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APSC 450: Summary of Course Content

The course covered three inter-related areas:

Course Objectives
To sensitize students to the professional, ethical and legal context in which most engineering work is performed. To provide understanding of some principles which underlie key issues and of challenges that are likely to arise in profession engineering practice. To broaden the background and perspective of engineering graduates. To provide practice in writing and communicating. To help create more rounded, sensitive engineers, prepared to work for the benefit of society.

1. Professionalism and Career Issues 2. Law 3. Ethics


The points enumerated below are intended to illustrative of many of the most important topics covered, not a complete list of what might be regarded as important enough to be covered on the examination.

1. Professionalism and Career Issues


Relationship between course & PEng requirements. J4 Engineering related accidents. J4 How is mobility across the country governed? J7 What does the iron ring signify? J7 What are the requirements for P.Eng. registration? J7 What does it mean to be a Profession? J12, M2 What is expected of professionals? J12 How does engineering compare with other professions? J12 How is the APEGBC governed? J12 What body disciplines engineers who contravene the Code of Ethics? J14 What happened at Station Square and what were the consequences for the engineering profession? J14 Examples of negligence of engineers and consequences. J14
(J=January; F = February; M = March; A = April)

1. Professionalism and Career Issues


Relationship between course & PEng requirements. J4 Engineering related accidents. J4, J18 Issues of public concern involving engineers. J4 What does it mean to be a Profession? J6, J11, M7 What is expected of professionals? J6 Who licenses engineers across the country? J6, J11 Who accredits engineering undergrad programs? J6 To whom do engineers owe duty? J6, M9 Engineering compared with other professions? J6 How is the APEGBC governed? J11 What APEGBC does for members and public? J11, J18 APEGBC law and ethics seminar. J11 What does the iron ring signify? J11 What are the requirements for P.Eng. registration? J11

Professionalism and Career Issues (contd)


What types of liability affect engineers? J13 APEGCBC Code of Ethics? J13, M9 What body disciplines engineers who contravene the Code of Ethics? J13, J18 What happened at Station Square and what were the consequences for the engineering profession? J13 Examples of negligence of engineers and consequences. J13 Importance of ethics in engineering profession, J13, J18 Stages of engineering careers. J18 Sustainability. J18 Opportunities for personal growth. J18

INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ENTITIES AND LEGAL SYSTEM


Constitutional Law: Principles in which we govern ourselves Common Law & Equity: Judge made Law based on precedent Property Law Criminal Law Tort Law Contract Law Equity Civil Law Tradition: In the Province of Quebec: Draws concepts of law for the Judiciary from the Civil Code Statute Law: Law made by Parliament and the Provincial Legislatures Can co-exist with the Common Law Can override the Common Law Can codify the Common Law Administrative Law: Government delegated rule making

Business Forms:
Sole Proprietorship Partnership Corporation

TORT LAW
Primary Objective: Compensation Secondary Objective: Deterrence Basis of Liability: Intention Strict Liability Negligence Intentional Torts: Battery Assault False Imprisonment Defamation

Unintentional Torts:
Strict Liability Negligence ABC Rule: Duty of Care Breach of that Duty of Care Damage as a Result of the Breach

DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Options for Dispute Resolution:
Capitulate: Admit wrong doing

Negotiate: Discuss and arrange settlement with offended party Mediate: Use a facilitator to discuss and arrange settlement Arbitrate: Hire an adjudicator to settle dispute Litigate: Public sanctioned dispute resolution system through Courts

Litigation:
Administrative Tribunal Trial Court of Appeal Supreme Court of Canada

CONTRACT LAW
Elements of a Valid Contract: Intention to create a legal relationship Offer Acceptance Consideration Capacity Legality

Third Party? Where?


Professionals are liable both in Torts and Contracts If no Contract, Professionals are still liable in Torts Third Party Liability: Proximity Foreseeability Employees are exempt from liability. However, you may be let go if your actions breach your employment contract.

