Hilary Young

Associate Professor

On sabbatical leave

Law, Faculty of

Ludlow Hall 205

Fredericton

hyoung@unb.ca
1 506 451 6819



Research interests

  • defamation law
  • health law
  • tort law
  • privacy law

Biography

Hilary joined the faculty in 2012. After clerking for Justice Louis LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada, she was a civil litigator at Cox & Palmer in Halifax. She has an international reputation as a defamation law scholar and also has expertise in health law – especially the law of informed consent. Her research has been cited by the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

She obtained her LL.B. at the University of Ottawa, where she won the Gold Medal. She has an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Before going to law school, she earned a doctorate in linguistics from Rice University.

Hilary teaches Torts, Advanced Torts, Health Law and a seminar in defamation and privacy law.

Research projects

Recent research projects include an empirical investigation of Canadian defamation actions. That work showed that damages in cases from 2003-2013 were more than double those from 1973-83, even when adjusted for inflation. It also identified a very low rate of liability and higher rates of liability where the defendant is a journalist.

Hilary is working with the Law Commission of Ontario on its defamation law reform project. In addition to being a member of the Advisory Committee, she was commissioned (along with Emily Laidlaw of the University of Calgary) to write a report on internet intermediary liability in defamation. The work examines what responsibility intermediaries like Google, Facebook or Twitter have for user-generated defamatory content under current law, and what changes should be made to better reflect blameworthiness and protect free speech.

Hilary has a SSHRC-funded project on the publication element of defamation. In addition to considering internet intermediary liability, she is examining the multiple publication and repetition rules.

Hilary’s work on “Rasouli consent” – the need for consent to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment – was cited by the Supreme Court in Cuthbertson v. Rasouli, [2013] 3 SCR 341.

Selected publications

Hilary Young, “Access to Treatment Contrary to Clinical Judgment in Canada and the United Kingdom”, forthcoming in the McGill Journal of Law & Health

Hilary Young, “The Canadian Defamation Action: An Empirical Study”, forthcoming in the Canadian Bar Review

Emily Laidlaw and Hilary Young, “Internet Intermediary Liability in Defamation: Proposals for Statutory Reform”, commissioned by the Law Commission of Ontario, March 2017

Hilary Young, “‘Anyone… in Any Medium’?: The Scope of Canada’s Responsible Communication Defence” in Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law, Andrew Kenyon, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Hilary Young, “Adding Insult to Injury in Assessing Damages for Corporate Defamation” (2013) 21 Tort Law Review 127.

Hilary Young, “Rethinking Canadian Defamation Law as Applied to Corporate Plaintiffs” (2013) 46 UBC Law Review 529.

Hilary Young, “Why Withdrawing Life Support Should Not Require “Rasouli Consent”, (2012) 6 McGill Journal of Law & Health 54-104.

Detailed research publications

Detailed CV