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Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Legal Ethics For Government Lawyers: Lessons From Nunavut, Andrew Flavelle Martin Jan 2025

Legal Ethics For Government Lawyers: Lessons From Nunavut, Andrew Flavelle Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

While government lawyers face legal ethics issues unique to that practice context, those issues are overlooked in the rules of professional conduct in all but one Canadian jurisdiction: Nunavut. In this comment, I canvass several provisions that are unique to the Code of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Nunavut. These provisions are inexplicably overlooked in the Canadian legal ethics literature to date. I then assess how these provisions address the legal ethics issues unique to government lawyering. Finally, I argue that the Nunavut provisions should be considered a starting point and I consider additional changes that could be …


Crown Prosecutors And Government Lawyers: A Legal Ethics Analysis Of Under-Funding, Andrew Flavelle Martin Jan 2025

Crown Prosecutors And Government Lawyers: A Legal Ethics Analysis Of Under-Funding, Andrew Flavelle Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Crown prosecutors and government lawyers are reliant on governments for their funding but exert no meaningful influence or control over such funding decisions. Nonetheless, this article demonstrates that as a question of law, under-funded Crown prosecutors and government lawyers risk violating their professional duties. If so, they must promptly inform the government, refuse new matters and, if necessary, withdraw from existing matters. If the government purports to block such refusal or withdrawal and does not provide adequate funding, resignation will become necessary. While law societies will likely not prioritize disciplinary action against such lawyers, the policy reasons to forego such …


Lawyers And Public Service: Duty, Faith, And The 'Good Republican' In The West Wing, Andrew Flavelle Martin Jan 2025

Lawyers And Public Service: Duty, Faith, And The 'Good Republican' In The West Wing, Andrew Flavelle Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Popular culture reveals much about the perceived role of lawyers in contemporary life. In this article, I draw lessons from the portrayal of lawyers in Aaron Sorkin's classic television series, The West Wing. As a drama centred around a Democratic presidential administration, Republicans often provide the foil. From time to time, however, the show lionizes what might be termed ‘the good Republican’. That ‘good Republican’ is most often a practicing lawyer whose desire to serve is grounded in duty or faith. In this essay, I use a trio of these characters to explore the role of lawyers in public service. …


When (And Where) Is A Crime A Crime? “Double Criminality” As A Principle Of Fundamental Justice, Robert J. Currie Jul 2024

When (And Where) Is A Crime A Crime? “Double Criminality” As A Principle Of Fundamental Justice, Robert J. Currie

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The idea that crime crosses borders is fast becoming ordinary, even old hat, particularly in an age of online crime such as ransomware attacks, cyber-extortion and the like. As we have become more geographically mobile, however, it is increasingly common for people to have engaged in criminal conduct in one state1 but then seek to exercise legal rights, or face legal entanglements, in others. Legal questions can then arise about what effect should be given by one state—in this article, Canada—to an individual’s conduct that was, or is alleged to have been, a crime in a foreign state. The inquiry …


Law, Critique And The Believer's Experience, Jean D'Aspremont Jun 2024

Law, Critique And The Believer's Experience, Jean D'Aspremont

Dalhousie Law Journal

I have come to think that, most of the time, radical critics of a given discursive practice were once believers in that practice’s necessities and realities. In particular, I am of the opinion that one comes to appreciate the power of a discourse only when one has genuinely and personally experienced the necessitarian pull as well as the realities such discourse creates. To put it in phenomenological terms, I think that radical scepticism is often the expression of some self-revulsion at one’s earlier beliefs. The phenomenological causality described here is thus not simply about the devastating rage that one can …


Scholarship As Fun, Thomas Schultz May 2024

Scholarship As Fun, Thomas Schultz

Dalhousie Law Journal

One theme that traverses much of Pierre Schlag’s work is a sense of profound humanity—the idea that thinking and writing about the law can and should be a deeply, genuinely human activity—an activity for which we can, and should, break up many of the barriers that stand between us, between who we really are, and what we think and write. It is an activity for which we should put aside our pretences and insecurities and the attached formalisms and exaggerations behind which we so often hide, and which in the end constrain our humanity so much, as they take on …


Un Ésprit Sérieux, Pierre Schlag May 2024

Un Ésprit Sérieux, Pierre Schlag

Dalhousie Law Journal

It was a sunny day when we all met in a classroom at McGill University The gathering went on all day and at the end someone proposed writing up the discussion as essays. Hence, this collection.

