YCPPL was established in 2008 to foster and facilitate collaborative interdisciplinary research in the field of public policy and law among York University's faculty and students. Its goal is to assist with the research needs of the broader community, including government and public policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and social movements in Canada. It provides accurate and reliable research on important legal and public policy issues  and makes it available to federal, provincial and municipal policy-makers.

YCPPL is supported financially by Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.

History of the Centre

The York Centre for Public Policy and Law began as the Centre for Public Law and Public Policy (CPLPP), which was established at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1986.  With a mandate to pursue interdisciplinary research on the role and impact of law in the formation and expression of public policy, CPLPP quickly established itself as one of the leading research centres of its kind in Canada. CPLPP launched a number of projects – including the Innocence Project, the Parent Information Program, the Annual Constitutional Cases Conference, and the annual Oputa Lecture on governance issues in Africa – that have thrived and prospered to the point where they now operate independently. Aside from its impressive record of contribution to public discussion and debate about public law and public policy in Canada since its inception, CPLPP also made a significant contribution to scholarly publication in the field of public law and public policy, including books on constitutional reform and constitutional amendment, special issues of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and the Supreme Court Law Review, and co-sponsorship of Canada Watch. In 2008, York  University recognized that there was a vibrant interdisciplinary research on law and public policy emerging outside the law school  and so the CPLPP was transformed into a new research centre and a change in name to the YCCPL . It's founding mandate is a commitment to  interdisciplinary research and the drawing together of both social science research and critical legal scholarship. Its focus is now largely on empirical legal and political research.