Professors Nicholas Bala and Mary-Jo Maur completed the 10th edition of the Family Law Casebook, now available for students at Queen’s and other law schools.
Professors Nicholas Bala and Mary-Jo Maur completed the 10th edition of the Family Law Casebook, now available for students at Queen’s and other law schools.
Professor Noah Weisbord steps outside his office shack in the Laurentian Mountains to take a break from researching group criminality. (Photo by Alana Klein)
Professor Noah Weisbord steps outside his office shack in the Laurentian Mountains to take a break from researching group criminality. (Photo by Alana Klein)

School is back in session and professors are introducing students to their course content. But preparing for the new academic year isn’t all faculty members have been up to lately. Over the past four months, they’ve been advancing legal research in a wide range of areas from pandemic public health compliance and “ecocide” crime to business interruption insurance and political resistance. Here is just a sample of the exciting projects they’ve been working on and presenting. 

Professor Martha Bailey wrote a paper about the latest U.K. cases on competent Jehovah’s Witness minors who refuse blood transfusions. With the assistance of JD students Nicole Burrows and Emma March, she has conducted research on Indigenous self-government in private family law matters. With the assistance of JD student Allison Neville, she has been updating the family law chapters of the private international law casebook.

Professor Nicholas Bala gave Zoom continuing professional education programs on family law for judges in Ontario and Massachusetts, and through Canada’s National Judicial Institute, and for lawyers and family justice professionals in Ontario. He also participated in international Zoom conferences sponsored by the University of Bergin and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and he chaired a Task Force that revised the Ontario Parenting Plan Guide. With social sciences colleagues, he completed research projects on unbundled legal services for family law clients, the pandemic’s effect on family justice, high-conflict family cases, and parental alienation. 

Professor Mary-Jo Maur, with Professors Nicholas Bala and Claire Houston (Western), completed the 10th edition of the Family Law casebook, now available for students at Queen’s and other law schools. She also worked on a paper on the use of tort claims in family litigation, for publication later this year. Outside of academia, she spent a little time on her golf game, and on becoming a Dressage Queen, competing in her first upper-level dressage competition.

Professor Benjamin Ewing finished drafting – and presented at the 2021 Legal Philosophy Workshop (held on Zoom) – a paper on the state’s moral standing to blame criminal offenders who have been the victims of criminogenic injustice. He has also been working on several other projects, including a collaborative effort with Professor Lisa Kerr on the moral foundations of Gladue and a book chapter on mass incarceration for an edited volume on the philosophy of punishment.

Professor Debra Haak presented papers about Canada’s prostitution policy, criminal prostitution laws, and constitutional challenges to those laws at five conferences: Law & Society Association (U.S.), Socio-Legal Studies Association (U.K.), Canadian Law & Society Association, Canadian Sexual Exploitation Summit, and U.S. National Centre on Sexual Exploitation’s Global Summit. She published “The Good Governance of Empirical Evidence about Prostitution, Sex Work, and Sex Trafficking in Constitutional Litigation” (Queen’s Law Journal) and completed an article considering the use of reasonable hypotheticals and social science evidence in constitutional litigation and a review of Scottish Feminist Judgments (forthcoming, Canadian Journal of Law and Society).

Associate Dean Gail Henderson completed the final report on the results of a SSHRC-funded research project on financial literacy education in elementary schools. She also contributed a piece, “COVID-19 and the Regulation of Alternative Financial Services” – which she co-authored with Kevin Akrong, Law’20 – to the latest issue of the Queen’s Law Journal. This research is part of a larger project on financial regulations relevant to the financial lives of individuals living on low incomes. In addition, she was interviewed by Global News and the Montreal Gazette on a class action lawsuit in Quebec against group RESP providers.

Professor Ardi Imseis worked on several research projects and policy issues carrying over from last summer. In addition to continued research on his book on the United Nations (UN) and the question of Palestine, he had papers published in the European Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Criminal Justice, and the Stanford Journal of International Law. Moreover, he continued serving as a Member of the UN commission of inquiry for the war in Yemen, the fourth report of which is due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council this month.

Associate Dean Joshua Karton wrote a chapter for a festschrift in honour of his mentor, Professor George Bermann, as well as a book review and a couple of blog posts; edited the most recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Commercial Arbitration and two book reviews for the American Journal of Comparative Law; read three PhD theses and one LLM thesis; and inked a publishing contract (along with three co-editors) for a forthcoming volume on Sustainable Diversity in International Arbitration. He was also elected to the International Academy of Comparative Law. 

Professor Lisa Kerr continued her research on how anti-Black racism and the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people are considered as sentencing factors in the Canadian legal system. She also worked with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic on strategic litigation in relation to several topics, including the sanction of life without the possibility of parole, access to remote education for prisoners, and the law of public interest standing. In addition, she participated in judicial and Crown education on sentencing and prison law, and gave several public lectures on these topics. 

