In consultation with its Advisory Committee, the Centre will regularly review course offerings at Queen's Law and will pursue new curricular initiatives, which include workshops, specialized or intensive courses, and the development of teaching modules on the workplace implications of other areas of law. The Centre will aim to ensure that the Queen's Law curriculum:

  • Has the breadth and depth to address the issues of greatest significance to today's and tomorrow's workplaces;
  • Is multidisciplinary and pluralistic, responding to the diverse needs of students who expect to represent employees, unions and employers;
  • Concerns itself with problem-solving skills, such as relationship building and social dialogue; and with practice norms such as collegiality, civility and professionalism;
  • Exposes students to work by the best scholars from Canada and abroad, through a visiting speakers series and a faculty visitors program.

The Faculty of Law is pleased to offer a comprehensive range of courses in workplace law, including:

Law 568 Topics in Labour/Employment Law

This course will expose students to the law and theory of human rights in employment. We will begin by inquiring how and why the workplace is an important target of human rights legislation. To that end, we will start by engaging with arguments about the moral significance of work, the nature of social equality, and the history of labour markets in fostering social inequalities. With this philosophical and social background in mind, for the remainder of the course students will learn, apply, and critically assess human rights law in the workplace. Students will learn the main forms of unlawful workplace discrimination, focusing primarily on provincial human rights codes and related legal doctrine. We will then take a closer look at the law and theory of particular prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as gender and race, by reading and discussing a combination of human rights cases, personal narratives, and philosophical writing on race, gender, intersectionality, and colonialism. Students should come away from the course with an informed view of the role and limits of human rights law in preventing and remedying workplace inequalities.

Law 559 - International and Transnational Labour Law (offered in alternate years, next in 2020-21)

This course will focus on how and why international labour and employment law have developed as a response to globalization, exploring intellectual foundations and surveying the latest developments in the field. The aim is to become conversant with key legal and policy issues, and with the architecture of the main regimes of international and transnational labour and employment law, preparing students to provide well-rounded advice, arguments and opinions on a set of issues at the centre of contemporary debates over international economic integration. Issues covered will include the problems of international co-ordination giving rise to international labour standards, the status of labour rights as human rights, the impact of globalization on labour standards, debates over labour standards and economic development, the connection between international labour standards and international trade law, and the challenges of effective and legitimate international governance to promote decent working conditions in the global economy. Topics will include the multilateral system of worker rights (the International Labour Organization and international human rights conventions), the linkages between labour standards and international trade law, corporate social responsibility and private sector codes of conduct, the rights and protection of migrant workers, and the application of international labour law within the Canadian domestic legal system.

Law 560 Labour

This course is a survey of the law of labour-management relations, with emphasis on collective bargaining in the private sector. It will first consider the purposes, regulatory strategies and functions of labour law as a form of regulated market ordering. It will then provide an overview of the legal background and context of collective bargaining, including constitutional divisions of powers, the common law contract of employment, and regulation of the individual employment relationship. It will review the key elements of the law of collective bargaining (acquiring and terminating bargaining rights, protection against unfair labour practices, duty to bargain, regulation of strikes, lockouts and other industrial disputes, arbitration of differences under collective agreements, protection of individual rights and interests), focusing on Ontario legislation and the freedom of association provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Finally it will briefly survey how the new economy - including globalization and major changes in the Canadian economy and society - are reshaping labour law at the domestic and international levels today.4 credits, fall term.

Law 562 Collective Agreement and Arbitration

The collective agreement establishes the legal framework that governs the ongoing relationship between the employer, the union, and the unionized workforce. Grievance arbitration is the special mechanism that provides for the enforcement of this framework. This course examines some of the most important areas of arbitral jurisprudence and the main areas of interface between the arbitral process and the general legal process. Examples of topics to be covered are discipline and discharge, seniority, management rights, the remedial powers of arbitrators, the impact of external legislation, and evidentiary and procedural issues.

Law 567 Employment Law

The Supreme Court of Canada has acknowledged that the contract of employment is "unique", and governs a "special relationship" between the employer and the individual non-unionized employee. This course will explore central issues and themes in employment law, and will focus on the following topics: 1) the formation of the employment contract; 2) employee or independent contractor?; 3) who is the employer?; 4) the impact of legislation upon the employment relationship (The course will focus on employment standards, pay equity, and human rights legislation); 5) termination of the employment relationship including wrongful dismissal, just cause termination; 6) the rights and remedies available to employees (including a comparison of the federal statutory regime with the provincial regime). If time permits, there will be a discussion of issues pertaining to employees with disabilities including a discussion of the workers' compensation and occupational health and safety legislative regimes. 3 credits, fall term.

Law 581/582 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal

The Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal (CLELJ) is Canada’s only scholarly refereed law review in its field, and is a collaborative publication of Lancaster House and the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace. The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Kevin Banks. The student editorial group consists of a maximum of six Student Editors (Law-581AB) and a maximum of two Senior Student Editors (Law-582AB) who have previously served as Student Editors on the CLELJ or the Queen’s Law Journal. Law-582AB and Law-581AB each carry four credits, normally divided equally between the fall and winter terms. Duties of the Senior Student Editors and Student Editors will include the following: doing initial reviews of articles submitted to the journal, deciding which submissions to accept and on what conditions; assessing revisions made by the authors; doing substantive editing of the accepted papers; supervising citation checking by volunteer student editorial assistants; and helping to plan future issues. The student editorial group is selected in the spring for the following academic year, on the basis of written applications, a short editing test and an interview.

Law 345 Alternative Dispute Resolution

The resolution of legal disputes by means of negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, rather than by trial before a judge. Both court-annexed and private ADR methods will be considered. The class will participate in simulation exercises, some of which will involve preparation of settlement documents, and will examine the relevant statutes and current studies on alternative dispute resolution. The primary focus will be on the use of ADR in private civil disputes, particularly in the areas of commercial law, torts, and family law. The goal of the course is the development of both settlement skills and a critical understanding of ADR methods.

Law 335 Negotiation

The purpose of this seminar is to gain theoretical as well as practical knowledge of and perspectives related to negotiation. The seminar will focus on building and improving participants' negotiating skills through analysing conflict, understanding the process of negotiation, and engaging in a series of simulated negotiations with coaching and de-briefing. Topics to be covered will include general and specific negotiation themes including understanding the nature of conflict, analyzing problems, understanding negotiation styles and approaches, defining and uncovering interests, developing options, brainstorming, joint problem-solving, dealing with process challenges ("hard bargainers" and other obstructive behaviours, overcoming impasse, etc.), ethics in negotiation, and negotiation in a variety of contexts (including collaborative negotiations, facilitated negotiations). Role-plays will include direct and multi-party negotiations in a variety of practice areas.

Law 203/703 Workplace Law (undergraduate course)

This course will introduce students to the various legal regimes that regulate work relations: the common law regime; the regulatory regime which includes employments standards, health and safety rules, and human rights; and the collective bargaining regime that applies to unionized workplaces. Students will understand that the law of work is a dynamic area, constantly affected by economic, historical, political and global forces.

Law 473 Competitive Moot Court - Oralist

Selections of oralists for an approved moot are made through a competitive selection process held in the fall term each year and administered by the Moot Court Committee or by the Faculty Supervisor assigned to the moot. Approved moots are listed at

Law 474 Competitive Moot Oralist II

Upper-year JD or combined JD student selected as an oralist for an approved moot held in the fall or winter term and who has a previous registration in LAW-473.