U of A Faculty of Law professors talk about "law on the edge" at UBC conference, July 2-4, 2013

Presentations by Professors Barb Billingsley, Eric Adams and Gail Henderson, and PhD student Sarah Hamill.

Faculty of Law Communications - 18 July 2013

(Photo of UBC Campus)

What do the Canadian Bill of Rights, insurance defence and the business judgment rule have in common? Well, the answer is not very much, except that all were the subject of presentations by U of A law faculty at the "Law on the Edge Conference" held at UBC July 2-4, 2013. The conference was organized jointly by the Canadian Law and Society Association and the Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, and featured more than 100 panels on a wide variety of topics, presented by academics, practitioners and activists, all speaking to the theme of "law on the edge". The breadth of topics was reflected in the presentations by University of Alberta Faculty of Law Professors Barb Billingsley, Eric Adams and Gail Henderson, and PhD student Sarah Hamill.

On a panel focused on insurance law, Professor Billingsley discussed the edges to which Canadian defendants may be pushed by rules requiring them to disclose insurance coverage as part of pre-trial discovery. In Alberta, such mandatory disclosure is limited to auto accident cases, but applies broadly in several provinces.

Earlier that day on a human rights panel, Professor Adams put forward a new way of thinking about the Canadian Bill of Rightsas an important part of a broader national discussion about human rights that helped to pave the way for the Charter.

Professor Henderson’s presentation, as part of a panel on corporate responsibility on the final afternoon of the conference, also focused on human rights, but from a corporate law perspective; specifically whether the "business judgment rule" insulates boards of directors from accountability for failing to respect human rights. Professor Henderson also reported on a conference panel on natural disaster recovery and a presentation on disability rights on the Faculty Blog.

PhD student Sarah Hamill not only presented her research on the history of prohibition in Alberta, but also went home with honourable mention in the CLSA’s Annual Article Prize. Overall, the conference represented an important opportunity for U of A faculty and graduate students to disseminate their research and to connect with faculty members from across Canada and around the world.