Western Law

5826C 001 International and Comparative Labour Law (ST)

Instructor(s)Creighton, Breen
Essay RequirementYes, this course will satisfy the Faculty of Law essay requirement
Enrollment Restriction25
Instruction This will be a highly interactive class consisting of structured discussions led by the lecturer. In addition, each student will be expected to lead discussion on a specified aspect of a particular topic on one occasion during the course.
Assessment 100% Research Essay, maximum 30 pages
(the topic may be selected from a list provided by the lecturer, or may be on another topic agreed between the student and the lecturer)
Materials Required: Jean-Michel Servais, International Labour Law (Kluwer, 2005) ISBN 90 411 2392X

Additional materials and links will be available in OWL

Library MaterialsClick here for Library Materials for this Course
Description This course will be principally concerned with the regulation of terms and conditions of employment by collective bargaining in an international and comparative context.

The key focus of the course will be the International Labour Standards (ILS) which have been adopted under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) since 1919. Law and practice in Canada and other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will be discussed and evaluated by reference to those standards.

The course will start by looking at the origins of the ILO, including the rationale for its establishment as part of the Versailles peace settlement in 1919. This will lead on to discussion of the ILO’s unique tripartite structure, the way in which it sets ILS, and the supervisory procedures which have been put in place to try to ensure compliance with those Standards.

This will provide the basis for an examination of some of the key standards which have been adopted over the years, including the eight Conventions which form the basis for the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. There will be a particular focus on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No 87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No 98).

This in turn will lead on to a discussion of: (a) international protection of the right to strike; (b) statutory recognition of the right to engage in collective bargaining; and (c) protection against victimisation on grounds of trade union membership or activity.

This will be followed by discussion of the role of collective bargaining in protecting minimum employment standards, and of the challenge to the traditional approach to collective bargaining that is posed by the globalisation of the world economy and the fragmentation of the labour market.

The course will conclude with discussion of Canada’s relationship with the ILO, including ratification of ILS, interaction with the ILO’s supervisory bodies, and the role of ILO standards in the application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course, students should have an understanding of:

• the structure and operation of the ILO, including its standard-setting and supervisory procedures;

• the core ILO standards, especially those relating to freedom of association;

• the ways in which major common law jurisdictions have responded to the freedom of association standards;

• the challenges facing the ILO in an increasingly integrated and interdependent world economy; and

• how Canadian law and practice measures up to ILO standards relating to freedom of association.