University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

UNCLC Student Seminar - Digitalisation of work: the threshold is the place to pause

Wednesday 29th March 2023 (14:00-15:00)
All welcome to attend.

Speaker: Dr David Mangan, Maynooth University, School of Law & Criminology; Adjunct Professor Osgoode Hall Law School (Professional Development); Adjunct Professor UC Lyon, Faculty of Law; for 2022/23 – Global Professor, KU Leuven Faculty of Law and Criminology.

Chair: Professor Jeffrey Kenner


In the dialogue on information technology and work, (the facilitation of) commerce has garnered much of the attention. This presentation considers the commercial trajectory set for work by innovations in information technology. As one example, the platform or ‘gig’ economy has exploited the grey area of classification of employment. Part of the reason for this vagueness is the underdetermined boundary of commercial and labour law; a point suggested by the Canadian Supreme Court decision of Heller v Uber Technologies (2020 SCC 16).

Information technologies have been the talisman of an ideal efficiency for workplaces. These innovations facilitate the triumph of ambitions over realities where decisions are made in advance of there being a viable infrastructure through which to implement them. Whether intentionally or unwittingly, these efforts remove the humanity from the workplace, itself one of the most human of locales.

The present is a time for more robust engagement with the current trajectory; and not merely an occasion for the passing of discrete legislation which insufficiently addresses the monumental movement underway. This is a threshold moment. Information technology has made answering the following question unavoidable and imperative: what is the role of work in our lives?


University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD