BCLI receives visit from scholar researching strata properties and natural disasters

30 June 2016

By Kevin Zakreski

Earlier this month, Prof. Elizabeth Toomey visited BCLI to discuss legal issues that may arise for strata properties in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Prof. Elizabeth Toomey with Kevin Zakreski Photo: Raissa Dickinson

Prof. Elizabeth Toomey with Kevin Zakreski Photo: Raissa Dickinson

Prof. Toomey is a faculty member of the School of Law, University of Canterbury, which is located in Christchurch, New Zealand. In late 2010, the Canterbury earthquake struck that city, causing widespread damage. An aftershock in 2011, which was centered even closer to Christchurch proper, caused even greater damage and loss of life.

Prof. Toomey’s research has grown out of these events. She is currently involved in a major research project on legal issues consequent on natural disasters. One component of that project is an examination of how strata properties may be affected by natural disasters and what the law can do to respond to the challenges natural disasters pose for strata properties.

Prof. Toomey gave a public lecture on her work at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia (PDF). Later, she spoke with BCLI legal staff at work on the Strata Property Law Project—Phase Two. This conversation provided an opportunity for an in-depth review of how New Zealand and British Columbia have responded to common problems—such as leaky condos—and what British Columbia policymakers can learn from New Zealand’s response to a disastrous earthquake in a large urban area.

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