I’d like to take a moment of gratitude to express heartfelt thanks to all the participants. And especially to Vincent Forray and Jean d’Aspremont for organizing the event, and to Genevieve Renard Painter and Liam McHugh-Russell for bringing this collection over the finish line. I don’t know whether the intellectual generosity of the participants was because of Canada, or Montreal, or McGill, or the …


Why The Multilateral Investment Court Is A Bad Idea For Africa, Akinwumi Ogunranti Apr 2024

Why The Multilateral Investment Court Is A Bad Idea For Africa, Akinwumi Ogunranti

Dalhousie Law Journal

The UNCITRAL Working Group III (WG III) is discussing procedural reforms in the investor state dispute settlement system (ISDS). The ISDS framework is criticized on various grounds, including arbitrator bias, lack of transparency, and inconsistent arbitral decisions. One of the recent reform proposals before the WG III is the possibility of a multilateral investment court (MIC). This proposal is championed by European Union states and supported by Canada. The proposal recommends replacing ISDS’ Ad hoc investment tribunals with an established and permanent court where states appoint judges. This paper examines the MIC reform option and argues that replacing the ISDS …


Conflicting Decisions: Why The Privy Council Drifted From Precedent In Deciding Cunningham V Homma, Keita Szemok-Uto Apr 2024

Conflicting Decisions: Why The Privy Council Drifted From Precedent In Deciding Cunningham V Homma, Keita Szemok-Uto

Dalhousie Law Journal

his paper highlights the structural barriers to voting rights that Japanese-Canadians in BC faced in the early 20th century. It documents Tomekichi Homma’s challenge of provincial legislation which prevented the Japanese from voting in local elections. His fight went to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, then the highest court of appeal in Canada. While Homma challenged the law because it denied voting rights based on racial grounds, the courts made little to no reference to race or ethnicity in hearing the issue; their focus was on questions of constitutionality and the division of powers. The Privy Council employed …


Show And Tell, Liam Mchugh-Russell Apr 2024

Show And Tell, Liam Mchugh-Russell

Dalhousie Law Journal

...to break the rules wisely, you have to know the rules well.

–Le Guin, Steering the Craft

I finished my doctorate in June of 2019. Most of my waking hours that late summer and early fall were spent writing and rewriting cover letters, teaching statements, and research agendas (and equity statements, long CVs, short CVs, etc.)—all the variegated materials demanded from applicants to tenure-track positions in North American law faculties. Writing those materials, and integrating the feedback on early drafts that I received from a host of generous peers and colleagues, became an accidental study in the principal subtext of …


Humour, A Meditation, John Henry Schlegel Apr 2024

Humour, A Meditation, John Henry Schlegel

Dalhousie Law Journal

Back in 1987 when Critical Legal Studies was still “hot,” I was shopping a piece that was a long review essay on Laura Kalman’s history, Legal Realism at Yale. An acquaintance who was on that faculty invited me to present the piece—which I am still quite proud of—at the workshop he was running. Owen Fiss was the first person to ask a question. He wanted to know whether the piece was “serious” work or whether it was just an elaborate joke. Surprised and bewildered by the question, I answered, “Both.” In response he asserted that unless it were one or …


Access To Justice In The Nova Scotia Small Claims Court 1980-2022, William H. Charles Mar 2024

Access To Justice In The Nova Scotia Small Claims Court 1980-2022, William H. Charles

Dalhousie Law Journal

*This contribution has not been peer-reviewed.

In his latest research paper the author explores the extent or degree to which the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court achieves its declared purpose of providing the citizens of the province with what can accurately be described as a “People’s Court,” that is, a legal agency that would allow ordinary citizens to pursue their legal claims expeditiously and at a reasonable cost with a process that involved lawyers/adjudicators rather than judges. After a review and analysis of several thousand decisions by Nova Scotia Adjudicators/lawyers, the author concluded that the creators of the court had …


Making "Medical": How Psychedelics Are Becoming Legal In Canada, Agnieszka Doll Mar 2024

Making "Medical": How Psychedelics Are Becoming Legal In Canada, Agnieszka Doll

Dalhousie Law Journal

As legal restrictions loosen, psychedelic-assisted therapies are advancing at an unprecedented pace and scope in Canada and the US. Presented as a miracle cure for post-traumatic stress, depression, and other psychological disorders, psychedelics are being touted to treat post-pandemic mental health crises. In this paper, drawing on Science and Technology Studies, I ethnographically trace the ongoing process and practices involved in transforming illegal psychedelics into a regulated medicine in Canada, paying particular attention to regulatory pathways and the development of networks involved in psychedelic advocacy. Using these pathways as a methodological “sampling device,” I map the main actors, their mutual …


