Michael Geist Renews Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2021

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that CLTS Faculty member, Michael Geist has renewed his Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. This prestigious 7-year appointment will support an innovative research agenda to design Canada’s digital law and policy and develop solutions to address the risks of Internet-based harm.

Governments once granted Internet platforms legal immunity from liability for the conduct of their users. But as issues like disinformation, cyber-bullying, and online defamation grow increasingly complex, a re-evaluation of long-held Internet policies has become crucial. As Canada Research Chair, Professor Michael Geist is taking on this challenge; he is aiming to develop solutions that address the risks of Internet-based harm while also safeguarding freedom of expression. He will seek to create Canadian-based solutions that address Canada’s current Internet laws and policies and fill the data and policy voids on this important topic. His ambitious research program includes theoretical and legal analysis, original field research, and the development of Canadian-specific policy reforms.

The emerging appetite for heightened liability creates a particularly difficult challenge for middle-power countries such as Canada, which will need to establish domestic solutions in an increasingly complex global arena dominated largely by U.S.-based Internet companies. Professor Geist’s proposed research builds directly upon his prior CRC work to promote a better understanding of the legal, cultural, and societal impacts of emerging technologies and of Canada’s role in response to emerging global governance challenges.


A Faculty member at the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology, and Society, Professor Michael Geist is a full professor in the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. Professor Geist was first awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law in 2003, which he successfully renewed in 2008, and was named on a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in 2013. This support has played a significant role in helping Professor Geist bring his research program to a global audience, enabling him to produce and disseminate research that has helped shape public policy and law reform in Canada and internationally. His research into Internet and e-commerce, digital trade, privacy and surveillance, and digital copyright has garnered global attention, with publications in peer-reviewed books and public opinion pieces.

The Canada Research Chair funding has also been instrumental in Professor Geist’s receipt of two SSHRC Insight Grants, a SSHRC Connection Award, and the Order of Ontario. This combined support has led to new training opportunities for dozens of researchers, facilitated hundreds of public lectures around the world, and has enabled Professor Geist to contribute to large international networks in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in the fields of digital law and public policy.


Congratulations to Professor Michael Geist on this prestigious and well-deserved achievement!

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