Lara Khoury

Associate Professor
Associate member, Institute for Health and Social Policy

New Chancellor Day Hall
3644 Peel Street
Room 603
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-6610 [Office]
lara.khoury [at] (Email)

Website: McGill Research Group on Health and Law

Read her Publications on SSRN


Professor Khoury is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of law, an associate member of the Institute for Health & Social Policy and an elected associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. She was the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Law from 2015 to 2017. She is also a member of McGill’s Institute of Comparative Law and a Research Scholar at the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law. She convenes, with Professor Alana Klein, the McGill Research Group on Health and Law. She teaches and conducts research in the fields of comparative Medical, Public Health and Environmental Law, with a particular focus on liability issues.

She is the author of "Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability" (Hart Publishing, Oxford and Yvon Blais, Cowansville) which received the 2004 Prix Minerve and the 2008 Quebec Bar Foundation Prize. This monograph deals with the impact of scientific uncertainties on the proof of causation in medical liability in English and Canadian common law, as well as in French and Québec civil law. Lara Khoury has completed a doctoral (D.Phil) degree at the University of Oxford, from where she also holds a master’s degree (B.C.L.).


Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2015-2017

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2009-present

Assistant professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2002-2009

Boulton Junior Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2000-2001

Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Sherbrooke, 1995-2001

Tort Tutor, Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1998

Invited Research Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (Hamburg, Germany), 1999 & 2001

Member of the Quebec Bar, 1995-

Lawyer, Commercial and civil litigation, Heenan Blaikie, Montreal, 1995-1996


D.Phil.(Law), Oxford University, 2003
B.C.L., Oxford University, 1998
LL.B., Sherbrooke University, 1994 [winner of the Albert-Leblanc Medal]
Certificate in Communications Studies, UQÀM, 1991

Areas of Interest

Science and Law; Medical Liability; Environmental Liability; Biotechnologies and Law; Extra-contractual obligations / Tort Law; Comparative and Transsystemic approaches to private law; Civil law obligations.

Science and Law – I am interested in the interactions between science and law, with a particular focus on the impact that scientific uncertainties have on the judicial decision-making process, especially in medical and environmental liability. I am also working on the broader question of the adaptability of the law of torts and civil responsibility in response to new types of injuries caused by modern (bio)technological and scientific developments.

Medical Liability – My main area of research and teaching is in the field of medical liability. Current and past interests include the examination of questions related to problems of evidence of fault and causation; juridical responses to problems provoked by advances in modern medicine, including injuries caused by nosocomial infections, contaminated blood, or pharmaceutical products; injury caused by developments in genetic testing and technology; and potential legislative and judicial responses to the proliferation of ‘medical accidents’.

Environmental Liability – My work in this area has centered mainly on liability issues flowing from potential economic, health and environmental impacts of the introduction in the environment of genetically modified organisms. Other interests include the development and recognition of the notion of ‘environmental injury’; the use of the precautionary principle in private law judicial decision-making; and the impact of causal uncertainty about effects of environmental pollution on human health and ecosystems on the development of liability rules.

Current Grants

FQRSC – Soutien aux équipes de recherche, Le rôle du droit dans la création, la mise en oeuvre et le bouleversement des politiques sociales en santé : approche multidisciplinaire et pluraliste (Lara Khoury, P.I.), $ 253 654 (2015-2019).

Fondation du Barreau du Québec, Droit de la santé (with Catherine Régis), $ 7 000 (2016).

CIHR – Planning and Dissemination Grant, Dr Marie-Pierre Gagnon, P.I., Un portail d’échange de connaissance sur le dossier de santé personnel électronique, $9 922 (2015).

Canadian Bar Foundation – Law for the Future Fund, Lara Khoury P.I.), The Renewal of Judicial Function in the Protection of Health : Visions in Constitutional, Criminal and Private Law, $ 23 516.86 (2015-2016) – with Professors Alana Klein, Antonia Maioni et Christopher Manfredi.


Articles in refereed journals

M.-P. Gagnon, J. Payne-Gagnon, E. Breton, J.-P. Fortin, L. Khoury, L. Dolovich, D. Price, D. Wiljer, G. Bartlett, N. Archer, "Adoption of Electronic Personal Health Records in Canada: Perceptions of Stakeholders”, (2016) 5 Int'l Journal of Health Policy and Management 1-9.

