Law professor lands prestigious Premier's Discovery Award for ground-breaking scholarly achievements
Award caps long-time career in law and economics for Michael Trebilcock, who put a 'human face' on this pioneering specialization
Toronto - Professor Michael Trebilcock is one of five winners of the esteemed Premier's Discovery Award, given to honour Ontario's most accomplished researchers. Trebilcock is recognized in the social sciences category and receives a $250,000 award over three years to pursue research projects with graduate students in law and economics, and law and development.
Trebilcock is an internationally renowned expert in the economic analysis of law and one of the world's leading academics in his field. As the pioneering scholar of law and economics in Canada, he is responsible for one of the most influential movements in Canadian scholarship.
"This is a wonderful award, and Michael is an ideal recipient," says Prof. Mayo Moran, dean of the Faculty of Law. "Michael has been a giant in Canadian legal scholarship for decades and we have been so fortunate that he has chosen the University of Toronto Faculty of Law as his home. Michael cares deeply about law's potential to improve the lives of real people, whether they live in Ontario or in the developing world, and his research is central to the global conversation about how to make states more prosperous, efficient and secure. We are incredibly proud of him."
Trebilcock's work has enriched Ontario society, informed public policy and improved the quality of life in this province. Most recently, the Attorney-General appointed him to conduct a major review of Ontario's legal aid system, which called for sweeping improvements, and the government has now begun working toward its implementation and improving access to the justice system for all Ontarians.
Trebilcock is one of Canada's leading expert witnesses and was selected one of MacLean's magazine's 50 Most Influential Canadians. His scholarly and personal contributions to the legal profession, government and the private sector have enriched the practice of law around the world. He has written authoritatively in many areas of law, including: corporate, consumer protection, regulation of professions, institutional reform, contracts, accident law, international trade, competition policy, immigration, and law and development. His seminal book, The Limits of Freedom of Contract, is considered one of the most significant legal works of the 20th century. As one reviewer said: "This is law and economics with a human face."
He founded the Law and Economics Program at the University of Toronto in 1976 and the Canadian Law and Economics Association in 1990. He has created a stimulating learning environment for his students, a significant number of whom are now renowned scholars and are affiliated with leading international institutions.
In 2002, Professor Trebilcock's international stature was affirmed when he was elected president of the American Law and Economics Association, the only non-American to head ALEA in its prestigious history.
"I'm delighted to receive the award, on behalf of the law and economics program and the Faculty of Law. It's wonderful to see the government of Ontario recognize the importance of research in the social sciences, such as law and economics," says Trebilcock.
The Premier's Discovery Awards honour the achievements of five remarkable individuals and showcase Ontario as a global research powerhouse. These awards are part of the prestigious Premier's Innovation Awards program which recognized a total of 10 exceptional people and businesses in 2010.