Professor Mohamed Khimji, the David Allgood Professor in Business Law, authored a paper on the role of knowledge in secured financing disputes that was published in the July 2021 issue of the Banking and Finance Law Review. He also co-authored a paper with JD student Emily Stauffer on corporate veil piercing in the family law context that will appear in the March 2022 issue of the Canadian Journal of Business Law. 

Professor Erik S. Knutsen was elected a Fellow of the European Law Institute, received a Foundation for Legal Research grant for an insurance law book project, and co-hosted online the second TransAtlantic Lectures on Insurance Law with the European Law Institute. He published two co-authored articles: one on business interruption insurance and COVID-19 (Connecticut Insurance Law Journal), and another on insurance policy interpretation (Cincinnati Law Review). He also co-authored a new edition of the Canadian civil procedure casebook The Civil Litigation Process and a new chapter on insurance and COVID-19 in his American co-authored treatise Stempel & Knutsen on Insurance Coverage

Professor Nicolas Lamp has been working on a paper about the root causes of the crisis of dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization, which he presented at several workshops and conferences this summer. He has also been preparing for the publication of his co-authored book (with Anthea Roberts) entitled Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters (Harvard University Press), which will hit bookstores in October.

Professor Cherie Metcalf – with JD students Nick Morrow, Hannah Ross, Laura Sumner, Jacob Vanderzwet – worked on her SSHRC-funded climate change research, including communicating about it to a polarized public and ways Canada’s constitution affects our ability to respond. She presented at conferences hosted by University of Arizona, U.S. Midwest Political Science Association, Society for Environmental Law & Economics, and the Queen’s/uOttawa Public Law Workshop. She began an empirical project on the use of law, norms, and fines for achieving pandemic public health compliance, presented at the Canadian Economics Association conference. With U.S. co-authors, she continues researching the deterrent effect of tort liability, designing new lab experiments. 

Professor Darryl Robinson worked this summer on possible definitions for a new crime of “ecocide,” addressing massive environmental harms. He was involved in an expert group on the definition, wrote online posts at “Opinio Juris,” and spoke at online conferences on the topic. He also participated in an online symposium about his book, Justice in Extreme Cases (Cambridge University Press, 2020). In addition, he was an expert in a refugee case dealing with duress and crimes against humanity.

Professor Don Stuart made major updates and published the 13th edition of Evidence: Principles and Problems (ThomsonReuters), his casebook co-authored with Professors David Tanovich (Windsor) and Lisa Dufraimont (Osgoode). “Evidence jurisprudence continues to be lively and complex,” he says. 

Professor Ashwini Vasanthakumar finalized proofs on her forthcoming monograph, The Ethics of Exile (Oxford), an article on political resistance, and a chapter on legitimacy in border control. Two contributions to edited collections – Women of Ideas (Oxford) and the Cambridge Handbook on Privatization (Cambridge) – were published this summer. She also gave a keynote and talks at Cornell, Oxford, and Lisbon (all virtually), and continued working on her SSHRC-funded project on transitional justice, articles on self-respect and protest, and her second book project. This academic year, she’ll be at the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin).

Professor Grégoire Webber continued to work on his book project on the relationship of law to human goods, exploring the idea of basic goods as the foundational reasons for which we act. He presented at a workshop in celebration of Professor Les Green’s contributions to the philosophy of law and beyond and he jointly organized the third Queen’s/uOttawa Public Law Workshop, at which he presented on the relationship between human rights and human goods. In July, he was seminar faculty on Princeton University’s Moral Foundations of Law summer course.

Professor Jacob Weinrib spent most of the summer writing a paper titled, “What is Purposive Interpretation?” He is now working on a short book provisionally titled, Proportionality: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream (under contract with Cambridge Elements, Cambridge University Press). 

Professor Noah Weisbord researched theories of group criminality and the January 6 Capitol attack in Washington, DC. His findings are meant to assist the just prosecution of emerging forms of domestic and international terror and cybercrime. This fall, he will present his research at an international conference on mass trials for mass violence jointly organized by McGill’s Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Centre de recherches en droit penal at Université libre de Bruxelles.

Professor Robert Yalden presented “Quebec’s Sole Shareholder Regime and the Rise of Simplified Corporations” at a conference on the 10th anniversary of Quebec’s Business Corporations Act. His article on Quebec’s innovative framework was recently published in 10e anniversaire de la LSAQ: retrospective, perspective et prospective. He has since spoken or written about the subject in such settings as The Conversation. He was also focused on a forthcoming article on the implications of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions on good faith in contract law for negotiating M&A transactions and began a substantial research project examining the process of rulemaking in Canadian securities law.