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APPLIED LEGAL STUDIES: SCOPE AND NATURE

"If ideas, conceptions, notions, theories, systems are instrumental to an active reorganization of the given environment, to a removal of some specific trouble and perplexity, then the test of their validity and value lies in accomplishing this work. If they succeed in their office, they are reliable, sound, valid, good, true. If they fail to clear up confusion, eliminate defects, if they increase confusion, uncertainty and evil when they are acted upon, then are they truly false. Confirmation, corroboration, verification lie in works, consequences. By their fruits ye shall know them."  John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy

Applied legal studies is an approach to thinking about and understanding law as a set of ideas, articulated as rules, that inform- and sometimes “organize”- myriad social practices and relationships (relationships between parents and children, land use and development, and the social behaviours impacted by the criminal law e.g.). At the same time, the content of legal rules and doctrines is informed by, and changes in response to, social, technological, and ontological developments arising outside of the law. Applied Legal Studies refers broadly to empirical and theoretical research exploring different aspects of this constantly evolving dynamic between law and society.

THE APPLIED LEGAL STUDIES RESEARCH GROUP: PURPOSE

The Applied Legal Studies Research Group (ALSRG) provides a hub for applied legal research generation, network building, and knowledge exchange between researchers, legal professionals, and legal “users” in the private and public sectors.

People

Gordon, Robert M.; BA (La Trobe), MA (SFU), PhD (UBC); Professor Emeritus

  • Current research interests/activity:

Health law, including mental health law; adult guardianship and adult protection law, including the law relating to public guardians and trustees; supported and substitute decision making; abuse and neglect of the elderly; medical assistance in dying; commercial and international attacks on academic intergrity.

R. Gordon, 2020 Annotated British Columbia Incapacity Planning Legislation, Adult Guardianship Act and Related Statutes, Thomson Reuters Canada

Email: rgordon@sfu.ca

Surrey Office: SUR 5170

Hall, Margaret I.; BA, Hons. (UBC), LLB (Queen’s), LLM (UBC), PhD (UBC); Professor; Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia Chair in Applied Legal Studies; Director, Applied Legal Studies Graduate Program, School of Criminology; Adjunct Professor, Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law, Kamloops, British Columbia; Adjunct Professor,  Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Email: mihall@sfu.ca

  • Current research interests/activity: 

Tort Law; Mental Capacity and Decision-Making; Legal Theory (Autonomy, Vulnerability, and Suffering in the Law); Medical Assistance in Dying; Law and Dementia; Will-making and Family Agreements

  • Selected publications

Access Margaret's publications here.

 

Dr.  O'Connor, Deborah; BSW (University of Windsor); MSW (University of Toronto); PhD (Wilfred Laurier University) Professor

Dr. O'Connor has over 30 years of direct professional Social Work practice working in the field of aging and health care, including maintaining a small, ongoing practice providing consultation on complex cases, especially when there are issues related to decision-making capacity and/or abuse, neglect or self-neglect.  She is the founding director, and current co-director of the Centre for Research on Personhood and Dementia (CRPD) — an interdisciplinary research centre focused on understanding and supporting people with dementia and their family care partners using a lens that recognizes that the dementia experience is both a biomedical AND a social condition.  Dr. O'Connor is also a founding member of the Citizenship and Dementia: International Research Network.

604-822-5299

Email: deborah.oconnor@ubc.ca

  • Selected publications:

Access Deborah's publications here.

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

Applied Legal Theory 

  • “Beyond the King’s Peace: The Nature and Role of Intent in the Intentional and Direct Interference Torts” (Margaret I. Hall)
  • “The Autonomous Subject at End of Life: Medical Assistance in Dying” (Margaret I Hall)
  • “Responding to Coercive Control in Intimate Partner and Family Relationships: Criminal Law, Domestic Violence Legislation, and the Tort of False Imprisonment” (Margaret I. Hall)
  • “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Article 12, ‘Safeguarding’, and the Right to Legal Capacity” (Margaret I. Hall)

Empirical Legal Research 

  • “Mental (in)Capacity in the Context of Abuse and Neglect” (Deborah O’Connor, Margaret I. Hall, Joan Braun, Alison Leaney, Krista James, Kelly Purser, Rachelle Hole)
  • “Family Justice and Mental Incapacity: The Significance of Family in Judicial and Medical Determinations of Older Adults’ Decision-Making Ability” (Margaret I. Hall)