Employment Law in British Columbia


Legal Regimes Associated Employment:
Common Law

Contracts. Employees: Contact of Services. Contractors: Contact for Services. Wrongful Dismissal: When an employer dismisses an employee without sufficient reasonable notice or cause. Dismissal with Cause: Theft, Dishonesty, Conflict of Interest, Willful Disobedience, Insubordination, Incompetence, Absenteeism or Lateness, Intoxication & Sexual Harassment. Constructive Dismissal: Unilateral change in fundamental term of employment contract. Onus is on employee to mitigate must quit, sue for wrongful dismissal and look for another position.

Labour Relations Code: Governs relationship between Employers and Unions. Oversees: How to Unionize, Right to Unionize, Collective Bargaining, Obligations, Right to Strike, Lockout & Picket, How to Decertify. Human Rights Code
Protects employees against Discrimination. Protected Grounds: age/sex/sexual orientation, race/religion, colour/ethnic origin, marital/family status, disability, conviction.

Employment Standards Act


Sets Minimum terms and conditions of employment

Workers Compensation Act


Work-related injuries and illness. Safety requirements.

Deals with: Hours of work, overtime, leaves, vacations, statutory holidays & severance Applies to everyone except Professional Engineers & Union Members Exemptions from portions of the Act are Managers, High Technology Professionals & Other Employees of High Technology Companies

Introduction to Intellectual Property Law


Patents: Unique object or process Canada 20 year protection, and must be filed within one year of disclosure Other jurisdictions filing requirement vary First Apply Rule and must be inventor Industrial Design: Protects outwardly, visible features of shape or ornamentation 5 years, renewable for another 5 years US for 14 years, not renewable Copyright: Original artwork or writing No need to register, Lasts for life of artist or writer, plus 50 years

Intellectual Property Law (continued)


Trademarks: Symbol used to distinguish wares or services Optional registration Trade Secrets: Business or Technical information kept secret for competitive advantage Law provides remedies only if someone unfairly misappropriates your Trade Secret

Primer for Aboriginal Law


Aboriginal and Treaty rights are guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution and include the right to hunt, fish, trap, gather for food, ceremony & social purposes. First Nation Peoples include: First Nations, Inuit and Mtis peoples. Section 91(24) of the British North America Act give legislative authority to the Federal government; however, Provinces and Territories must consult, accommodate and compensate the First Nation, Mtis or Inuit community when taking up the land for legitimate legislative initiatives. Recent case law (common law) requires that the Crown must consult with First Nation communities when taking up the land for justifiable legislative imperatives. This applies to both areas of Canada where there are treaties or where there are not. Haida (2004) and Mikisew Cree (2005)

Environmental Law
Part of the Code of Ethics is to hold paramount the health and safety of the public and the environment. Currently in Canada we have both Federal and Provincial legislation, balancing industrial uses of land, with environmental standards. Fisheries Act (Federal /Provincial Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Canadian Environmental Protection Act Clean Water (Federal/Provincial) Clean Air (Federal/Provincial) Wildlife (Federal/Provincial) Forestry Acts (Federal/Provincial)

3. Ethics
What is ethics? Code of ethics. J13, J18, M7, M9 What is ethics? M7 M9 Newsworthy cases involving engineering ethics. M7, M9 Lifelong ethics. M7 Relationship between law and ethics. M9 Health, safety and risk. M9 Uses and limitations of codes of ethics. M9 Four practical philosophical theories: Aristotle virtues, Locke rights, Kant duties, Mills utilitarianism. M9 Obligations of corporations to act ethically. M9 Conflict of interest? Actual, apparent, potential. M14 How to avoid conflicts of interest? M14

Ethics (continued)
Whistle-blowing. When is it justified. M16 Corporate ethics. M16, M21 Environmental ethics. NIMBYism. Precautionary principle. M16 Safety and environmental standards/practices when operating in poorer countries/areas. M21, Village Video Bribery of foreign officials. M21 Cultural sensitivity when operating abroad. M21

Final Examination
Friday April 20, at 7:00 PM in CIRS 1250 2.5-hour Open Book Examination; No electronic gadgets of any variety allowed. Combination of Short-Answer Questions (e.g. multiple choice or true/false) and Essay Questions in which Students will be asked to analyse situations relevant to Professional Engineers in the workplace or beyond Students will be expected to have a good grasp of the material presented in Class, as printed in the course notes and as amplified and clarified by the lecturers.