2023 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium: “The Legitimacy of the State”

The topic for the 2023 edition of the Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium was “The Legitimacy of the State”:

The legitimacy of contemporary liberal democratic states is in a state of flux. Managing the effects of globalization, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and fighting escalating inflation have prompted serious questions about public administration in the Global North. These pressing issues have shone a spotlight on difficult areas for liberal democracies, which have struggled in recent decades to reconcile popular desires with the need for effective governance. In this year’s Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium, speakers will address challenges to legitimacy in liberal democratic states by focusing on a range of institutions: the executive branch, the civil service, administrative agencies, immigration enforcement and central banks. The overall goal is to outline contemporary legitimacy challenges and likely responses. 

The speakers were:

  • Professor Margit Cohn (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), on the executive
  • Professor Joseph Heath (University of Toronto), on the civil service
  • Professor Liz Fisher (University of Oxford) and Professor Sidney Shapiro (Wake Forest Law), on administrative agencies
  • Professor Peter Conti-Brown (Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania), on central banks
  • Professor Robert Thomas (University of Manchester), on immigration

Each session was recorded and can be viewed by clicking the link below:

Margit Cohn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YREd1-_q38

Liz Fisher and Sid Shaprio, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HO_dC8Hha4

Joseph Heath, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZILscl1BA4

Robert Thomas, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7I5PqDhj-s

Peter Conti-Brown, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzGl4rPW2NE&t=969s

2023 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium Bios

Margit Cohn

Margit Cohn is a Professor in Law at the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law. Previously the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (2013-2015) and chair of the Advanced Studies Committee (2019-2022), her research interests include comparative public law, the Executive Branch in theoretical and comparative contexts, law and society, and the interface between law and politics. Alongside publications in peer-reviewed journals, she is the author of A Theory of the Executive Branch: Tension and Legality(Oxford University Press, 2021), General Powers of the Executive Branch (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2002), and Energy Law in Israel (Kluwer Law International, 2010).

Liz Fisher

Liz Fisher is a Professor of Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law Corpus Christi College. She is also the General Editor of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and served as General Editor of the Journal of Environmental Law for a decade from 2012 to 2022. Her research explores the mental constructs lawyers and legal scholars use to legally reason, particularly in relation to public administration and environmental problems. Her work is grounded in national common law jurisdictions. She has won teaching awards, and served as Vice Dean of the Law Faculty 2013-6, HT 2019, and TT 2021 (the last being Vice Dean (Personnel)). She was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for 2022-25 for a project exploring legal imagination and environmental law. 

Sidney Shapiro

Sid Shapiro is a Professor of Law at Wake Forest Law and the Frank U. Fletcher Chair in Administrative Law. Shapiro is an expert in administrative procedure and regulatory policy. He has written ten books, contributed chapters to seven additional books, and has authored or co-authored over fifty-five articles. Sid has been a consultant to government agencies and has testified before Congress on regulatory subjects. He is the Vice-President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a non-profit research and educational organization of university-affiliated academics. Prior to teaching, Sid was a trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and Deputy Legal Counsel of the Secretary’s Review Panel at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Joseph Heath

Joseph Heath is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the University of Toronto. His research interests include social and political philosophy, business ethics, moral philosophy, and distributive justice. Heath’s publications include Morality, Competition, and the Firm (Oxford), Following the Rules (Oxford), Filthy Lucre (Harper Collins), Communicative Action and Rational Choice (MIT Press), and The Efficient Society (Penguin).

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas is Professor of Public Law at the University of Manchester Law School. His research interests include law and administrative organizations; administrative tribunals and other redress mechanisms; judicial review; and administrative rule-making, administrative law and institutional and constitutional design; asylum and immigration law; and administrative justice. In 2003-04 he acted as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Select Committees with regard to the following inquiries: Immigration and Asylum: the Government’s proposed changes to publicly funded immigration and asylum work (2002-03 HC 1171) and Asylum and Immigration Appeals (2003-04 HC 211).

Peter Conti-Brown

Peter Conti-Brown is the Class of 1965 Associate Professor of Financial Regulation at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Co-Director of the Wharton Initiative of Financial Policy and Regulation, and Nonresident Fellow in Economics Studies at The Brookings Institution. His research interests include administrative law, central banking, financial history, financial regulation, fiscal crises, political history, public finance, and the Federal Reserve. He is author of the book The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve (Princeton University Press 2016), co-author of a leading textbook on financial regulation (The Law of Financial Institutions)and author and editor of several other books and articles on central banking, financial regulation, and bank corporate governance. 


