PPG2001H: Integrating Seminar: Legal Analysis in Public Policy
SECTION I: Fall
The Law and Policy of Work in the New Economy
The nature and structure of work and the relationship between employers and workers have been changing significantly over the last two or three decades, and particularly more recently. These changes have been termed “the new economy”, with the result that the regulation of the workplace and of employer-employee relationships previously developed are no longer relevant in many situations. This course addresses the major characteristics of and the process of developing policy to respond to the new economy, and considers what changes may be required to ensure the new economy meets the needs of all participants, employers and workers.
Among the major changes are the following: the move towards post-industrial, service-based work; increased contracting out and off-shoring of work as a result of greater economic integration; the decline of the “standard employment relationship” based upon full-time, long-term employment, with regular hours and benefits, and the rise of part-time, temporary and contract work and self-employment, much of which is “precarious”; rapid technology change; and the increasing diversity of the workforce. We see a decline in unionization levels and thus of collective bargaining; certain demographic patterns among workers without any or adequate access to employment protection legislation; worker displacement through the decline in Canadian manufacturing and the impact of technology; a more complex relationship between requirements of family and work; and employers’ need for increased flexibility in the employment relationship.
The course will be divided into three segments: the first segment will address the factors relevant to creating public policy (Canadian institutions, the reason for regulation and governing principles), and the last segment will apply the principles of policy-making to determining appropriate policy for work in the new economy. The middle and largest segment will consider issues that define “the new economy”.
Fall (2nd year)
SECTION I: Spring
Independent Regulation: Policy, Politics, and Practice of Governing Outside of Government
We are said to be living in a “Regulatory State” where many important policy areas – including energy, transportation, telecommunications and public markets – are populated by independent regulatory agencies. These agencies – sometimes called a headless fourth branch of government – exercise decision making authority outside of the direct managerial oversight of Ministries. Their decisions can have a major impact on both the ability of governments to implement their agenda and the ability of citizens to influence policy outcomes.
This course will address the major theoretical and practical issues that independent regulatory agencies bring to governance in a democratic society from the perspectives of law, politics and economics.
It will include readings and discussions aimed at the following issues:
- the role of regulatory agencies as a form of governance;
- rationale for regulation, i.e., why do governments create agencies that can then operate outside of their direct control;
- how do regulators make decisions, and how are their processes integrated, or not, with government policy;
- how are regulators subject to oversight through the courts and through government; and
- what is the meaning and value of regulatory independence.
Spring (2nd year)
SECTION II: Spring
Canadian Migration Policy
Who gets in? As national borders dissolve for trade, capital, communication and culture under globalization, these same borders acquire increasing salience in controlling the flow of people. Migration control thus emerges as the ‘last bastion of sovereignty’. This course focuses on the Canadian policy, law and practice designed to manage and regulate entry, residence and citizenship. The policy answers to the question ‘who gets in?’ will be analyzed in terms of history (who got in to Canada in the past?), global trends (when and why do people want to get in?), comparative examples (who gets in elsewhere?), and critical perspectives (how do class/race/ ethnicity/gender affect who gets in?).
The course will examine the role of international and constitutional arrangements in determining the role played by different levels of government (United Nations, federal, provincial and municipal) in immigration, as well as the division of labour between the legislator and the executive in making the rules. We will also explore the role of courts both as law interpreters (under the conventional understanding of the judicial role), and as policy makers. We will take into account the contribution of non-governmental actors, such as business, organized labour and civil society in shaping and implementing policy. Although the advancement of economic self-interest is the main driver of Canadian immigration policy, national security, humanitarianism also play important roles.
Students will become familiar with the structure of Canadian immigration policy, and the mechanism by which immigration law organizes people into a series of categories and sub-categories: legal/illegal; temporary/permanent; economic/family class; voluntary/coerced etc. Students will also be exposed to the debates, institutional interactions and contingent events that produce specific choices (from a range of options) about how to achieve certain public objectives.
The Immigration Refugee Protection Act, Regulations and Immigration Manual provide the framework for categorizing potential entrants into legal vs. non-legal, visitors vs. permanent residents, and immigrants vs. refugees. These legal instruments set the terms of admission and exclusion, and the processes by which the state makes and implements these determinations.
Spring (2nd year)
SECTION III: Spring
Property Law and Cities
This course explores the relationship between property law and policy in cities. There is a mutual dependence between owners and government in cities. Cities today lean on owners to support the provision of local public goods in a variety of ways, whether it is shovelling snow, maintaining POPs (privately owned public spaces) or financing public goods. Property owners rely on cities to provide the framework within which they use property, build communities, and maintain property values. The interaction between cities, owners and non-owners generates a variety of conflicts for decision-makers to resolve but also produces tools and opportunities for cities.
The object of the course is to introduce students to the fundamental building blocks of property law as it bears on how we live together in cities. The course will begin with a survey of the basic structure of property rights, such as ownership, tenancies, easements, covenants, air-rights, etc. It will then introduce students to the legal concept of the city and in particular the powers of local government in relation to owners, including the powers to take, regulate and tax property in cities.
Building on this foundation, we will go on to consider how property law shapes policymaking on a range of issues relating to homelessness, access to public housing, aboriginal rights, and land use and urban development in general. We will also study how the law relates to the financing of public goods and the allocation of benefits and burdens of membership in urban communities.
Spring (2nd year)
Required of all second year students. Please note that courses offered under the “Integrating Seminar: Legal Analysis in Public Policy” seminar series are subject to change with each new academic year.