Western Law Alumni Magazine Issue 4 -2009 : Page 4

WESTERN LAW PROFESSORS CAPTURE SSHRC RESEARCH AWARDS Four Standard Research grants have been awarded to Western Law professors by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The grants will allow faculty to pursue a wide range of scholarly interests. “This is an excellent result,” says Prof. Mark Perry, Associate Dean (Research). “In this climate it is very hard to secure any grant, let alone a Tri-Council, peer reviewed grant for Law. This is a very good indication of the accelerating growth of our scholarly research base at Western Law.” PROF. JASON NEYERS received $78,261 to study the economic torts. These consist of the torts of conspiracy, intimidation, inducing breach of contract, malicious falsehood, and unlawful interference with economic relations and the action per quod servitium amisit. As these torts are relevant to a wide range of situations in Canadian society – for example, labour disputes, competition between rival businesses, the regulation of market activity, and protests by public interest groups – the funded research will attempt to see if they might be explainable as consistent with generally accepted legal principles. PROF. SARA SECK was awarded a SSHRC Standard Grant in the amount of $33,454 over one year. Seck’s research will explore the international law and international relations theory behind the Framework for Business and Human Rights presented by Harvard Professor John Ruggie to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2008. She will critically examine the Framework by drawing upon the insights of Third World and post-colonial legal scholars, and off er recommendations designed to clarify the precise scope of the home state duty to protect human rights. 4 2009 WESTERN LAW ALUMNI MAGAZINE PROF. DANIEL SANDLER (left), PROF. CHRISTOPHER NICHOLLS (right) and economists Lindsay Tedds (University of Victoria) and Ryan Compton (University of Manitoba) have received a three-year grant of $76,400 to examine employee stock option backdating in Canada. This problem has garnered much attention in the United States, where more than 100 companies have been investigated by the SEC and the Department of Justice, but very little attention in Canada. Sandler et al. intend to rectify this gap in Canadian legal and economic literature. PROF. ERIKA CHAMBERLAIN, along with co-applicant François Larocque of the University of Ottawa, received a grant of $64,503 to study the expanding tort of misfeasance in public office. This tort allows a citizen to sue a public official who acted unlawfully with either (a) the deliberate intention to harm the citizen, or (b) knowing disregard for injury to the citizen. While historically described as an “exceptional” tort, misfeasance in public office has undergone rapid expansion throughout the Commonwealth in the last few decades. Chamberlain and Larocque’s research will help to provide a theoretical framework for misfeasance in public office that synthesizes the tort’s historical and modern objectives, considers the relationship between misfeasance and other remedies in private and public law, and strikes an appropriate balance between government accountability and the separation of powers. SCHOOL NEWS

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