For graduate students, the course number is LAW7099HF.

Anti-requisites: students who have taken either Class Action Law or Class Actions Practice may not take this course.

The advent of class actions in Canada has radically altered the practice of law. This regime has provided redress for plaintiffs who would otherwise be unable to access the courts. It has also made governments, businesses and organizations much more aware of their obligations and potential liabilities to employees, consumers, and other members of the public. In short, class actions have brought mass justice to the forefront of the legal agenda.

We take the view that it is vitally important to understand both the practice of class actions and their underlying policy rationales. As such, our class is intended for a broad audience, including aspiring litigators, transactional lawyers, activists, businesspeople, policymakers, and academics. This class will present the theory and practice of class actions in an interactive format. Through discussion, debate, and dialogue with the faculty and a wide array of guest speakers, members of the class will learn to make the most of the exciting developments in this dynamic field of law.

This class will be divided into three parts. The first part will be devoted to an examination of the principles of class action law and procedure. The second part of the class will be structured around the areas of law most commonly dealt with in the actual practice of class actions: securities, price fixing, product liability, environmental and employment law. The third part of the class is earmarked for guest speakers—primarily prominent judges and leading counsel, who will discuss common practical and ethical concerns, including defence and plaintiff strategies, fees, costs and business issues, co-counsel relationships, communications with clients, class members and the media (although there may be additional guest speakers throughout the class).

A midterm, graded on a pass-fail basis (20%); 5,000 word research paper (80%). Students are also required to make a five-to-ten minute class presentation on their paper topic (ungraded). This course is intended to be dynamic, and while it will be conducted in lecture and guest interview format, students are encouraged to participate in class discussion. A limited number of students will be permitted to complete the SUYRP requirement in this course. Additionally, it is expected that this course would serve as excellent preparation for participation in the Warren K. Winkler Class Actions Moot.

At a Glance

First Term



45 JD


W: 6:10 - 8:00