The Political Economy Of Laughter And Outrage, Genevieve Renard Painter Mar 2024

The Political Economy Of Laughter And Outrage, Genevieve Renard Painter

Dalhousie Law Journal

A bit uncomfortable. That is how it feels to be among dear friends but labelled professionally as an outsider. I have a law degree, a bar membership, and a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. I am a professor in a women’s studies department at Concordia University. At conference receptions, people respond breathlessly, “But they don’t have a law school at Concordia!?,” as though I am hearing confession in a gas station, or something as heretical. I teach legal history, international law, feminist legal theory, and constitutional law to undergraduates who are not in law school and mostly don’t want …


Expanding Equality, Terry Skolnik Feb 2024

Expanding Equality, Terry Skolnik

Dalhousie Law Journal

Section 15 of the Canadian Charter provides a constitutional right to equality. But the Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted this right restrictively. Today, the Constitution fails to protect certain individuals and groups against obvious forms of direct and indirect discrimination. This article argues that s. 15 of the Charter is interpreted narrowly in three respects and advances proposals to expand the right to equality. First, the right to equality framework fails to protect marginalized persons and groups against direct discrimination. Second, courts overlook how individuals can suffer discrimination based on quasi-immutable traits, which are personal characteristics that are relatively …


An Old Bottle For The New Wine: Understanding The Duty Of Honest Performance Under The Objective Theory, Humphrey Yuan Jheng Feb 2024

An Old Bottle For The New Wine: Understanding The Duty Of Honest Performance Under The Objective Theory, Humphrey Yuan Jheng

Dalhousie Law Journal

Bhasin v Hrynew has many dimensions and potentially affects almost every aspect of Anglo-Canadian contract law. This article is limited to one aspect only: the duty of honest performance (“DHP”). My article attempts to show that the objective theory can provide a solid foundation and a different thinking framework for understanding and developing the DHP. If I am right, the DHP may be placed on a sound footing, independently of the organizing principle of good faith. Section I of this article traces the duty’s development from Bhasin to Callow. Section II argues that under the objective theory, reasonable expectations of …


Legal Hurdles And Pathways: The Evolution (Progress?) Of Climate Change Adjudication In Canada, Camille Cameron, Riley Weyman, Claire Nicholson Jan 2024

Legal Hurdles And Pathways: The Evolution (Progress?) Of Climate Change Adjudication In Canada, Camille Cameron, Riley Weyman, Claire Nicholson

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Citizens, civil society, and environmental organisations throughout the world are increasingly turning to courts to find solutions to the perils of climate change. In July 2023, the United Nations Environment Programme (“UNEP”) reported that as of November 2022, there were 2,180 climate change litigation cases underway throughout the world, that this number is 2.5 times higher than it was five years ago, and that the number of jurisdictions involved has grown from 24 in 2017, to 39 in 2020, to 65 in 2023. The authors of this report describe climate litigation as “a frontier solution to change the dynamics of …


Aducanumab, Accelerated Approvals & The Agency: Why The Fda Needs Structural Reform, Matthew Herder Jan 2024

Aducanumab, Accelerated Approvals & The Agency: Why The Fda Needs Structural Reform, Matthew Herder

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The US Food and Drug Administration’s controversial decision to grant accelerated approval to aducanumab (Aduhelm), a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, has motivated multiple policy reforms. Drawing upon a case series of other drugs granted accelerated approval and interviews of senior FDA officials, I argue that reform should be informed but not defined by aducanumab. Rather, structural reforms are needed to reshape FDA’s core priorities and restore the regulatory system’s commitment to scientific rigor.


