Jack Woodward

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Jack Woodward QC (born October 3, 1951) is a Canadian lawyer. He specialises in Canadian Aboriginal law and is the author of Native Law,[1] which is considered the leading Canadian publication on Aboriginal Law.[2]

Woodward has practiced law since 1979, primarily in the areas of Aboriginal law and environmental law. He has represented more than a hundred First Nations groups and organisations in a wide variety of legal actions including the landmark case, Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, the first successful Aboriginal title claim in Canada.[3][4]

In 1980 he ran as a political candidate for the New Democratic Party in the Canadian Federal Election for the riding of North Vancouver—Burnaby.

Woodward wrote the first draft of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which provides constitutional protection to the indigenous and treaty rights of indigenous peoples in Canada. Ian Waddell, in his book Take the Torch: A Political Memoir, states that Woodward drafted the clause in January 1981, during negotiations in Ottawa with Minister of Justice Jean Chrétien.[5]

In 1988 he established the legal firm, Woodward and Company. He was also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Victoria for sixteen years, where he was instrumental in creating the University's first course in Aboriginal law.

In December 2011 Woodward was instated as a Queen's Counsel[6] for the Canadian province of British Columbia.


  1. ^ Woodward, Jack (1989). Native Law. Toronto: Carswell. ISBN 0459332716. OCLC 23941862.
  2. ^ "Thomson Reuters Canada". Thomson Reuters.
  3. ^ Lavoie, Judith (May 20, 2018). "B.C. First Nation launches first ever case to extend Aboriginal title to ocean". Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Hunter, Troy (January 30, 2017). "Opinion: The land question should be a matter of concern". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Waddell, Ian (2018). Take the Torch: A Political Memoir. Gibsons, BC, Canada: Nightwood Editions. pp. 126, 127. ISBN 978-0-88971-347-5.
  6. ^ "Queen's Counsel Appointments - 2011". The Canadian Bar Association. Dec 22, 2011.