Since 2001 he was Senior General Counsel, Aboriginal Law with the Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio with the Department of Justice, Canada. He joined the Department of Justice in 1989 where he provided legal advice on constitutional reform but primarily worked in aboriginal rights law. He was General Counsel, Litigation Coordinator and General Counsel, Specific Claims with a two-year secondment to the Privy Council Office as General Counsel, Legislation and House Planning.
The vast bulk of his career has been devoted to law and policy relating to the relationship between the Crown and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. He has been involved in all major Supreme Court of Canada cases dealing with the development of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 starting with the Sparrow decision in 1990. He has been counsel in several appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada, in cases involving aboriginal rights law, the division of powers and equality law.
He holds degrees in Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Oxford (which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar).
He has received a law degree from the University of Victoria, a Masters of Law degree in Constitutional Law from York University’s Osgoode Hall and a doctoral degree from the University of Ottawa.
His 2015 doctoral dissertation is entitled “The Political Theory of Reconciliation in the Section 35 Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada”.
He is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.