Five Common Law Professors Receive Grants from the Foundation for Legal Research

Posted on Friday, April 7, 2017

Common Law Professors Jane Bailey, Carissima Mathen, Kyle Kirkup, Florian Martin-Bariteau and Amy Salyzyn have all received grants from the Foundation for Legal Research (FLR).  The FLR provides funds for research into legal doctrine, the working of the legal system, and development in fields peripheral but closely related to rules of law.  The Foundation seeks to encourage legal writing that would be valuable to Canadian lawyers, notaries and judges in their day-to-day practice of law and into the administration of justice.

Professor Bailey, a member of the Faculty’s Centre for Law Technology and Society, and Professor Mathen, a member of the Faculty’s Public Law Group, received their grant in support of a scholarly article (and related online tool) entitled “Technologically-facilitated Violence Against Women and Girls:  Can Criminal Law Respond?”.  This article will provide doctrinal analysis of reported Canadian criminal law cases in which defendants have used digital communications technologies to carry out acts of violence against women and girls, identifying areas for reform and improvement.  The related online tool will make the results freely available in a user-friendly form.

Professor Kirkup, a member of the Faculty of Law’s Public Law Group, received his grant for a project entitled “Transgender Human Rights Law: Past, Present, Future”, which will be the first systemic review of transgender human rights law in Canada. The project will be of significant importance to a wide range of actors in Canada’s legal system, including government administrators grappling with changes to the provision of services, judges and tribunal members encountering novel legal arguments, and lawyers making and rebutting claims of transgender discrimination.

Professor Martin-Bariteau, Director of the Centre for Law Technology and Society earned his grant for a project entitled “La protection des secrets dans la vie des affaires au Canada”, which deals with the Canadian legal infrastructure surrounding the protection of business secrets. Unlike other jurisdictions, Canada does not have a clear legal framework defining the notion of secrecy or outlining its protection or limits, despite the fact that the protection of confidential information is of fundamental interest in a society dedicated to innovation and global competition.  Professor Martin-Bariteau’s study will take stock of how Canada compares to its partners, and help outline a coherent framework that could provide a basis for the establishment of a new legislative framework.

Finally Professor Salyzyn was awarded her grant for a project entitled “Whistle-Blowing and Lawyers: Balancing Professional Responsibilities and the Public Interests”, which addresses a series of critical questions for lawyers about the boundaries between adhering to professional obligations to clients and serving the public interest. When, for example, should a lawyer’s obligation to safeguard confidential client information yield to protect the public from physical or financial harm? If a lawyer does whistle-blow is it unethical for him or her to do so for personal gain? There has been little scholarly attention paid to this subject in Canada. Professor Salyzyn will ultimately produce an article for publication in a Canadian law journal.

Congratulations to all of our FLR grant recipients!

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