One Law for All? An Introduction

AuthorElizabeth Shilton & Karen Schucher
 
One Law for All?
An Introduction
Eizabeth Shiton & Karen Schucher
This volume arises from a symposium in honour of the late Professor Ber-
nard Adell, hosted by the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace
at Queen’s University (CLCW). The symposium marked the twentieth
anniversary of Weber v Ontario Hydro, a decision of the Supreme Court
of Canada that radically challenged orthodox understandings of the role
of arbitration in Canadian labour law. It brought together scholars, prac-
titioners and arbitrators to explore the impact of the decision on labour
arbitration and collective bargaining. The themes discussed reected
Bernie Adell’s lifelong interest in the intersection between theoretical
and practical labour law, and in the institutions that instantiate and en-
force that law in Canadian workplaces. This collection of essays is the
mature fruit of that symposium.
Bernie Adell left a giant footprint on Canadian labour law. The
ood of tributes that followed his unexpected death in  at the age of
seventy- ve tributes from former students, academics and members
The symposium, entitled “One Law for All”: Has Weber v Ontario Hydro Transformed
Collective Agreement Administration and Arbitration in Canada? [the Weber Sympo-
sium], was held in Kingston, Ontario on October –, .
[]  SCR  [Weber].
    
of the practicing labour law community, both nationally and internation-
ally — contained recurring references to his rigorous and relentlessly
scrupulous scholarship, his engaged teaching, his patient and eective
mentorship, and his meticulous editorial work. His long career reached
back almost to the birth of labour law as an academic discipline in Can-
adian universities. He was gold medalist in the class of  at the Uni-
versity of Alberta, and went on to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to acquire
a doctorate in law. His dissertation, a comparative examination of the
legal status of collective agreements, was formally supervised by Profes-
sor Harold Hanbury, Vinerian Professor of English Law and author of
Hanbury’s Modern Equity. Less formally, Adell was mentored by pioneer-
ing UK labour law scholar Otto Kahn-Freund, then at the London School
of Economics. A version of his dissertation was subsequently published
as The Legal Status of Collective Agreements in England, the United States
and Canada. In a lengthy review, Professor AWR Carrothers, then Presi-
dent of the University of Calgary, described that book as follows:
It is a good book, and merits close and careful reading. . . . The author
writes with condence, with courtesy, and with style, eschewing stri-
dent criticism for scholarly ratiocination. The text reveals the author’s
critical understanding not only of the legal materials but also of the cul-
tures of industrial relations in the three countries which he examines.
Adell’s academic writing never lost those qualities.
On his return to Canada in , Adell was appointed Assistant Pro-
fessor at the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario,
where he spent his entire academic career, moving up through the aca-
demic ranks to full professor and serving both as Associate Dean and
as Dean. He took formal retirement in  at a time when mandatory
retirement was still a feature of the legal landscape in Ontario. Even as
Professor Emeritus, however, he remained actively involved in faculty
See Brian Langille (Speech delivered at the Bora Laskin Award Ceremony,  Oc-
tober ), online:
BL Adell, The Legal Status of Collective Agreements in England, the United States and
Canada (Kingston, ON: Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre, ).
AWR Carrothers, Book Review of The Legal Status of Collective Agreements in Eng-
land, the United States and Canada by BL Adell, () : University of Toronto Law
Journal  at .

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