Personal Relationships of Dependence and Interdependence in Law
180 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jan 2003
Release Date:01 Jun 2002
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Personal Relationships of Dependence and Interdependence in Law

By Law Commission of Canada
UBC Press

At their simplest level, human relationships are about ties between people. These ties, however, are anything but simple; rather, they are complex interdependencies whose dynamic reciprocity of obligations and interests is not always represented in our legal thinking. This collection explores the intersection of interdependency and the law, and contemplates some of the key issues at stake in the way the law interprets and addresses human relationships.

Part of a series that questions fundamental concepts of law, this book looks critically at the legal concepts that have framed these relationships: contract, fiduciary duty, the “duty to act fairly,” the impartiality of decision makers, and privileged communication. Many of these obscure the element of interdependency. The authors argue that interdependency is a fruitful critical - and human - framework by which to re-evaluate some of our traditional legal concepts.

The book will be of interest to law and society scholars and students, as it presents a different critical framework through which to analyze traditional human relationships.


  • 2002, Winner - Canadian Policy Research Award for Outstanding Research Contribution
A subtle, shaded approach to law and subjectivity. It facilitates an analysis capable of recognizing the client as not only an active party but also, often, a more equal party in legal relations than generally supposed in the various literatures. Anne McGillivray, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria
The Law Commission of Canada is an independent federal law reform agency that advises Parliament on how to improve and modernize Canada’s laws.

Introduction / Nathalie Des Rosiers

1 Dependence in Client-Therapist Relationships: A Relational Reading of O'Connor and Mills / Sue Campbell

2 Dependence and Interdependence in the Relationship between Lawyers and Clients / Lucie Lauzière

3 Fiduciary Duties in Commercial Relationships: When Does the "Commercial" Become the "Personal"? / William Flanagan

4 Personal Relationships in the Year 2000: Me and My ISP / Ian Kerr

5 Law and Intimacy in the Bureaucrat-Citizen Relationship / Lorne Sossin



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