Joel Bakan

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Joel Bakan
Bakan in 2011
Bakan in 2011
BornJoel Conrad Bakan
1959 (age 61–62)
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationLaw Professor, writer
SpouseMarlee Gayle Kline (to 2001, her death)
Rebecca Jenkins (present)

Joel Conrad Bakan (born 1959) is an American-Canadian writer, jazz musician,[1] filmmaker,[2] and professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.[3]

Born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised for most of his childhood in East Lansing, Michigan, where his parents, Paul and Rita Bakan, were both long-time professors in psychology at Michigan State University. In 1971, he moved with his parents to Vancouver, British Columbia. He was educated at Simon Fraser University (BA, 1981), University of Oxford (BA in law, 1983), Dalhousie University (LLB, 1984) and Harvard University (LLM, 1986).

He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson in 1985. During his tenure as clerk, Chief Justice Dickson authored the judgment R. v. Oakes, among others. Bakan then pursued a master's degree at Harvard Law School. After graduation, he returned to Canada, where he has taught law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law. He joined the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law in 1990 as an associate professor. Bakan teaches Constitutional Law, Contracts, socio-legal courses and the graduate seminar. He has won the Faculty of Law's Teaching Excellence Award twice and a UBC Killam Research Prize.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Bakan has a son from his first wife, Marlee Gayle Kline, also a scholar and Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia. Professor Kline died of leukemia in 2001. Bakan helped establish The Marlee Kline Memorial Lectures in Social Justice to commemorate her contributions to Canadian law and feminist legal theory. He is now married to Canadian actress and singer Rebecca Jenkins. His brother, Michael Bakan, is an ethnomusicologist.

Works[edit]

Bakan authored The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, a book analyzing the evolution and modern-day behavior of corporations from a critical perspective. Published in 2004, it was made into a film The Corporation by directors Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott the same year and won 25 international awards. His book Childhood Under Siege was published in August 2011.[5] Joel Bakan writes in The Corporation:

The law forbids any motivation for their actions, whether to assist workers, improve the environment, or help consumers save money. They can do these things with their own money, as private citizens. As corporate officials, however, stewards of other people’s money, they have no legal authority to pursue such goals as ends in themselves – only as means to serve the corporations own interests, which generally means to maximise the wealth of its shareholders. Corporate social responsibility is thus illegal – at least when its genuine.

— Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power [6]

He is the author of a number of books on Canadian constitutional law, including Just Words: Constitutional Rights and Social Wrongs.

Bakan and his wife Jenkins released a jazz album, Blue Skies[7] in 2008, an album of Jenkins' original songs, Something's Coming, in 2012, and "Rebecca Jenkins: Live at the Cellar" in 2014.

In 2020, he was codirector with Abbott of The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, a sequel to the original film version of The Corporation.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Peter A. Allard School of Law | Home". Allard.ubc.ca. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Peter A. Allard School of Law | Joel Bakan". Allard.ubc.ca. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Interview with Joel Bakan, Author of Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children". Corporations and Health. January 4, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Bakan, The Corporation, Constable, 2004, p.37
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Pat Mullen, "‘Inconvenient Indian’, ‘New Corporation’, ‘No Ordinary Man’ Rep Canadian Docs in TIFF Line-up". Point of View, July 30, 2020.

External links[edit]