February 7: The Executive

Margit Cohn, A Theory of the Executive Branch: Tension and Legality (Oxford University Press, 2021), chapters 1, 3, 9

Further reading

Adrian Vermeule, “Our Schmittian Administrative Law” (2009) 122 Harvard Law Review 1095

David Dyzenhaus, “Schmitt v. Dicey: Are States of Emergency Inside or Outside the Legal Order?” (2006) 27 Cardozo L Rev 2005

Jocelyn Stacy, “The Environmental Emergency and the Legality of Discretion in Environmental Law” (2015) 52 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 985

Lorne Sossin and Chantelle Van Wiltenburg, “The Puzzle of Soft Law” (2021) Osgoode Hall Law Journal 623

Vanessa MacDonnell, “Theorizing about the Executive in the Modern State” (2023) ICON (forthcoming)

February 21: Administrative Agencies

Liz Fisher and Sidney Shapiro, Administrative Competence: Reimagining Administrative Law (Cambridge University Press, 2021), chapters 2, 3, 8

Further reading

West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency, 597 US ____ (2022)

Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 US 837 (1984)

Indus. Union Dept. v. Amer. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607 (1980)

Gillian Metzger and Kevin Stack, “Internal Administrative Law” (2017) 115 Michigan Law Review 1239

Kate Glover Berger, “The Structural and Administrative Demands of Unwritten Constitutional Principles” (2019) 65 McGill Law Journal 305

Jacob Weinrib, “Maitland’s Challenge for Administrative Law Theory” (2021) 84 Modern Law Review 207

March 14: The Civil Service

Joseph Heath, The Machinery of Government: Public Administration and the Liberal State (Oxford University Press, 2020), chapters 1, 2, 5, 6

Further reading

Fraser v. P.S.S.R.B., [1985] 2 SCR 455

Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] SCR 121             

Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, “The Morality of Administrative Law” (2018) 131 Harvard Law Review 193

Harry Arthurs, “Rethinking Administrative Law: A Slightly Dicey Business” (1979) 17 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 1

Genevieve Cartier, «L’héritage de l’affaire Roncarelli c. Duplessis 1959-2009» (2010) 55 Revue de droit de McGill 375

Genevieve Cartier, “Administrative Discretion: Between Exercising Power and Conducting Dialogue” in Flood & Sossin eds., Administrative Law in Context, 2nd ed.(Emond Montgomery, 2011)

March 21: Immigration

Robert Thomas, Administrative Law in Action: Immigration Administration (Hart, 2021), chapters 1, 9, 10

Further Reading

Wendy Williams, Windrush Lessons Learned Review (HC 93, March 2020), Part 1

Immigration and Refugee Board, Quality Assurance Framework for Decision-making (IRB, 2021)

R (Lumba) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2011] UKSC 12, [2012] AC 245

R (A) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2021] UKSC 37, [2021] 1 WLR 3931

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), 2020 FCA 196, [2021] 1 FCR 271

April 4: Central Banks

Peter Conti-Brown, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve (Princeton University Press, 2017), chapters 4, 6, 8, 11

Further Reading

Peter Conti-Brown, Yair Listoken and Nicholas Parrillo, “Towards an Administrative Law of Central Banking” (2021) 38 Yale Journal on Regulation 1

Carolyn Rogers, “The Bank of Canada: A Matter of Trust”, Women in Capital Markets, 3 May 2022

Paul Tucker, “On Central Bank Independence”, IMF, June 2020

Paul Daly, “Could a Prime Minister Poilievre Fire the Governor of the Bank of Canada?”, Administrative Law Matters, 13 September 2022

General Information

Here is some background information about the Colloquium.

The Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium is a series of seminars with world-leading experts on public law, who will discuss their scholarship in depth in sessions chaired by Professor Paul Daly, the University Research Chair in Administrative Law & Governance. Attendance is open to students, faculty members and invitees from the public and private sector.

The Colloquium’s Directed Research Project can be taken for 3 credits by uOttawa JD students. Students are expected to attend the series of seminars (save where written permission has been obtained in advance) and to produce a paper of 7,500 to 10,000 words based on the Colloquium theme, in English or in French.

As a project-based research and writing course, students’ work will be independent and self-directed. In collaboration with the speakers, Professor Daly will provide a detailed reading list in advance of each seminar. A general reading list will also be made available. Professor Daly will meet with enrolled students twice, on an individual basis: once at the beginning of the Winter Term to discuss the student’s proposed project and once in the middle of the Winter Term to discuss the student’s progress. These individualized supervisions, along with knowledge acquired from prior study, the general reading list, the detailed reading lists and seminar attendance, will equip students to produce their papers.

Registration in this course is by application. Students interested in enrolling should email Professor Daly (paul.daly@uottawa.ca) with (a) a brief statement of a proposed project; (b) a CV; and (c) an up-to-date law school transcript (official or unofficial). The deadline is January 31, 2023.

This content has been updated on October 19, 2023 at 10:49.