Cristie Ford


Research Classification

Research Interests

Social, Economical and Political Impacts of Innovations
Laws, Standards and Regulation Impacts
Administrative Law
Ideological, Political, Economical and Social Environments of Social Transformations
Administrative Law
Financial innovation and fintech
financial regulation
Legal innovation and law tech
regulation & governance theory
securities regulation
the legal profession
Innovation and the law

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.

Research Methodology

regulation and governance theory
legal analysis
qualitative and quantitative analysis


Doctoral students
Any time / year round
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.



These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Alleviating the corporate social responsibility reporting-performance inconsistency : a tentative proposal of the "reflexive law plus" model (2016)

The present research identifies corporate reporting-performance inconsistency as a major issue that undermines the current practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The inconsistency manifests in that companies either avoid disclosing negative information in their CSR reports or use vague and empty expressions to cover their CSR inaction. In most situations, instead of providing a complete and balanced picture and causing companies to re-examine their own CSR behaviour, CSR reporting has been declining into a strategic corporate communication tool that primarily serves firms’ own interests. Such a problem greatly challenges the fundamentals of CSR and raises hard questions as to the reliability of private regulation and corporate self-regulation pertaining to CSR reporting. Taking Canada as a field of research, the present study combines theoretical with empirical research methodology in order to thoroughly investigate the problem of the CSR reporting-performance inconsistency and provide a plausible solution to it from a law and regulation perspective. The main empirical research methods it takes are qualitative interviews and documentary analysis. In particular, the present research builds on the literature and empirical observations to explain the inconsistency and identify the regulatory gaps that currently exist in CSR reporting. As a side issue, it also questions the primary purpose of the CSR reporting regime, suggesting that CSR reporting should be used to transform irresponsible corporate performance and serve broader public goals.Inspired by the reflexive law literature and the empirical evidence, the present research develops a concrete model of “reflexive law plus” to address the CSR reporting-performance gap. “Reflexive law plus”, as named by the present research, is a refined form of reflexive law, in the sense that it is faithful to the fundamentals of the reflexive law theory, yet incorporates regulatory design components that can better catalyze and consolidate the self-referential capacity of the companies involved in CSR reporting. The present research holds that “reflexive law plus” provides a sound solution to remediate the inconsistency because it is pertinent to the regulatory circumstance in which CSR reporting is situated.

View record

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Preserving the Charter in administrative law: a critique of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University (2019)

This thesis explores the Doré/Loyola framework in light of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University (“LSBC v. TWU”). Using primarily traditional legal research, along with critical legal, interdisciplinary, and social-legal elements, this research critiques the Doré/Loyola framework and advocates for stronger protection of minority rights in administrative justice. While the Doré/Loyola framework purports to provide oversight to administrative decisions to ensure they do not run roughshod over the Charter, regrettably, as demonstrated by LSBC v. TWU, the framework does not provide this necessary protection. Instead, it expands the scope of discretion available to both administrators and judges through the Charter values framework. Further, the framework imagines a conflict of rights, which is both an incorrect and unhelpful formulation. Lastly, statutory objectives can too easily outweigh Charter rights, as Doré makes it possible to read a statutory objective as incorporating a Charter value or right. Recognition of other competing Charter rights, which are not recognized in the statutory language, is then compromised. This is particularly disadvantageous to minority rights as it leaves them subject to the changing views of the majority in society. In LSBC v. TWU, this risk was heightened through the use of a referendum which required voters to choose between the rights of two minority groups and give priority to one over the other. In order to ameliorate concerns with the Doré/Loyola framework, reasonable accommodation needs to be returned to the analysis. Instead of focusing primarily on how to balance statutory objectives and Charter protections, administrative decision-makers should be encouraged to find creative options to accommodate Charter protections where possible. In this way, the promises of the Charter, including minority rights, will be better preserved in administrative justice. This paper is an important contribution to emerging research on the intersection of the Charter and administrative justice. The Doré/Loyola framework is a recent addition to administrative law, and LSBC v. TWU was released within a year of writing this thesis. Consequently, as there has yet to be a significant body of academic work addressing LSBC v. TWU, it is an opportune time to analyze the Doré/Loyola framework as utilized in this case.

