Faculty of Law Policies

Gender Discrimination

The following resolution was adopted at the Faculty Council meeting of March 17, 1982.

"Be it resolved that the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto affirms its policy of opposing and avoiding discrimination against women whether by conduct or language, and that this policy be communicated to students and professors each year".


Restrictions on Taping Lectures

In light of a number of requests by students to tape lectures and seminars, the Faculty of Law has developed some guidelines. Because of a host of pedagogic, privacy and intellectual property concerns raised by the recording of classes, we have discouraged faculty from granting these requests except in instances of disability accommodation or extraordinary circumstances. Prior written consent is required in such circumstances.

Below is the relevant part of the University's "Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology" policy, the full text of which can be reviewed here (PDF).

"The unauthorised use of any form of device to audiotape, photograph, video-record or otherwise reproduce lectures, course notes or teaching materials provided by instructors is covered by the Canadian Copyright Act and is prohibited. Students must obtain prior written consent to such recording. In the case of private use by students with disabilities, the instructor's consent must not be unreasonably withheld. In other situations where an individual photographs, audiotapes or otherwise records activities in which she or he is taking part, without the permission of other participants, the nature of the activities must be examined. Where participants have a reasonable expectation of privacy, unauthorised recording of their activities is illegal."

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Religious Holidays

It is Faculty policy that no examinations are to be scheduled on the first and second day of Rosh Hashanah or on Yom Kippur or on the first two days or last two days of Passover. It is Faculty policy to cancel classes on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. While the policy makes no special provision for other Holy Days it is important that no student be seriously disadvantaged because of his or her religious beliefs.

If, for reasons of religious observance, a student decides to miss a class that is not otherwise cancelled, he/she may request permission to have a classmate record the lecture. Requests should be made in advance (at least one week) to the Assistant Dean, J.D. Program. The Assistant Dean, J.D. Program will make all efforts to protect the privacy of the requesting student.

See also the University of Toronto Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances (PDF).

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Research with Human Subjects

The University of Toronto requires that all student and faculty research involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by a Research Ethics Board (REB) before work can begin. Although research methodologies differ, the fundamental ethical issues and principles in research involving human subjects are common across all disciplines.

When planning research, students and faculty members should carefully consider whether their research involves human subjects. This is the case, for example, when students interview people, send out questionnaires, or observe people's behavior. When human subjects are involved, students have to obtain ethics approval by one of the University's REBs prior to starting to conduct this research.

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Student Conduct

The University of Toronto has adopted a Code of Student Conduct and all students are subject to its provisions. The full text of the Code is found here (PDF).

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Technology Use in Classrooms and Examinations

April 2007


Students are expected to adhere to the University of Toronto's Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (PDF) and Code of Student Conduct (PDF). This is intended to provide additional guidance concerning appropriate behaviour with respect to the use of technology in both classrooms and during examinations at the Faculty of Law. Common sense, respect for others and for the learning environment of the law school are the overriding principles.

General Conduct

Professors may use technology to facilitate and enhance classroom learning but may also circumscribe the use of technology in the classroom and may limit or prohibit the use of laptops in class. The academic administration sets limits on, or rules for, the use of technology during examinations.

Specific Classroom Use of Technology

The role of technology is to enhance learning and facilitate course and general administration by providing a communications platform between faculty, students, and the administration.

Avoiding inappropriate use of technology in the classroom is a matter of respect, both for the professor and for the learning experience at the faculty. Disregard for these guidelines or repeated actions which are inconsistent with these guidelines may lead to appropriate consequences. While Professors may incorporate internet use in classroom teaching, the use of laptops during class for personal internet activity, messaging, email, or games is inappropriate.

Out of consideration for other students, cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices must be switched off or put in a "silent" mode during class.

The noise from laptop computers can be a source of distraction in the classroom. Students using computers should sit in an area of the classroom which minimizes the disruption to other students. In no circumstances should cords be stretched across aisles or other areas where students walk. If plugs are not available beside student seats, as may be the case in some classrooms, the computers will have to operate on batteries. The law school does not provide extension cords.

Specific Use of Technology during Examinations

The use of downloaded papers, case notes or other online material without authorization when writing exams or assignments constitutes academic dishonesty and is subject to appropriate sanctions as described in the relevant sections of the University's Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters and/or Code of Student Conduct.

Students are permitted to type examinations on their laptops, or in limited circumstances in a designated computer laboratory. If you wish to type your exams your computer must be in excellent working condition. During exams, communication between laptops is disallowed. In the interest of fairness and perceived equality, ALL students who type their exams on either a personal laptop or in a computer lab must use Examsoft secure software and sign an Acknowledgement and Undertaking Form. If computer problems occur during an exam the student will be expected to continue hand writing the examination in examination booklets provided during the exam.

A few weeks before each exam period, detailed information and relevant forms are posted on the use of computers for examinations web page on the main Faculty of Law website, as well as in Headnotes.

Cell phones, pagers and Ipods are prohibited in exams. Cell phones and other communication devices are not an acceptable "time-keeping" device during exams. Electronic equipment is also prohibited, and includes but is not limited to devices that play music, i.e. MP3 players, IPods, walkmans, etc. Cell phones and other PDAs must be switched off.

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