International Legal Opinion Evidence after R v. Appulonappa” (2015) 93 Canadian Bar Review [Forthcoming 2015]
  5. R. v. Hart: A New Common Law Confession Rule for Undercover Operations” (2015) 16:1 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal (with Chris Hunt)
  6. “The Origins, Evolution and Puzzling Irrelevance of Jury Recommendations in Second Degree Murder Sentencing” (2015) 40(2) Queens LJ 531
  7. "Justice as Rounding Error: Evidence of Sub-Rational Decision-Making Processes in Murder Parole Ineligibility in Canada” (2014) 52:1 Osgoode Hall L.J. (with Craig Jones)
  8. R v Anderson: Prosecutorial Discretion and the Expanding Immunity of Crown Counsel” (2014) 11 Criminal Reports (7th), pp. 30-42
  9. “The Trials, Tribulations and Troubling Revelations of Government Lawyers: Correspondent’s Report from Canada” (2014) 17 Legal Ethics 303
  10. “The Slow and Rocky Road to Reforming the British Columbia Offence Act” (2014) 47:2 UBC Law Review 785
  11. “Hearsay by implication: R v Baldree” (2014) 18 The International Journal of Evidence & Proof 181-187 (with Chris Hunt)
  12. “Mapping Judicial Independence: Toward a Comparative Taxonomy” (2013) 1 Global Journal of Comparative Law
  13. R v. Buzizi: A More Generous Air of Reality Test for the Subjective Dimension of the Provocation Defence” (2013) 2 Criminal Reports (7th) 261 
  14. “Party Liability for Conspiracy After R v JF” (2013) 99 Criminal Reports (6th) 24
  15. “Party Liability for Continuing Offences:  A Comment on R v Vu” (2013) Criminal Law Quarterly 188 
  16. “Access to Justice and the Institutional Limits of Independent Courts” (2012) 30  Windsor YB Access Just 101 
  17. “The Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: Toward a New Era of Canadian Indian Economic Relations, Canadian International Lawyer (2011) Volume 8, no. 3 (with Rana Sarkar)
  18. “Extending the Limits or Narrowing the Scope: Interpreting the OAU Refugee Definition 30 Years On” (2005) 21 South African Journal on Human Rights 406
Book Reviews
  1. Book Review: Ethics and Criminal Law (2nd Edition) (Irwin Law Inc. 2015) by David Layton & Michel Proulx, Criminal Law Quarterly [Forthcoming 2015]
  2. Book Review of Allan Hutchinson’s The Companies We Keep: Corporate Governance in a Democratic Society (2007) 40 UBC Law Review

Professor Rankin’s current research focuses on criminal and constitutional law, with a special emphasis on judicial independence and access to justice. Professor Rankin is also involved in a number of empirical research projects focussed on sentencing in cases involving second degree murder and on the impact of the presence or absence of legal counsel on criminal proceedings.

  1. “The Continued Relevance of the Presumption of a Resulting Trust”, Guest Lecture in Property Law (Instructor: Catherine Sykes), October 27, 2014
  2. “The Court’s Role in Regulating Lawyers in Criminal Proceedings” Canadian Association of Legal Ethics Annual Conference, London, Ontario, October 25, 2014
  3. “The Conduct of a Criminal Appeal” Guest Lecture in Advanced Criminal Law (Instructor: Robert Diab), October 15, 2014
  4. “Civility and the Practice of Law:  Past and Future Ethical Dilemmas” CPD credited Presentation to Kamloops Bar Association (April 25, 2014)
  5. Bloody Shirts and Smoking Guns: What, if Any, Duties Does Defence Counsel Have to Disclose Evidence Relevant to a Criminal Offence? CPD credited Presentation to the BC Canadian Bar Association, Criminal Law Subsection, Kamloops, British Columbia
  6. “International Crimes and Refugee Law: New Intersections” Presentation for Canadian Centre for International Justice at the University of British Columbia on Human Smuggling after R v. Appulonappa
  7. “The Conduct of a Criminal Appeal” Guest Lecture in Advanced Criminal Law (Instructor: Robert Diab), October 13, 2013
  8. “Waving Goodbye to Access to Justice” Opening Remarks to Thompson Rivers University Inaugural Students in Law Conference
  9. The Pro Bono Ethic: Law School and Beyond, presented to the Aurora Rotary Club, Kamloops British Columbia (2012)
  10. The Pro Bono Ethic: A Debate that We are Not Having But Should Be, 5th International Legal Ethics Conference, Banff, British Columbia
  11. "Withdrawal of Counsel: Defence Counsel's Duties Following R v. Cunningham" - A Presentation to Kamloops Criminal Lawyer's Work Study Group (January 13, 2012)
  12. “Access to Justice and Impartiality” - Presentation to the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General, Constitutional Law (June 2011)
  13. “The Constitutional Dimensions of Public Property” – Presentation to Law Faculty at Thompson Rivers University, Faculty of Law (February 2011)
 Curriculum Vitae

2010 - 2011 Assistant Special Prosecutor - British Columbia Prosecution Service

Assisting Special Prosecutor Peter J. Wilson, Q.C. with charge approval for offences under Elections Act against, among others, the former Solicitor-General. Duties include: reviewing evidence, assisting in drafting charge approval, meeting with members of investigation team, and conducting legal research as directed.