View record

An analysis of the proposed regulatory reforms for derivatives trading in Canada (2018)

Since the global financial crisis of 2008, policy makers have been working to develop laws that will increase the financial systems’ transparency and resiliency while maintaining fairness and efficiency. At the heart of the market infrastructure reform initiatives are measures aimed squarely at the regulation of derivatives.This paper aims to provide a high level review of some of the new Canadian legislation targeting derivatives. It examines the motivations for regulating the use of these sophisticated financial products as well as the complexity of legislating within a country whose securities laws have long been managed at the provincial level. The paper offers suggestions on the important features and direction of the law in this area.The analysis leads to several conclusions regarding the developing legislation. Central counterparty clearing and margin requirements are important regulatory initiatives to mitigate counterparty credit risk, being the key way in which derivatives contribute to systemic risk. Central clearing, however, cannot be relied upon as the primary guard against the spread of systemic risk by derivatives markets. This responsibility should remain in the hands of vigilant regulators. This leads to the key conclusion, being the need for effective management, at the national level, of the systemic risk created by derivatives markets. A robust national regulator would not only have access to real-time trade reporting data but would also monitor movements within defined sectors, like housing for example, to be alert to any risk accumulation within an overheated market. In addition, the analysis concludes that the use of investor sophistication as a regulatory trigger, as currently part of the proposed market conduct rules, is a valuable delimiter of differing levels of required disclosure. The research also concludes that investor sophistication could be a valuable tool to manage the nexus of sophisticated derivatives products entering the retail economy by potentially limiting their availability based on a combination of product complexity and investor sophistication.

View record

In search of a marriage counsellor: a proposal for strengthening the enforcement of Canadian constitutional conventions as legal rules of political behaviour (2017)

Canada’s constitutional framework consists of both written and unwritten sources. Within the subset of unwritten constitutional sources lies the body of constitutional conventions: rules of political morality that limit the scope of behaviour that would otherwise be legally permitted. Conventions are established by precedents and understood by political actors to be binding upon them. But the orthodox view holds that they are beyond the purview of the legal system and enforceable exclusively within the political realm. This thesis proposes measures for more effective regulation of political behaviour for compliance with constitutional conventions. These proposals are inspired by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement in 2014 that he would refrain from advising the Governor General to fill vacancies in the Senate of Canada. By convention, the Governor General only exercises the legal power to appoint Senators on the Prime Minister’s advice. Challenging the constitutionality of the Prime Minister’s conduct therefore implicated constitutional conventions. The author describes a judicial review application brought for this purpose as an illustrative example of the impracticality of litigation to enforce constitutional conventions. Drawing on that experience, he argues that Canadian jurisprudence ought to be renovated to accommodate and accept conventions as legally cognizable and enforceable rules. He further proposes the creation of an independent officer of Parliament accountable for monitoring political behaviour for compliance with constitutional conventions and drawing public attention to situations where conventional rules are breached.

