Dalhousie Law Journal



Labour Law, Employment Law, Brian Langille


Labour Law versus Employment Law in the UK and Canada: A Brian Langille Legacy

The special segment in this Volume 43, which is devoted to an exercise in comparative labour, is the brain-child of Alan Bogg and Mark Freedland. Both were at Oxford University in 2016, thinking about the up-coming third conference of the Labour Law Research Network (LLRN) in Toronto, which was scheduled for summer of 2017. (Alan is now at Bristol.) They thought it would be interesting to explore distinctions between labour law and employment law in both Canada and the United Kingdom, where the notions have different connotations and but considerable overlap from various perspectives. They thought that a useful starting point for comparative analysis would be the influential article written by Brian Langille, who was at the time of authorship at Dalhousie Law School, entitled “Labour Law is a Subset of Employment Law”: (1981), 31 UTLJ 200. Bruce Archibald (Dalhousie) and Claire Mummé (at Windsor, and a former post-doc at Dalhousie) were recruited to provide Canadian input to the project. A spirited round-table involving the four was held at the LLRN 3 conference. The discussion generated a good deal of engagement among those in attendance. After the initial event was over, the four thought that it would be valuable and fun to transfer their deliberations and debates into publishable form. The four invited Brian Langille (long since at University of Toronto) to write a response. Brian agreed with alacrity. All are delighted and grateful that the Dalhousie Law Journal, and the peer reviewers for the collection, were willing to give these ruminations a place in the academic sun. The hope is that readers may find the results to be of both theoretical and practical interest. In addition, the original proponents of this special issue are pleased to see that the editors have included at the end of this volume the Note, “On the Presence of the Past in the Future of International Labour Law” which was presented as the Horace E. Read Memorial Lecture at the Schulich School of Law by our esteemed colleague Adelle Blackett (McGill). We trust it can be seen that we are all committed in our own ways to the emancipatory and humanizing potential of both domestic and international labour and employment law.

Bruce Archibald

Professor Emeritus

Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.