Benjamin Perryman

Benjamin Perryman (law, Yale University) is applying the emerging science of happiness to ways that Canadian justice might better reflect the needs and aspirations of all citizens, including the marginalized.

Benjamin Perryman (law, Yale University) is a lawyer with a passion for social justice and a scholar of public law and international human rights law. His primary research analyzes how the emerging “Science of Happiness” can be used to improve constitutional decision-making. Additionally, he teaches and researches in the areas of contract law, refugee law, international law, and law & politics. He holds Master's degrees in Law and Development Economics. Prior to embarking on doctoral studies in law, Benjamin worked at a legal aid clinic, a leading Toronto litigation boutique, the Federal Court, and the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Benjamin is also a human rights adjudicator in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Doctoral research

The fundamental purpose of law is to create a happy society. But constitutional law, as it is currently conceived, focuses more on rights than on well-being. The meaning of rights, in practice, is derived from political philosophy, the opinions of judicial and political elites, and majoritarian conceptions. This focus has led to a constitutional order, in Canada and elsewhere, that does a poor job of protecting the needs and aspirations of some persons, especially those from marginalized groups. Benjamin's project seeks to rethink constitutional theory and decision-making using the emerging “Science of Happiness.” By incorporating subjective well-being insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience, Benjamin argues that courts can construct a constitutional framework that better reflects the needs and aspirations of all persons while maintaining respect for the proper role of courts in a modern democracy.

 

 

Benjamin Perryman is a lawyer with a passion for social justice and a scholar of public law and international human rights law. His work is driven by a desire to use law to serve the interests of marginalized persons and groups and by a curiosity of how rights are conceived individually and collectively.

Currently a doctoral candidate at Yale Law School, Benjamin's research examines the relationship between happiness and constitutional law and analyzes how the emerging “Science of Happiness” can be used to rethink constitutional theory and decision-making. In addition to his doctoral research, Benjamin is a human rights adjudicator in the Province of Nova Scotia; a part-time faculty member of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University and the Department of Political Science, Saint Mary’s University; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Halifax Refugee Clinic.

Benjamin obtained his master of laws degree from Yale Law School as a Fulbright Scholar, and his juris doctor degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He also holds a master of development economics degree from Dalhousie University and a bachelor of science degree in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia. He is called to the Bars of Ontario and Nova Scotia. Prior to embarking on his graduate legal studies, Benjamin was a law clerk at the Federal Court (Canada) and the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, where he worked on a number of prominent human rights cases.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Benjamin has lived, worked, and studied from coast to coast in Canada, touching down in four different provinces. He currently calls Halifax, Nova Scotia home.