« Commentaire d’arrêt. St-Germain c. Benhaim – Un jugement audacieux et habile » (2015) 8 :1 RD & santé McGill 111-137
Read the article [.pdf] 

« Le juge canadien, anglais et australien devant l’incertitude causale en matière de responsabilité médicale » (2014) 59: 4 R.D. McGill 989
Read the abstract [.pdf]

« Compromis et transpositions libres dans les législations permettant le recouvrement du coût des soins de santé auprès de l'industrie du tabac » (2013) 43 R.D.U.S. 611-43.

L. Khoury, M.-E. Couture-Ménard & O. Redko, "The Role of Private Law in the Control of Risks Associated with Tobacco Smoking: The Canadian Experience" (2013) 39:2 American Journal of Law & Medicine 442-470
Read the article online

with M. Iokheles (coll.), “Factual Causation and Healthcare-Associated Infections”, (2009) 17 Health Law Journal 195
Read the full text [.pdf] or Read it online

“Une nouvelle révolution pour le droit de la responsabilité civile” (2009) 39 Revue générale de droit 51
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“Causation and Risk in the Highest Courts of Canada, England, and France”. (2008) 124 Law Quarterly Review 103-131

"Le respect des volontés anticipées de fin de vie : entre jugement clinique et droit" (2008) 87 Canadian Bar Review 37
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“Causation and Health in Medical, Environmental and Product Liability”. (2007) 25:1 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 135
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"La responsabilité médicale et hospitalière pour le non-respect des volontés de fin de vie en droit civil québécois" (2007) 85 Médecine & Droit 119
Read the full text [.pdf]

with S. Smyth, “Reasonable Foreseeability and Liability in Relation to Genetically Modified Organisms” (2007) 27:3 Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 215
Read the article online

“Chester v. Afshar: Stepping Further Away from Causation?” (2005) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 246
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“L’indemnisation de l’infection nosocomiale au Québec : Les leçons du droit français” (2004) 45 Cahiers de Droit 619
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“The Liability of Auditors Beyond their Clients: A Comparative Study" (2001) 46 McGill Law Journal 413.
Read the article online

Articles in technical/professional publications

with S. Smyth, “Uncertainty & Forseeability of GMOs”, online: BioScience News & Advocate - 5 Apr 2004

Books and monographs

Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2006 and Cowansville, Yvon Blais, 2006) - refereed
Book entry - Hart Publishing and Book entry on Yvon Blais

Les grands conflits en droit de la santé (Montreal, Yvon Blais, 2016) - avec C. Régis et R.P. Kouri, eds  Book entry

L'influence du principe de précaution en droit de la responsabilité civile et pénale (Sherbrooke, Éditions RDUS, 2015) - avec M. Hautereau-Boutonnet et J.-C. Saint-Pau, eds

Articles/chapters in books and monographs

"Une protection mitigée pour la santé publique en droit de la responsabilité civile québécois", dans La personne humaine, entre autonomie et vulnérabilité. Mélanges en l'honneur d'Édith Deleury. Christelle Landheer-Cieslak, Louise Langevin, eds.

"Healthcare-associated infections" in Yann Joly & Bartha M. Knoppers, Routledge Handbook of Medical Law, ch. 11, Routledge, 2015

"Faute, responsabilité et médecine moderne" in B. Moore (ed.), Mélanges en l’honneur de Jean-Louis Baudouin, Yvon Blais, Cowansville, 2012.

"Innovation biomédicale et évolution du droit de la responsabilité civile : une étude comparée France-Québec" in E. Vergès (ed.), Droit, sciences et techniques, quelles responsabilités ?, Coll. Colloques et débats, Lexis Nexis Litec, Paris, 2011.

"Genetic Testing and GMO Escape: The Patent Holder's Duty to Inform" in Phillips, P. and C. Onwuekwe (eds), Accessing and Sharing the Benefits of the Genomics Revolution. (Springer/Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2007)

“L’impact des présomptions de faute et de la responsabilité sans égard à la faute sur la preuve de la causalité en responsabilité médicale” in T. Bourgoignie (ed.), Accidents thérapeutiques et protection du consommateur. Vers une responsabilité sans faute au Québec? (Cowansville, Yvon Blais, 2006)
Book entry on Yvon Blais

“L'incertitude scientifique en matière civile et la preuve d'expert”, in Pierre Patenaude (ed.), L'interaction entre le droit et les sciences expérimentales / La preuve d'expertise (Sherbrooke, Éditions R.D.U.S., 2001) p. 45 - 74.

Other papers and publications

"La responsabilité médicale et hospitalière pour le non-respect des volontés de fin de vie en droit civil québécois". (2006) Centre de documentation multimédia en droit médical.