A large number of people have encouraged and supported the development of a renewed Communications Law course and accompanying website…The first and greatest debt must go to the UBC Law students who braved the original versions and related antecedents of this course. Specifically those students who were in “Media, Entertainment and Communications Law” (fall 2005, 2004, 2003 & 2002); “Topics in International Law and Transactions: International Law of Communications, Media & Entertainment” (spring 1997 & 1996); “Media Law” (fall 1996 &1995); “Media & Entertainment Law” (1994/95); and “Topics in Public Law: Broadcast & Entertainment” (spring 1994 & 1993).
Then Associate Dean Janine Benedet approved the proposal for this course. I remember in particular her pleasure and relief on confirming that Communications Law still had a course number despite not having been taught for a considerable time. I am also indebted to Associate Dean Benedet (and Associate Dean Goold before her) for unfailing support and encouragement of the open and on-line pedagogical methods used in the course. Great support for the course has continued unabated with Bruce MacDougall as Associate Dean.
I owe a particular and profound debt of gratitude to Professor Graham Reynolds who was a huge help in conceptualizing the course and providing many iterative comments on the drafts of the course proposal. Graham is a great colleague, always generous with his time, and incredibly thoughtful and insightful in his approach.
Many others at the Allard School of Law have selflessly encouraged my efforts over the years. These include former Deans, the Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.C. and Joost Blom, Q.C. Always most willing to help have been Professors Joel Bakan, Joe Weiler and Associate Dean Doug Harris. I would be remiss if Susan Morin, Dan Silverman, Tom Dudas and Bernie Flinn were not mentioned.
Richard Smith, the Director of the Centre for Digital Media is a noted communications scholar. Richard has had a real influence both on the pedagogy of this course, and my views on communications, media and technology policy.
The UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (“CTLT”) has been an incredible facilitator and inspiration – in particular four wonderful collaborators have made stellar contributions. The amazing Novak Rogic has always pushed open the doors for open pedagogies, and simply made the seemingly impossible just happen. Will Engle has selflessly provided a seemingly endless supply of concepts, ideas, encouragement and follow-up that has directly benefited students in more ways than can be imagined. Richard Tape, in addition to having a deep but eminently practical understanding of how pedagogy and technology interrelate, has been superhuman in always helping to improve, refine and evolve the on-line presence of the course. David Brabbins has done yeoman’s service in transitioning the website to “Spaces”, an all new custom version of WordPress wholly developed by UBC CTLT.
There is a deep, knowledgeable and scholarly broadcasting and communications law bar. It is unfair to single out anyone from that group of accomplished counsel from whom I have learned so much, but I will do so anyways. Thanks to Robert Buchan, Grant Buchanan, Peter Grant, Sunny Handa, Hank Intven, Professor Hudson Janisch, the late Christopher Johnston Q.C., Gary Maavara, Kathryn Robinson, Sheridan Scott, Christopher Weafer and Janet Yale. Of particular note is the kindness of the law firm McCarthy Tetrault in supplying various of their industry standard communications and media law handbooks.
One name must stand out however, that of Gowan T. Guest, C.M., Q.C. (1929-2016). It was my great fortune that Gowan joined the firm of Owen, Bird when I was but a puppy lawyer. Gowan trained me in broadcasting law with great kindness and generosity. He saved me often, making me look good when I wasn’t, and was effusive and supportive when I did anything even half-right. Gowan had a deep understanding of the role of counsel, an unflinching commitment to the Rule of Law, and a clear vision of the practice of law as an honourable profession, and not a business. These lessons stay with me always. The course is proudly dedicated to Gowan’s memory.
Apologies to anyone I missed.