University of Calgary

Emily Laidlaw

  • Associate Professor

Bar Admissions

Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor, 2003, Alberta, Canada.

Member, the Law Society of Alberta.


Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2014, Emily spent almost ten years in the United Kingdom where she completed her LLM and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science and held a tenure-track lectureship with the University of East Anglia Law School. While at UEA, Emily taught at undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of media law, internet and e-commerce law, intellectual property law and tort law, and supervised LLB, LLM and PhD students. Her doctoral research examining internet gatekeepers, human rights and corporate social responsibility was generously supported by the Modern Law Review and Olive Stone Memorial scholarships. Before undertaking postgraduate studies, Emily practised for several years in Canada as a litigator, with particular experience in complex corporate and constitutional matters.


Law 565: Internet Law
Law 593: Privacy and Cybersecurity Law

Research/Scholarly Activities

Emily researches in the areas of internet and technology law, copyright and media law, human rights and corporate social responsibility. She has a particular interest in online abuse, intermediary liability, privacy and free speech. She has advised and spoken concerning her research to the European Commission, NGOs, practitioners, judges and the general public. She has been an invited speaker at institutions across the United Kingdom, including Oxford University, the University of Edinburgh and University College London. She is currently an advisor to the Law Commission of Ontario concerning defamation law in the age of the internet.

Research Areas

  • Information Technology Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Media Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Selected Publications and Presentations


  • Regulating Speech in Cyberspace: Gatekeepers, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility, Cambridge University Press (2015)

Commissioned Papers

  • 'Are we asking too much from defamation law? Reputation systems, ADR, Industry Regulation and other Extra-Judicial Possibilities for Protecting Reputation in the Internet Age,' Emily Laidlaw, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law, Law Commission of Ontario: Defamation Law in the Internet Age project (September 2017)
  • 'Internet Intermediary Liability in Defamation: Proposals for Statutory Reform,' Emily Laidlaw, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law, and Hilary Young, University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law, Law Commission of Ontario: Defamation Law in the Internet Age project (July 2017)

Peer-reviewed journal publications

  • 'Online Shaming and the Right to Privacy' 2017, 6(1) Laws, 3
  • ‘The responsibilities of free speech regulators: an analysis of the Internet Watch Foundation’ (2012) 20(4) International Journal of Law and Information Technology 312-345
  • 'A Framework for Identifying Internet Information Gatekeepers’ (November 2010) 24(3) International Review of Law, Computers and Technology 263-276
  • ‘Private Power, Public Interest: An Examination of Search Engine Accountability’ (Spring 2009) 17(1) International Journal of Law and Information Technology 113-145

Book chapters

  • What is a joke? Mapping the path of a speech complaint on Social Networks" in Lorna Gillies and David Mangan, eds The Legal Challenges of Social Media (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016)
  • ‘Myth or promise? The corporate social responsibilities of online service providers for human rights’ in Luciano Floridi and Mariarosaria Taddeo (eds), Understanding Responsibilities of Online Service Providers in Information Societies (Springer, 2016)

Conference presentations

  • “Reforming Intermediary Liability: Testing a Human Rights Centred Framework beyond the Liability and Immunity Divide,” RightsCon Summit, Toronto, May 2018
  • "Resolving Online Defamation in the Internet Age," Defamation Law and the Internet: Where Do We Go From Here?, Law Commission of Ontario, Toronto, May, 2018
  • "Speech in the Grey Zone: Is There a Value in Offensive Speech?", Internet Law Works-in-Progress, New York Law School, March 2018
  • “Regulating Speech in Cyberspace: Gatekeepers, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility”, Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen, November 2016
  • 'The Whack-a-Mole game of worldwide delisting from Google search results: the significance of Equustek Solutions Inc v Google Inc, 2015 BCCA 265' at Law and Society Association 2016 Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 2-5, 2016
  • 'Testing a framework for freedom of expression in copyright law', British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA), University of Hertfordshire School of Law, April, 2016
  • ‘Online Shaming’, Internet Law Works-in-Progress Conference, New York University, March, 2016
  • ‘Online Shaming and the Right to Privacy’ at Privacy Discussion Forum at the Sorbonne, Paris, June 29-30, 2015
  • 'A New Framework for Freedom of Expression in Copyright Law,' with Daithi Mac Sithigh from Newcastle University, Law and Society Association annual meeting, Seattle Washington, May 2015
  • 'Unravelling Intermediary Liability' at the Fifth Annual Internet Law Works-in-Progress Event at Santa Clara University University, San Jose, California, March 2015
  • ‘What is a joke? The role of social media providers in regulating speech’, The Legal Challenges of Social Media to Freedom of Expression, University of Leicester, December 2013

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Professional Service

Member, Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology (CREATe)

Managing Editor, European Journal of Law and Technology

Advisor, Law Commission of Ontario, Defamation Law in the Age of the Internet

Photograph of Emily Laidlaw


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