Tamara O'Doherty

Senior Lecturer
School of Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Tamara O’Doherty is a senior lecturer in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Her research expertise includes critical criminology, human rights and criminal law, collaborative and legal research methods.

In addition to post-secondary teaching and decolonizing legal pedagogy contributions, O'Doherty’s research and publications have focused on the effects of criminalization, victimization, commercial sex, and human trafficking law.


Critical legal studies; criminal law; human rights and civil liberties; victimization and commercial sex; gender and law; mixed methods and legal analysis; evidentiary issues in criminal law; criminalization of immigration; human trafficking; and social policy analysis.


  • BA (UFV)
  • JD (UBC)
  • MA (SFU)
  • PhD (SFU)

Selected Publications

  • Boyd, N., Love, H., & O’Doherty, T. (2024). Canadian Law: An Introduction (8th). Emond Publishing.
  • O’Doherty, T. & Millar, H. (2024). Prosecuting Trafficking in Persons Offences: problems and pitfalls in the Post-PCEPA era. In K. Roots, A. De Shalit, and E. van der Meulen (Eds). Trafficking Harms: Critical Perspectives on Human Trafficking in Canada. Fernwood.
  • O’Doherty, T. & Bowen, R. (2023). Commercial Sex as Valuable? Policy implications of sex workers’ perspectives on the contributions of their labour. Sexuality Research and Social Policy.
  • O’Doherty, T., Love, H., & Scott, M. (2023). Decolonization and Anti-Racism in Criminology: Student perceptions on faculty teaching practices. In N. Tzouvala, F. Adebisi, S. Jivraj, & R. Manjoo, (Eds). Decolonisation, Anti-Racism, and Legal Pedagogy: Strategies, Successes and Challenges.  Routledge.
  • O’Doherty, T. & Cherrington, K. (2022). Commodified BDSM Services: Professional Dominatrices’ views on their work and its criminalization. Archives for Sexual Behaviour.
  • Murdoch, D., O’Doherty, T., & Todd, H. (2021) Preparing and Supporting Graduate Students in their role as Teaching Assistants: An Exploration of TA training in a School of Criminology. Journal of Criminal Justice Education32(1), 42-59.
  • Millar, H. & O’Doherty, T. (2020). Racialized, Gendered, and Sensationalized: An examination of Canadian anti-trafficking laws, their enforcement, and their (re)presentation. Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 35(1), 23-44.
  • O’Doherty, T. & Waters, I. (2019). Gender, victimization, and commercial sex: A comparative study. Atlantis, 40(1), 18-29.
  • Kaye, J., Millar, H., & O’Doherty, T. (2019) Exploring Human Rights in the Context of Enforcement-Based Ant-Trafficking in Persons Responses. In Winterdyke, J., Jones, J. (eds). The Palgrave International Handbook of Human Trafficking. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • O’Doherty, T., Millar, H., Clancey, A., & MacKenzie, K. (2018). Misrepresentations, Inadequate Evidence, and Impediments to Justice: Human Rights Impacts of Canada’s Anti-Trafficking Efforts. In van der Meulen, E., Durisin, E., & Bruckert, C. Red Light Labour: Sex Work Regulation, Agency, and Resistance. UBC Press.
  • Bowen, R. & O’Doherty, T. (2014). Participant-Driven Action Research (PDAR) with Sex Workers in Vancouver, BC. In C. Showden & S. Majic (Eds), Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism (pp.53-74). University of Minnesota Press.
  • O’Doherty, T. (2011). Criminalization and Off-Street Sex Work in Canada. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 53(3), 217- 245.

Selected Grants

  • Funded through the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (now TILT)
  • Addressing Social Inequities as they relate to Law. Final Report
  • Reflecting on the Legal Studies in SFU’s School of Criminology: Alumni Perspectives. Final Report
  • Understanding the Needs of Indigenous Students at SFU. Final Report
  • Working with and Supporting Teaching Assistants (Final ReportToolkit for instructors, Toolkit for TAs)
  • Harm-Reduction and Resiliency-Building in Lectures: Teaching about victimization in respectful and inclusive ways. Final Report

Selected Awards

  • Lesley B. Cormack Award for excellence in teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences for 2023

Service and other Professional Activities

  • Chair, SFU Human Rights Policy Board (Aug. 2020- present)
  • Research Associate, SWAN Vancouver Society (2016-present)
  • Legal Expert, Research Ethics Board (Spring 2017-Spring 2020)
  • Collaborative Research Network Co-Chair, CRN 6, Law and Society Association (Summer 2017- Summer 2020)


  • CRIM 135: Introduction to Canadian Legal Institutions
  • CRIM 230: Criminal Law
  • CRIM 302: Critical Approaches to Crime and Deviance
  • CRIM 317: Sex, Work, and the Law
  • CRIM 335: Human Rights and Civil Liberties