Osgoode celebrates the publication of 14 books by faculty since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

book covers

The books delve deeply into some of the hottest legal issues of our time, ranging from disasters and disabilities to the global access-to-justice crisis, algorithmic management of employees and the law and emotions. One is a monumental history of Canadian law, another a book of poetry. And that’s just a small sampling of the rich research that Osgoode professors have undertaken since the start of the pandemic.

“These recent faculty books, which cover a range of topics, are an impressive collection of thought provoking and inspiring scholarship,” said Associate Dean (Research and Institutional Relations) Trevor Farrow.

In a special book launch event March 21 at the law school, faculty, staff and students celebrated the release or upcoming publication of an impressive 14 books written or edited by Osgoode professors since January 2020 – some under leading global imprints like Oxford University Press, Bloomsbury and Edward Elgar Publishing.

“Getting together with colleagues to discuss recent publications was a real pleasure,” Farrow added. “People are excited about the research that’s happening at Osgoode, and it was fascinating to discuss and celebrate these accomplishments.”

Here is a brief summary of the books, in order of most recently published:

May 2023 – Jennifer Nedelsky, Part-Time for All: A Care Manifesto (Oxford University Press): Part-Time for All offers solutions to four pressing problems: inequality for caregivers; family stress from the demands of work and care; chronic time scarcity; and policymakers who are ignorant of care and caregivers with little access to policymaking – the care/policy divide. Only a radical restructuring of both work and care can redress all of these problems.

March 2023 – Barnali Choudhury, The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: A Commentary (Edward Elgar Publishing): This comprehensive commentary provides an in-depth analysis of each of the 31 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the 10 Principles for Responsible Contracts. It engages in both a legal and contextual examination of the principles alongside their application to real world practices at both the domestic and international levels.

February 2023 – Allan Hutchinson, Hart, Fuller and Everything After: The Politics of Legal Theory (Bloomsbury): The book criticizes and abandons the analytical project that law professors Lon L. Hart and H.L.A. Fuller set in motion in 1957 and that still informs most legal theory today. Instead, it insists that not only law but also all theorizing about law is political in all its derivations, dimensions and directions.

November 2022 – Philip Girard, A History of Law in Canada Volume II: Law for the New Dominion, 1867-1914 (University of Toronto Press): In this latest volume of their seminal history, the authors chronicle how Canada, as a new state on the global stage, tried to use law to weld into one nation several disparate settler colonies established on Indigenous lands. But unity was elusive.

November 2022 – Kent McNeil, Voicing Identity: Cultural Appropriation and Indigenous Issues (University of Toronto Press): Written by leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, Voicing Identity examines the issue of cultural appropriation in the contexts of researching, writing, and teaching about Indigenous peoples. This book grapples with the questions of who is qualified to engage in these activities and how this can be done appropriately and respectfully.

July 2022 – Valerio De Stefano, Your Boss Is an Algorithm: Artificial Intelligence, Platform Work and Labour (Bloomsbury): What effect do robots, AI and online platforms have on our work? Using case studies and examples from across the E.U., the U.K. and the U.S., this book provides a compass to navigate this technological transformation, as well as the regulatory options available, and proposes a new map for the era of digital advancements.

February 2022: Saptarishi Bandopadhyay, All Is Well: Catastrophe and the Making of the Normal State (Oxford University Press): The book contends that there is no such thing as a “disaster” outside of rituals of legal, administrative and scientific contestation through which such occurrences are morally distinguished from the rhythms of everyday life. Disasters result from the same practices of knowledge-making and violence by which institutions and people develop state-like power to define and defend the social order.

August 2021 – Odelia Bay, Law and Disability in Canada: Cases and Materials (LexisNexis Canada): This text offers a comprehensive overview of law and disability issues in Canada. The authors discuss persons with disabilities and their interactions with the law as a holistic phenomenon that requires knowledge of and engagement with different areas of law such as workplace accommodation, income security, criminal justice, inquests and specialized courts.

April 2021 – Emily Kidd White, Research Handbook on Law and Emotion (Elgar Online): As this collection demonstrates, research on law and emotions has become a thriving field in recent years, providing vigorous and varied investigations into how emotions influence and are influenced by legal contexts. This scholarship is richly interdisciplinary, melding contributions from psychology, history, sociology, literature, critical theory, neuroscience and other fields.

December 2020 – Gus Van Harten, The Trouble with Foreign Investor Protection (Oxford University Press): Governments are rightly discussing reform of investment treaties and the incredibly powerful system of “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) on which they rest. At their core, ISDS treaties are flawed because they firmly institute wealth-based inequality under international law. This book reveals a shady world of investment protection where the costly disciplines of globalization get enforced.

December 2020 – Benjamin Geva, International Negotiable Instruments (Oxford University Press): This text on conflict-of-law rules applicable to negotiable instruments challenges their isolation and encourages their assimilation with mainstream law theory governing contract and property.

October 2020 – Kate Sutherland, The Bones are There (Book Hug Press): A collection of poems that explores the extinction stories of multiple animal species (Steller’s Sea Cow, the Thylacine, the Golden Toad) and the implication of humans therein. It’s poetry by way of collage, drawing on such disparate sources as ships’ logs, scientific manuals, trial testimony and fairy tales.

September 2020 – Trevor Farrow, The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law (UBC Press): This collection of new empirical research addresses the extent and cost of unmet legal needs, exploring issues such as funding, social exclusion, the value of new pathways, fee structures, justice services beyond courts and lawyers, and the need for a culture change within the justice system.

January 2020 – John McCamus, An Introduction to the Canadian Law of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment (Carswell): A concise and accessible account of the law of restitution or unjust enrichment, constituting a third branch of the law of obligations in Canadian common law jurisdictions.