The Drug Testing Virus
Université de Sherbooke, Faculty of Law
September 16, 2008
Revue Juridique Thémis, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 651-706, 2009
Drawing on a methodology inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, the author traces a "genealogy" of the legal framework governing employment drug testing in Canada. This exercise leads him to claim that the origins of the Canadian regime can be found in the "War on Drugs" in the United States during the 1980s. Key aspects of the Canadian model of drug testing, including its justification as a method of reducing workplace injuries, appear to have migrated to Canada, despite an absence of legislative intervention. The author proposes the metaphor of a virus to explain this migration and suggests that further work on this metaphor may generate an explanatory model for other phenomena of legal norm migration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
Keywords: labor law, drug testing, employment law, legal theory, virus
JEL Classification: J50, J53, J58, J71, J78, K31, K42Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 18, 2008 ; Last revised: November 27, 2009
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