Work on comparative approaches to legal education, particularly comparative work that crosses legal traditions, has grown (although not exponentially) over the last decade as legal scholars have become more interested in what transnationalism might mean not only for law but also for those of us interested in how we learn and teach law. Enter Helge Dedek. Helge is a wonderful comparative law scholar. His piece, “Stating Boundaries: the Law, Disciplined” takes some of the highlight historic moments of public intellectualism in legal education from the European continent and England and uncovers what they tell us about the evolution of the discipline of the study of law.
Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey makes fabulous contributions at the nexus where public policy intersects with private law. An example of her exploration of that kind of question is readily available in “Protecting Survivors of Domestic Violence within the Insurance Regime: Opportunities to Seek Termination or Variation of Insurance Contracts”. That piece explores the rationales for allowing private parties to interfere in the design of insurance contracts where the life or health of the person whose life is insured may be at risk because of the activities of the policy holder.
Should the discretion for sentences for second-degree murder be a range (say, 10 – 25 years) or should there be fixed pinpoints for the exercise of discretion (say, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years)? Craig Jones and Micah Rankin’s empirical work reveals that even if your answer is the former, odds are good the sentencing judge’s sentences reflect the later. Check out “Justice as a Rounding Error? Evidence of Subconscious Bias in Second-Degree Murder Sentences in Canada”.
I am persuaded by Craig Forcese that we should embrace the potential of service as public citizens, which I must confess runs counter to my general view that academics should try to stay in the bubble. Forcese’s piece, “The Law Professor as Public Citizen” doesn’t make the case for public engagement; instead, it is a study of how much of that kind of work academics do. We’re scant on empirical work about the lives of legal academics, so this piece is a welcome contribution. Plus, if you read it, you can find out what you aren’t doing. Forcese assures us, based on his study, that there is time in the day for this work …
I love Jane Glenn’s work. (You can learn more about her here.) I wish she’d get more of it posted to SSRN. In good news, you can find “The Canadian Wheat Board, Socio-economic Vulnerability and the Neo-liberal State” here. It’s a wonderful piece – providing a sweeping history of the development and challenges of the Canadian Wheat Board and using that story as a case study on the state of democracy and the rule of law. Jane’s an under-sung hero of the Canadian legal academy and if you haven’t tread into her work before, this is a great place to start.
The Friday Library will hibernate for the summer. If you have suggestions for great pieces that should be featured, please send them along to email@example.com Until September…
The literature on quotas (or diversity more generally) in boardrooms has exploded in the last ten years. Darren Rosenblum and Daria Roithmayr “More Than a Woman: Insights into Corporate Governance after the French Sex Quota” took on qualitative research with the aim of understanding how the French board quota, which requires at least 40 percent representation on corporate boards by men and women, has altered board practices. They interviewed 24 current and former board members alongside seven additional subjects. The article presents rich context on the consequences of the imposition of a legislated quota in France and adds new insights to an otherwise crowded field.
“Transparently Opaque: Understanding the Lack of Transparency in Insurance Consumer Protection” is a hefty American-style law review article. Daniel Schwarcz approaches the regulatory spectrum by comparing consumer protection regulation with insurance regulation. The piece argues insurance regulation is flawed because it lacks some of the transparency features of consumer protection regulation. It’s rare to find a thoughtful, detailed, theoretically engaging piece on insurance regulation – here’s a good entrance to the genre.
Alice Woolley is a thoughtful and brave scholar. (Check out her blogs on Slaw and ABlawg.) In “Lawyers and the Rule of Law: Independence of the bar, the Canadian constitution and the law governing lawyers” she takes on the substantive question of whether our constitution compels independence of the bar. Alice has work that I think presses harder at the boundaries of legal ethics, and that I think better exemplifies her scholarly style and focus (check out her SSRN page here), but I’m suggesting this piece because it’s a topic that presumably all lawyers should know something about. So read it.
Shu-Yi Oei and Diane Ring are terrific tax scholars and they join here and step out of the tax ring. Income share agreements have proliferated, especially in the United States. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you definitely need to read “Human Equity? Regulating the New Income Share Agreements“. Oei and Ring argue against a common regulatory frame for ISAs, largely on the grounds that they are diverse in form and that sensible analogies can be drawn to other regulated instruments. If you care about regulatory theory or about the structure or normative justifications for ISAs, the piece is great reading.