Administrative Law

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7106H.

Recommended: Clinical Legal Education: Externship - Advocates for Injured Workers (0101) (LAW248Y1Y)

Changes in the labour market, along with a variety of austerity policies, have lead to a rise of precarity: in employment, in housing, evenas shown by the rise in foodbank usein maintaining an income too sufficient to eat.

The past few decades have also seen the growth of the administrative state, an array of government departments, agencies and tribunals that create and administer rules which effect almost every aspect of ordinary peoples lives, sometimes ameliorating problems of precarity, sometimes blind to them, but most often replicating and enforcing the economic and social structures that resulted in precarity in the first place.

Workers compensation is an area of the law where the intersection of precarity and the administrative state is dramatic and intense. This course examines a number of hotly contested aspects of workers compensation law, exploring how the administration of workers comp intersects with precarity, and presenting students with examples of resistance organized by workers movements, past and present.

Students will learn about a variety of critical areas of workers compensation law and policy, as they collide with the lives of precarious workers experiencing workplace injury or disability. We will examine how workers compensation regimes deal with new and emerging disabilities, return to work, mental health, the surveillance of workers, occupational disease and human rights.

Each class will be taught by a practitioner in workers compensation law, along with one or more visiting academics, injured workers, lawyers, and/or organizers. Students will have the opportunity to explore, with faculty and visiting speakers, questions about the role of lawyers in social justice movements, such as:

  • To what extent is litigation useful in advancing social justice?
  • What other law-reform activities can lawyers engage in?
  • How can lawyers assist, and learn from, organizers and workers movements?
  • Do lawyers professional responsibilitiesor our sense of professionalismlimit our involvement?
  • Arent lawyers just part of the problem?
  • Evaluation
    (10%) class participation; (20%) report/reflection piece on an active participation in an activity relevant to the major themes of the course e.g. protest, organizing meeting, hearing (assistance will be offered to students to identify opportunities for such participation) 1000 words, due March 1, 2019; (20%) co-facilitation of a class on a topic of the students choice (a set of recommended topics tied to the themes of the class will be provided). Students will work in small groups to select a few readings/cases and lead a discussion about their topics; and (50%) written submission prepared for a sample administrative tribunal hearing (3500-4000 words). Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback on a draft version of the submission if submitted before March 15, 2019; drafts will be returned to students by March 29, 2019.

    At a Glance

    Second Term


    20 JD


    T: 4:10 - 6:00