Ryan Beaton

juristespower teams - Ryan Beaton Photo


Tel & Fax: 604-259-6007

Previously law clerk to the Right Honourable Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada, Ryan’s practice and his academic research are focused on Aboriginal rights and title, language rights, and constitutional law generally.

Ryan is originally from greater Montreal. He now practices in Power Law’s Vancouver office.

An important part of Ryan’s Aboriginal law practice involves the recounting of Aboriginal people’s histories through archival research to support consultation and Aboriginal rights and title claims.

Ryan is also interested in civil litigation, administrative law, and international human rights. He assists on various appeal matters, informed by his clerking experience at the Supreme Court of Canada and Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Ryan is currently completing a doctorate degree at the University of Victoria, with a focus on Aboriginal title. During his studies in law, Ryan completed an internship at the international office of Earthjustice in San Francisco, a not for profit organisation that defends environmental rights, during which he research the intersection of environmental law and Indigenous rights.

Ryan practices in English and in French. He is fluent in German. He is also conversant in Spanish and Marathi.

Law Societies

Ontario 2015

British Columbia 2016


Ph. D. Law, Aboriginal Title (University of Victoria – ongoing)

J.D. (Harvard University – 2013)

Ph. D. Philosophy (University of Toronto – 2011)

M. Sc. Mathematics (McGill University – 2005)

B. Sc. Mathematics and Physics (McGill University – 2002)

Publications and conference presentations
  • “Aboriginal Title in Recent Supreme Court of Canada Jurisprudence: What Remains of Radical Crown Title?” (2014) 33 Nat’l J Const Law 61


  • “Eudaimonism” in Hugh LaFolette, International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) (with Jennifer Whiting)


  • “Legal Regulation of Coal Mining in India: An Overview” (2011), Report prepared for Greenpeace Indian for the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore (et al)


  • Presentation: “Nietzsche’s Conception of the Ascetic ideal”, Summer School on Critical Theory, University of Kent (Paris), 13-24 June 2016 [unpublished]


  • Presentation: “The Recent Focus of Settler-State Courts on the Procedural Legitimation of State Sovereignty Over Indigenous Lands”, Human Rights and Empire: A Graduate Student Conference, University of Chicago, 19-20 May 2016 [unpublished]


  • Presentation: “Nihilism and Hope in the Self-Overcoming of (European) Sovereignty”, Nihilism. Hope: A Graduate Student Conference in Cultural, Social and Political Thought, University of Victoria, 22-24 April 2016 [unpublished]


  • Presentation: “Schopenhauer as Internal Critic of Kant: Holding Kant to a Deterministic Conception of the Inclinations”, 5th International Conference of Philosophy, Athens, 1 June 2010 (conference proceedings, v 5, 2010)


  • Presentation: “Making sense of Quine on Mathematics”, University of Western Ontario Logic, Mathematics, and Physics Graduate Conference, University of Western Ontario, April 2009 [unpublished]

  • Presentation: “Nietzche on Kantian Dualisms and Escaping Utilitarianism”, University of Ottawa Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, University of Ottawa, March 2009 [unpublished]

  • Manami v Berzain, 654 F.3d 1148 (11th Cir. 2011)

  • Gitanyow First Nations v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)

Before Power Law
  • Ryan is completing a doctoral thesis titled: “Aboriginal title at the Supreme Court of Canada: Rethinking the Indigenous-Crown fiduciary relationship and the dynamic of legitimacy between state sovereignty and popular sovereignty.”

  • During his studies at Harvard University, Ryan received an award for having completed 1000 hours of pro bono service as a part of the Human Rights Law Program and a fellowship for completing an internship abroad (the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program Summer Fellowship). Ryan was a member of Harvard Law’s 2011 Ames Moot team, that made it to the quarter finals. He served as a torts teaching assistant for Professor Jed Ryan.

  • Ryan undertook a number of research projects while at Harvard Law. He worked as a research assistant for Professor Duncan Kennedy, focusing on the analysis of political questions resulting from decisions of the Supreme Court of Israel. He also completed research in international humanitarian law pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while working with the human rights clinic at the Harvard University Faculty of Law. As a first year law student at the Faculty of Law, Ryan conducted research concerning the responsibility of corporate directors for violations under the Alien Tort Claims Act for a case before the 11th Circuit relating to a human rights violation in Bolivia.

  • During his doctoral studies in philosophy, Ryan received the Martha Lile Love Excellence Prize (2009). His doctoral thesis was titled: “Anti-Utilitarians: Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche on Motivation, Agency and the Formation of a Higher Self”.

  • In the summer sessions in 2003 and 2009, Ryan was a visiting professor in the Department of Philosophy at McGill University and the University of Toronto, respectively.

  • Ryan was awarded the Horace Watson medal for the highest average in Physics (2002), and the Charles Fox prize for the highest average in Mathematics from McGill University.

  • Ryan was also on the track and field team at McGill University.