2007 - 2010 Associate - Hunter Litigation Chambers

British Columbia’s premier litigation boutique. Duties include: advising clients in all areas of civil and criminal litigation, appearances as counsel

2006 – 2007 Judicial Law Clerk - Court of Appeal for British Columbia

British Columbia’s highest appellate court from which appeals lie to the Supreme Court. Duties included: assisting Mme. Justice Catherine Ryan with research, drafting bench memoranda, and editing judgements.

2006 Articled Student - Mr. J. Arvay, Q.C. (Arvay Finlay Barristers)

This leading litigation boutique specializes in constitutional and public interest law. Duties included: preparing legal memoranda, drafting pleadings, attending court, and preparing legal arguments.

2005 - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) – Summer Article Student

A leading national law firm with over 700 lawyers. Duties included: drafting, legal research and writing, and assisting

2004 - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – Intern

UNHCR Cairo, Egypt, is a regional office for the Middle East and North Africa. Duties included: researching the legal, political and social situation of refugees in Africa, drafting policy recommendations, and assisting in resettlement programs.

2003 - Center for Canadian-American Studies - Research Coordinator

The CCAS is a National Resource Center for the study of Canada in the United States. Duties included: promoting Canada-US relations through educational programs, creating design and content a website, organizing conferences.

  1. R. v. Sunshine, 2014 BCCA 318: sentence appeal against a length parole ineligibility period imposed on the appellant following his conviction for 2nd degree murder.
  2. R. v. Wesley, 2014 BCCA 321: sentence appeal for sentence for serious sexual assaults to which the appellant pleaded guilty.
  3. R. v. Mann, 2014 BCCA 231: appeal against a conviction for kidnapping based on violations of the accused’s rights under s. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  4. R. v. Appulonappa, 2014 BCCA 163: counsel for respondent in appeal against trial decision which found that the human smuggling offence violated s. 7 of the Charter.
  5. United States of America v. Lopez-Turatiz, 2014 BCCA 39: lead counsel on appeal against committal and judicial review an order surrendering the appellant/applicant for extradition to the United States to face charged for murder.
  6. Wilson v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2014 BCCA 20: acting as respondent against an appeal from a judicial review of an administrative driving prohibition.
  7. R. v. P.E.L., 2013 BCCA 542:  lead counsel for appellant in a successful conviction appeal from historical convictions for sexual assault.
  8. Ontario v. Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Ontario, 2013 SCC 43: lead counsel for the intervener, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, on leading decision on appointment of amicus curiae.
  9. R v. Bird, 2013 BCCA 315: lead counsel on successful appeal from conviction for second degree murder.
  10. R. v. Doan, 2013 BCCA 123 (CanLII): co-counsel on complex kidnapping conviction appeal.
  11. R. v. J.F., 2013 SCC 12: co-counsel for the intervener, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, in the Supreme Court’s leading decision on party liability for conspiracy.
  12. Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, 2013 SCC 11: co-counsel for the intervener, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
  13. R. v. Wilson, 2012 BCCA 517: appeal from conviction for trafficking in narcotics based upon violates of the appellant’s Charter rights to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention.
  14. R. v. Evans, 2012 BCCA 209: complex appeal from a conviction for second degree murder based upon violations of the appellant’s right to counsel.
  15. R. v. Bennight, 2012 BCCA 461: sentence appeal against imposition of 18 year parole ineligibility period after conviction for second degree murder.
  16. R. v. Bennight, 2012 BCCA 190: appeal from a conviction for second degree murder based upon violations of the appellant’s right to counsel.
  17. R. v. Ford, 2010 BCCA 105: acting as co-counsel on appeal concerning the forfeiture of real property pursuant the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
  18. Smith v. Smith Estate, 2010 BCCA 106: acting for respondent in appeal from petition for the interpretation of Last Will and Testament.
  19. Bishop v. Minichiello, 2009 BCCA 555: acting on behalf of plaintiff in application for leave to appeal from document disclosure order.
  20. Besner v. Canada, 2009 FCA 311: appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal against decision of the Tax Court of Canada from notices of reassessment.
  21. R. v. Ford, 2009 BCCA 420: acting as co-counsel in application for leave to raise new constitutional issues on appeal.
  22. Lee v. Ng, 2009 BCCA 91: acting as counsel to appellant in appeal from summary trial related to defamation and relevant defense.
  23. R. v. Pirouz, 2009 BCCA 51: acting as co-counsel to offender in Federal Crown appeal to set aside conditional sentence order for trafficking of opium.
  24. R. v. Menard, 2008 BCCA 522: acting as co-counsel for offender in sentence appeal from conviction for aggravated assault and armed robbery.
  25. R. v. Menard, 2008 BCCA 521: acting as co-counsel for applicant in judicial review of whether the bail court had jurisdiction to grant Charter remedies.
  26. Gardiner v. 857 Beatty Street Project, 2008 BCCA 82: acting as junior counsel on appeal from judicial review of Residential Tenancy Act.
Micah Rankin

OM 4619

  • Charter Civil Liberties
    (LAWF 3770)
  • Crime: Law and Procedure
    (LAWF 3080)
  • Evidence
    (LAWF 3920)