Responsible Scholarship in a Crisis: A Plea for Fairness in Academic Discourse on the Carbon Pricing References

43(2) Dalhousie Law Journal ___ (2020)

15 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020

See all articles by Stepan Wood

Stepan Wood

Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Meinhard Doelle

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law; Dalhousie University - Marine and Environmental Law Institute; World Maritime University (WMU)

Dayna Nadine Scott

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: August 26, 2020

Abstract

The Canadian federal government’s carbon pricing legislation has generated substantial public and academic debate. In this paper we argue that academic debate should adhere to standards for responsible conduct of research during crises such as the current climate emergency, and avoid the nastiness and distortion that infect populist political rhetoric and social media. We discuss the norms of responsible scholarship that apply to Canadian legal academics, with a focus on standards that demand scrupulous fairness to other scholars and to the materials one is analyzing. We argue that a recent article by Professor Dwight Newman on the Saskatchewan and Ontario reference cases upholding the constitutionality of the federal carbon pricing law does not live up to these standards in two ways. First, it treats other scholars unfairly by distorting their scholarly work and lumping them into derogatory, unsubstantiated general types. Second, it is unfair to the legal materials under consideration by portraying the relevant case law in an unduly selective manner to advance the author’s argument. We close the paper with some reflections on why this particular case matters.

Keywords: Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, carbon pricing, research ethics, responsible scholarship, Dwight Newman, Canada

JEL Classification: Q54, Q48, Q38, Q35, K34, K32, K23, K19

Suggested Citation

Wood, Stepan and Doelle, Meinhard and Scott, Dayna Nadine, Responsible Scholarship in a Crisis: A Plea for Fairness in Academic Discourse on the Carbon Pricing References (August 26, 2020). 43(2) Dalhousie Law Journal ___ (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3685617

Stepan Wood (Contact Author)

Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada
+1 604-827-0441 (Phone)

Meinhard Doelle

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Dalhousie University - Marine and Environmental Law Institute ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

World Maritime University (WMU) ( email )

Fiskehamnsgatan 1
P. O. Box 500
Malmö, Skane 20124
Sweden

Dayna Nadine Scott

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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