Charles D. Gonthier Research Fellowship
The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice provides funds for the Charles D. Gonthier Research Fellowship, named in honour of Mr. Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada, a former President of the Institute. The Fellowship supports research in relation to the topic of the Institute's annual conference. Each conference focuses on a specific aspect of the Institute's themes:
- Justice as a humanistic and social value
- Justice as a public service
- Justice in a global economy and interdependent world
"Privacy in the Age of Information"
The concept of privacy in the 21st century has been transformed by technological change and cultural expectations. The nature, amount and accessibility of personal information present challenges to the entire justice system. Public authorities are increasingly required to collect and store information. A vast amount of personal information is being collected and aggregated by corporations. Individuals now post their own information or that of their peers online. While we can all agree that individuals are free to define what information they wish to share with their peers or with business, the extent to which the state and third parties can use or adversely rely on such information is largely unsettled. Privacy is an issue of central importance for everyone involved in the administration of justice including courts, tribunals, academics, lawyers, policy makers, legislative drafters, public servants, the police and the public.
With respect to the state, the concept of privacy conflicts with the request for transparency of information, particularly that held by public authorities. On the other hand the state must protect individual privacy. Whence we spoke of access and the need to democratize information, there now seems to be an opposite trend of protecting information. The boundaries of the legitimate interest that the state has in information about individuals are fluid, and require a balance between safety, public policy and legitimate privacy claims.
Canadian courts and tribunals are increasingly called upon to adjudicate Privacy concerns: in the workplace, the commercial arena, and in social media. Issues relating to employee surveillance, email confidentiality, intrusion upon seclusion, and the right to maintain anonymity online (and even in judicial proceedings) have recently been heard by courts and tribunals. This tension calls into question the role of the state in serving to protect privacy while simultaneously not intruding thereon. This need also calls into question the very concept of privacy given that the distinction between the public and the private is today, both institutionally and technologically, blurred.
Protecting individual rights to privacy in the face of inevitable sharing of information entails a balancing of individual and collective interests. It also entails acknowledging the borderless nature of information sharing. The regulation of private information cannot solely depend upon one single nation-state’s push for control. The law is evolving and its directions are in many respects unpredictable.
Administration of Funds
The funds are administered by CIAJ on behalf of the successful applicant and are available to support research assistance or other out-of-pocket expenses, but may not be used as an honorarium. It is expected that the completed research will be presented to the Institute's annual meeting on October 16 and 17, 2014 in St. John's
The maximum amount of the Fellowship is $7,500. The selection of the project for the research fellowship will be made by a committee composed of the President of the Institute (or his/her nominee), the CIAJ Academic Advisor, the Chair of the Research Committee, and one other person selected by the Research Committee. The successful applicant will be notified by the end of December and the completed research paper must be forwarded to CIAJ by the end of August 2014.
The recipient of the Charles D. Gonthier Research Fellowship is encouraged to seek publication of the paper in a reputable scholarly publication and to indicate, in an introductory note, that financial support for the research was provided by the CIAJ.
For 2013-2014, the fellowship competition is open to faculty and graduate students at Canadian universities. Applicants should complete the attached application form and submit it, no later than November 30, 2013, to the address on the form. In addition to submission of a completed research report, the Institute expects to receive a complete account of expenditures.