Friday, May 2, 2014

Canada: When the Subpoena Comes, Universities Should Pay for Independent Legal Advice

In guidance issued in April 2014, the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research finds that "In situations where safeguarding participant information may involve resisting an attempt by legal means to compel disclosure of confidential research information, TCPS 2 requires institutions to provide researchers with financial and other support to obtain independent legal advice or to ensure that such support is provided."

The announcement does not explicitly say so, but I imagine this is somehow a response to the University of Ottawa's earlier refusal to pay the legal costs of researchers who faced a subpoena. On the other hand, the new guidance addresses only "legal advice," not representation.