Thompson Rivers University

Law alum co-published with prof in Oxford journal

  Posted on: January 19, 2017

Nikta Shirazian, JD 2016

Nikta Shirazian, JD 2016.

A 2016 grad who conducted research with a professor in her last year at TRU Law is currently among some prestigious company.

Nikta Shirazian, along with Associate Professor Dr. Chris Hunt, co-authored an article that was recently published in the academic journal the Oxford University Comparative Law Forum.

The 100-page paper, “Canada’s Statutory Privacy Torts in Commonwealth Perspective,” is the result of Shirazian’s directed studies course with Hunt.

“Directed research is a great opportunity to write a thesis-based paper under the supervision of a professor. Unlike other courses which provide a general overview of a particular area of law, it gave me the opportunity to focus on a very specific legal question,” explained Shirazian.

“It allowed me to analyze an area of law on a much deeper level than would be possible in a classroom setting,” she added, noting the experience is about more than conducting research.

“One of the most valuable aspects of directed research is the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the supervising professor. Dr. Hunt provided me with an immense amount of guidance and support throughout the entire project.”

Hunt says he equally enjoys the mentorship aspect but notes it comes with the territory, as choosing a directed studies student is a selective process and students receive credit.

“Individual students approach a professor with a paper topic of 10,000 words. If the professor agrees to supervise them, they may apply formally through the Dean’s Office. I typically take on one student per term,” he said.

The pair’s article analyzes the case law under provincial statutory privacy torts and evaluates this in light of developments in England, Australia and New Zealand. They develop a novel framework test for assessing the right to privacy, by drawing on 10 contextual factors that they extracted from the Commonwealth jurisprudence.

In addition to her Oxford repute, Shirazian has also worked on another journal—albeit closer to home—serving as an editor on the TRU-based Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law for two years.

Another memorable experience, and one that continues to unfold, is related to an innovative mobile app she and a group of classmates developed as part of a class project for Katie Sykes’ Lawyering in the 21st Century course.

The app, called Summons, tackles the challenges of courtroom scheduling. In order to be used in practice however, the app needs to be linked to a court registry; to that end, the group is currently developing a plan to launch a pilot project after meeting with stakeholders and mentors in the coming months.

Since graduating last Spring, Shirazian has returned to her hometown of Vancouver and is currently articling at Lindsay LLP. In the future she hopes to continue working in civil litigation.