View record


  • “A New Perspective on Some Familiar Corporate and Business Law Tools: Review of Sarah Light, ‘The Law of the Corporation as Environmental Law’ (2019) 71 Stanford L Rev 137” (2019)
    Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots),
  • A multi-jurisdictional review of legislative and regulatory changes in relation to the banking/commercial separation doctrine, and the business of banking (2019)
    Department of Finance,
  • Thinking Like an Administrative State (2019)
  • How Much Do You Really Know About Fraud? Review of Ed Balleisen, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff (2018)
  • Innovation and the State: Finance, Regulation, and Justice (2018)
    Cambridge Core Blog,
  • The Government’s Plan for Stronger Shareholder Powers Will Make Business Better for Everyone” Op Ed (2018)
    The Financial Post,
  • Has (Financial) Regulation Over the Last Thirty Years Been One Huge Neoliberal Mistake? (2017)
    Oxford Business Law Blog,
  • Innovation and the State (2017)
    Cambridge University Press,
  • Plus ça change: a review of Camden Hutchison, ‘Progressive Era Conception of the Corporation and the Failure of the Federal Chartering Movement’ (2017)
  • Remedies in Administrative Law: A Roadmap to a Parallel Legal Universe (2017)
    Administrative Law in Context, 3d ed.,
  • Sedimentary Innovation: How Regulation Should Respond to Incremental Change (2017)
    The Journal of Law and Economics,
  • Concrete Suggestions Around Conflict Minerals and Corporate Supply Chains (2016)
  • Rethinking Systemic Risk Regulation after MetLife and Brexit (2016)
    Oxford Business Law Blog,
  • Systemic Risk Regulation in Comparative Perspective (2016)
    Department of Finance,
  • Clayton Christensen Comes to Wall Street: a review of Chris Brummer, "Disruptive Innovation and Securities Regulation" (2015)
  • Canadian Securities Regulation (5th Edition) (2014)
    LexisNexis Canada,
  • Drama and Consequence in Accounting Standards Choice (Seriously): a review of Daniel Mügge and Bart Stellinga "The unstable core of global finance: Contingent valuation and governance of international accounting standards" (2014)
  • The Problem with Corporate Monitorships (2014)
    The New York Times,
  • Financial Innovation and Flexible Regulation: Destabilizing the Regulatory State (2013)
    North Carolina Banking Institute,
  • Innovation-framing regulation (2013)
    The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
  • Regulation & Governance announces annual “Best Article” prize winners (2013)
    Regulation & Governance, 7 (1), 1--1
  • A National Systemic Risk Clearinghouse? (2012)
  • A Radical Perspective on the Mundane. a book review of Annelise Riles Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Crisis (2012)
  • Dogs and Tails: Remedies in Administrative Law (2012)
    Administrative Law in Context,
  • Prospects for scalability: Relationships and uncertainty in responsive regulation (2012)
    Regulation & Governance, 7 (1), 14--29
  • Regulating Financial Innovation? Review of Niamh Moloney The legacy effects of the financial crisis on regulatory design in the EU (2012)
    The Regulatory Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis,
  • A response to Erik Gerding on making capture work (2011)
    Faculty Lounge Forum: Reforming Financial Reform? held at The Faculty Lounge, Duke University School of Law,
  • Corporate Monitorships and New Governance Regulation: In Theory, in Practice, and in Context (2011)
    Law & Policy, 33 (4), 509--541
  • Introduction to “New Governance and the Business Organization” Special Issue of Law and Policy (2011)
    Law & Policy, 33 (4), 449--458
  • Macro-and Micro-Level Effects on Responsive Financial Regulation (2011)
    University of British Columbia Law Review,
  • The Volcker Rule and the Limits of 'High Politics' (2011)
    Faculty Lounge Forum: Reforming Financial Reform? held at The Faculty Lounge, Duke University School of Law,
  • Tripartism, Regulation & Zeitgeist (2011)
    Faculty Lounge Forum: Reforming Financial Reform? held at The Faculty Lounge, Duke University School of Law,
  • New Governance in the Teeth of Human Frailty: Lessons from Financial Regulation (2010)
    Wisconsin Law Review,
  • New Governance Securities Regulation in Theory and Practice (2010)
    Columbia University,
  • Power Without Property, Still: Unger, Berle, and the Derivatives Revolution (2010)
    Seattle University Law Review,
  • Principles-Based Securities Regulation in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis (2010)
    McGill Law Journal, 55 (2), 257
  • Smart enforcement: trends and innovations for monitoring, investigating and prosecuting corporate corruption (2009)
    Global Corruption Report 2009, Transparency International,
  • Can Corporate Monitorships Improve Corporate Compliance? (2008)
    Journal of Corporate Law,
  • Corporate Corruption and Reform Undertakings: a New Approach to an Old Problem (2008)
    Cornell International Law Journal,
  • How Should We Teach Securities Regulation in a Fast-Moving World? (2008)
    Canadian Business Law Journal,
  • New Governance, Compliance, and Principles-Based Securities Regulation (2008)
    American Business Law Journal, 45 (1), 1--60
  • Principles-Based Securities Regulation (2008)
    Expert Panel on Securities Regulation, Ministry of Finance. Government of Canada,
  • Toward a New Model for Securities Law Enforcement (2005)
    Administrative Law Review,
  • In Search of the Qualitative Clear Majority: Democratic Experimentalism and the Quebec Secession Reference (2001)
    Alberta Law Review,
  • The Ties That Bind: A Review of Michael Ignatieff's The Rights Revolution (2001)
    Canadian Public Policy,
  • Bright Lines: Status, Recognition and the Elusive Nature of Ageing (1996)

Current Students & Alumni

This is a small sample of students and/or alumni that have been supervised by this researcher. It is not meant as a comprehensive list.

If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Learn about our faculties, research and more than 300 programs in our Graduate Viewbook!