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Our property rights, digital jail and the Charter

Malcolm Lavoie of the University of Alberta is our guest on the latest show to talk about the implications of freezing assets in an increasingly cashless and digital economy.

Malcolm Lavoie, assistant professor, University of Alberta
Malcolm Lavoie, assistant professor, University of Alberta

"Part of the problem with freezing someone's assets is that you may have no ability to even hire a lawyer to challenge the mechanism," explains Malcolm Lavoie on the latest episode of Modern Law, in which we discuss property rights in our increasingly cashless and digital economy.

And though there may be moral arguments to justify a government's decision to pursue such draconian measures, it doesn't mean it mustn't follow due process and the rule of law. Lavoie, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law of the University of Alberta, explains why our property rights aren't explicitly protected under the Constitution and what more robust legislated protections could look like. He also the dangers of relying too often on tools such as freezing assets – namely, they risk driving people to unregulated financial markets.

Lavoie is also the author of a forthcoming book entitled Trade and Commerce: Canada's Economic Constitution, which will be published in early 2023 by McGill-Queen's University Press, and tells how the Constitution Act of 1867 are committed to an economic vision of the country with which legal thinkers have lost touch over the decades.

You can listen to our whole conversation in the embedded audio below, or better yet, by subscribing to "Modern Law" on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Simplecast.