A Human Rights And Legal Analysis Of The Understanding Our Roots Report, Naiomi Metallic, Cheryl Simon Dec 2023

A Human Rights And Legal Analysis Of The Understanding Our Roots Report, Naiomi Metallic, Cheryl Simon

Reports & Public Policy Documents

In October 2023, the University released Understanding Our Roots - Nstikuk tan wtapeksikw Report written by the Task Force on Settler Misappropriation of Indigenous Identity. The Report recommends the creation of a Standing Committee who would verify claims to Indigenous identity by students, faculty and staff seeking to benefit from any opportunity at the University that prioritizes access for Indigenous peoples, as well as investigate and recommend sanction in cases of suspected academic fraud whereby an individual assumes an Indigenous identity. The Report does not address or respond to potential legal issues and rights violations arising from its recommendation. To …


Debt-For-Climate Swaps And Illicit Financial Flows: A Call For Caution In Designing Climate Finance Infrastructures, Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Morris K. Odeh Dec 2023

Debt-For-Climate Swaps And Illicit Financial Flows: A Call For Caution In Designing Climate Finance Infrastructures, Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Morris K. Odeh

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Ahead of COP28, there have been widespread calls for the adoption of 'debt-for nature' and 'debt-for-climate' swaps as an alternative climate finance system to address funding gaps in developing countries. Typically, these swaps involve a debtor country repurchasing its debt securities at substantial discounts or converting official bilateral debt into environmental assets, which enables more fiscal savings to be redirected toward conservation objectives. Unlike most climate finance instruments, these debt swaps avoid burdening countries in the Global South with additional unsustainable debt, thus allowing for a more effective response to the climate crisis without sacrificing spending on other development projects. …


Big Oil Liability In Canada: Lessons From The Us And The Netherlands, David W-L Wu Oct 2023

Big Oil Liability In Canada: Lessons From The Us And The Netherlands, David W-L Wu

Dalhousie Law Journal

The number of nuisance and negligence tort claims in the US against “Big Oil” companies have grown significantly in the last five years. The Netherlands case of Milieudefensie et al v Royal Dutch Shell represents the first major success of such a claim internationally. While the US cases and Milieudefensie demonstrate starkly different approaches as to how to seek accountability from Big Oil for climate change harms, the increasing judicial engagement on these issues may mean the time is right for similar lawsuits in Canada. Three Canadian common law causes of action are examined: nuisance, negligence, and unjust enrichment. Defences …


Mixing Mathematics And Morality: Precarity And Moral Hazard In Employment Insurance And Personal Insolvency Law, Anna J. Lund Oct 2023

Mixing Mathematics And Morality: Precarity And Moral Hazard In Employment Insurance And Personal Insolvency Law, Anna J. Lund

Dalhousie Law Journal

This article examines how financially precarious Canadians face particular challenges to accessing the benefits of employment insurance and personal insolvency because these two systems include features designed to guard against moral hazard. However, these design features do not adequately account for how an increasing number of Canadians are precariously employed and precariously indebted. This article synthesizes the research on precarious employment in Canada, and uses it to suggest how one might conceptualize precarious indebtedness. It then traces how the Canadian employment insurance and personal insolvency systems treat characteristics of financial precarity as evidence of misconduct. As a result, precariously employed …


Law’S Sexual Infections, Kyle Kirkup Oct 2023

Law’S Sexual Infections, Kyle Kirkup

Dalhousie Law Journal

In 2019, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights published its study on the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada. The report recommended removing HIV non-disclosure from sexual assault laws in Canada. This constituted a welcome development for many HIV advocates. Yet other recommendations proved more controversial. In order to counter the exceptional targeting of HIV, the Committee proposed an offence for the non disclosure of all infectious diseases. This article uses the proposal to develop three arguments. First, the idea of creating an offence for all infectious diseases finds its origins in criminal laws dating …


Permanent Injunctions In Defamation Actions, Hilary Young Oct 2023

Permanent Injunctions In Defamation Actions, Hilary Young

Dalhousie Law Journal

Permanent injunctions prohibiting defamatory speech are increasingly sought and ordered following a finding of liability. This may seem unproblematic since a court will have found the particular speech to be unlawful—defamatory and likely false. However, there are good reasons to be cautious in permanently enjoining defamatory speech. This article shows that courts have recognized a test for permanent injunctions in defamation cases based on a misinterpretation of the case law—a test which is inconsistent with first principles of equitable relief. It then proposes a number of guidelines and principles for permanent injunctive relief in defamation actions. Most proposals relate to …


A Historical Account Of The Orderly Payment Of Debts Act Reference: Limiting Provincial Efforts To Protect Insolvent Debtors, Thomas Gw Telfer, Virginia Torrie Oct 2023

A Historical Account Of The Orderly Payment Of Debts Act Reference: Limiting Provincial Efforts To Protect Insolvent Debtors, Thomas Gw Telfer, Virginia Torrie

