Instructor(s): Duncan Glaholt

For graduate students, the course number is LAW2027HF.

Note: This course is offered every other year may be offered again in 2019-2020.

Note: The Blackboard program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Blackboard as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

The construction industry is one of the largest industries in Canada, comprising 20% or more of all GDP attributed to goods-producing industries in this country in any given year. The construction industry employs over 10% of all Canadian workers and contributes billions of dollars to the economy annually.

The construction industry is multi-faceted, comprising residential construction (e.g., houses, condominiums, apartment buildings), commercial construction (e.g., office towers, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses), industrial construction (e.g., plants, factories), institutional construction (e.g., schools, hospitals), resource extraction and development (e.g. mines, pipelines) and infrastructure development (e.g., roads, harbours, water and sewage treatment plants, transportation systems like LRTs and subways, power generating projects). The industry is ordered by a complex web of private contracts, public laws and regulations, and a set of common law duties, unique to the industry in some instances.

The cast of players engaged in this robust industry is both domestic and international and includes public sector regulators, federal and provincial crown corporations, design professionals (architects / engineers), developers, builders, general contractors, project managers, subcontractors, material and equipment suppliers, union and non-union labour, secured and unsecured lenders and risk brokers (bonding / insurance companies).

The construction industry is going through a period of profound challenge due to inescapable demands of aging infrastructure, the globalization of construction markets, the new dominance of private capital in public/private partnerships, and the impact of sophisticated and rapidly advancing technology including Building Information Modeling.

In this course we will survey and examine the legal relationships between these various parties, including analysis and case studies of rights, obligations and remedies. What is referred to as 'construction law' is really an interwoven legal fabric, including the private law of contract, tort, real property, debtor-creditor, agency, administrative law and trusts, etc., and public law and legislation relating to sale of goods, personal property security, liens, workers' compensation, labour, occupational health and safety, etc. This course will allow students to analyze construction law issues and apply these principles of law in a construction setting.

Guest lecturers may be invited to participate in key subject matter areas.

A research paper (5,000 words) (70%); written mid-term assignment (1,250 words) (20%); and class participation (10%).

At a Glance

First Term
Perspective course


30 JD


W: 6:10 - 8:00