Dalhousie Law Journal

This paper analyzes the history of the Alberta Orderly Payment of Debts Act and the constitutional controversy that followed. The legislation sought to protect debtors by imposing restrictions on creditors. In 1960, the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Validity of Orderly Payment of Debts Act, 1959 (Alberta) ruled that the legislation was ultra vires on the basis that it interfered with the federal bankruptcy and insolvency power. The Orderly Payment of Debts Act reference is the capstone in a trilogy of cases in which provincial legislation was invalidated for encroaching upon the federal bankruptcy and insolvency power. The …


The Lawyer’S Professional Duty To Encourage Respect For—And To Improve—The Administration Of Justice: Lessons From Failures By Attorneys General, Andrew Flavelle Martin Oct 2023

The Lawyer’S Professional Duty To Encourage Respect For—And To Improve—The Administration Of Justice: Lessons From Failures By Attorneys General, Andrew Flavelle Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The lawyer’s duty to encourage respect for the administration of justice remains largely amorphous and abstract. In this article, I draw lessons about this duty from historical instances in which Attorneys General inappropriately criticized judges. Not only are Attorneys General some of the highest-profile lawyers in the country, but they also face unique tensions and pressures that bring their duties as lawyers into stark relief. I focus on the two instances where law societies sought to discipline Attorneys General for such criticism of judges, as well as a more recent instance in which no discipline proceedings were pursued. I also …


Twenty Years After Krieger V Law Society Of Alberta: Law Society Discipline Of Crown Prosecutors And Government Lawyers, Andrew Flavelle Martin Oct 2023

Twenty Years After Krieger V Law Society Of Alberta: Law Society Discipline Of Crown Prosecutors And Government Lawyers, Andrew Flavelle Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Krieger v. Law Society of Alberta held that provincial and territorial law societies have disciplinary jurisdiction over Crown prosecutors for conduct outside of prosecutorial discretion. The reasoning in Krieger would also apply to government lawyers. The apparent consensus is that law societies rarely exercise that jurisdiction. But in those rare instances, what conduct do Canadian law societies discipline Crown prosecutors and government lawyers for? In this article, I canvass reported disciplinary decisions to demonstrate that, while law societies sometimes discipline Crown prosecutors for violations unique to those lawyers, they often do so for violations applicable to all lawyers — particularly …


Comparative Tax Law Guide, Kim Brooks Sep 2023

Comparative Tax Law Guide, Kim Brooks

OER Texts

This extended bibliography is designed to support comparative tax law study by students, policy-makers, and tax practitioners. Studying comparative tax law is pure joy. And in addition to that, it enables you to:

  • more deeply understand your own tax system and context;
  • learn about another country’s system and context;
  • draw general conclusions about tax law;
  • press for or support tax law change;
  • facilitate tax law harmonization or coordination among jurisdictions;
  • delve into the role of tax in the spread of higher-order values like fairness, equality, transparency, or privacy;
  • explain why a country’s tax laws are the way they are; and …


Lost: Heritage Stock. The Heritage Property Act And Heritage Conservation In Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eliza Richardson Aug 2023

Lost: Heritage Stock. The Heritage Property Act And Heritage Conservation In Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eliza Richardson

Dalhousie Law Journal

This article considers heritage conservation in Halifax, examining the Heritage Property Act and its implementation. As one of the oldest cities in Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia was graced with an abundance of built heritage. However, historic properties have been disappearing at an alarming rate, with 41 per cent of potential heritage buildings in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia having been demolished since 2009. This article argues that the current approach to heritage conservation in Halifax is nominally successful but consistently falls short of the spirit in which it was enacted. The Act performs well in specific situations, namely where the owners …


Are The Imposed Principles Standard? A Review Of Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension To Global Tax Politics By Martin Hearson, Opeyemi Bello Jul 2023

Are The Imposed Principles Standard? A Review Of Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension To Global Tax Politics By Martin Hearson, Opeyemi Bello

Dalhousie Law Journal

The publication of Martin Hearson’s book, Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics, coincided with heated international discussions of the most substantial policy proposals in the field of international taxation in the last century.1 Hearson’s work provides insights on how the developed countries exerted control over the negotiations of the double taxation agreement (DTA) regime, which is the basis of the current international taxation framework. It explains how the negotiations resulted in a framework that works well for the developed countries, but does not substantially address the tax revenue needs of the developing countries. The publication of the …