The McGill Law Journal Podcast
All Episodes McGill Law Journal

L’action collective existe au Québec depuis 1978. Prenant pour exemple le très médiatisé recours contre les fabricants de tabac, nous dressons le portrait de cet outil procédural, ainsi qu’un bilan de son influence sur le paysage juridique québécois. Nous discutons avec Me Philippe H. Trudel, associé au cabinet Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, Me Jean-Saint-Onge, Ad. E., associé au cabinet Lavery, ainsi que le professeur Daniel Jutras, Ad. E., de la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill.

Quebec’s class action regime has been around since 1978. Using the highly publicized class action against tobacco manufacturers as an example, we discuss the typical procedures followed in class action litigations and the impact of this regime on Quebec’s legal landscape. We speak with Me Philippe H. Trudel, partner at Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, Me Jean-Saint-Onge, Ad. E., partner at Lavery, and professor Daniel Jutras, Ad. E., of McGill’s Faculty of Law.

Direct download: Class_Action_Draft_1_mixed_with_music_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This is the second of a two-part podcast on revenge porn, tort law and privacy. Does Ontario's tort of public disclosure of private facts, recently recognised in Doe 464533 v ND, extend to content-hosting websites or anonymous users? How much should victims of revenge porn be compensated? What is the role of tort law in protecting fundamental freedoms, particularly as they relate to women’s rights?

We spoke with internet lawyer Allen Mendelsohn, civil liberties expert Cara Zwibel and comparative legal scholar Giorgio Resta to tackle this complex issue.

Direct download: Jane_Doe_P2V3_v2_mixed.mp3
Category:Private Law -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

You may have heard of revenge porn. But what legal recourse do you have if someone publicly shares a sexually intimate image or video of you? Does Canadian law respond adequately to such invasions of privacy? Are there broader systemic problems when the courts attempt to adjudicate on legal issues involving the internet? 

Yuan Stevens and Sammy Cheaib use the 2016 Ontario Superior Court case Jane Doe 464533 v ND as a jumping off point for this vital discussion. We spoke with internet lawyer Allen Mendelsohn, civil liberties expert Cara Zwibel and comparative legal scholar Giorgio Resta to tackle this complex issue. This is part one of a two-part episode.

Direct download: Jane_Doe_Part_1_vf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The conflict in Syria has resulted in one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history, displacing more than 12 million Syrians, 4 million of which have left the country entirely. In this episode, we examine the terminology used to describe the current crisis, Canada’s response to the situation, and avenues that might improve the protection of refugee rights in the future. We speak with Francois Crépeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, and Paul Clarke, Director of Action Réfugiés Montréal.

Direct download: Final_Refugees_Episode_Mixed.mp3
Category:Human Rights Law -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

In this episode, we speak with Mr. Dennis Edney, lawyer for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. We discuss the balance between national security and civil liberties, the conception of the rule of law in Canada, and the next steps in Omar Khadr's case.

Direct download: Omar_Khadr_and_the_Erosion_of_the_Rule_of_Law.mp3
Category:Criminal Law and Sentencing -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

The former federal government has been criticized for allegedly picking judges based on political considerations and in a non-transparent manner. In the second part of a two-part episode on the federal judicial appointment process, we look into whether the current process needs to be reformed and, if it does, how. We speak with Leonid Sirota, J.S.D. Candidate at the New York University School of Law and Professor Rosemary Cairns Way from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.

Direct download: The_Politics_of_Judicial_Appointments_part_II.mp3
Category:Public Law -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

The federal government has been criticized for allegedly picking judges based on political considerations and in a non-transparent manner. In the first part of a two-part episode on the federal judicial appointment process, we look into the scope of the government’s discretion in naming judges and the role that ideology or partisanship might play in the process. We speak with Sean Fine, justice reporter at the Globe and Mail; Professor Robert Leckey of McGill’s Faculty of Law; and David Gourdeau, a former commissioner for federal judicial affairs.

Direct download: Part_One_Final.mp3
Category:Public Law -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The Supreme Court will start its fall session on October 5th. The judges will tackle a wide range of issues including Indian status and the independence of administrative agencies. It's also the first session for the newly appointed Justice Brown. To get an overview of the cases and issues coming before the Court, we spoke with Mr. Eugene Meehan, QC, a litigator at Supreme Advocacy LLP.

Direct download: Final_Draft_-_Trimmed.mp3
Category:Law -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

It’s been nearly ten years since the Robert Pickton trials. In this largest serial murder case in Canadian history, all the victims were women and a majority of them were Aboriginal. In this episode, we use the case as a springboard to ask: what role should the criminal justice system play in response to violence against Aboriginal women? And where it fails, are other avenues of justice available?

We first interview Professor Elaine Craig (Schulich School of Law) about her recent article in the McGill Law Journal, to hear about the Pickton trials and the limits of the criminal justice system when faced with problems of collective violence. We then speak with Ellen Gabriel, an Indigenous rights advocate, to look at a community’s response to this violence and other ways forward.


While the use of segregation – or what’s more commonly known as solitary confinement – is increasing in Canada, so is opposition to the practice. Indeed, the BC Civil Liberties Association and John Howard Society of Canada have launched a legal challenge to the use of segregation in federal prisons. In this episode we explore Canada’s use of the practice through the lens of the legal challenge. We explain what segregation is, the harm it causes, and what’s being done to change how it’s used in Canada.

We speak with Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, Alison Latimer, a lawyer with Farris, Vaughan, Wills, and Murphy and co-counsel on the BCCLA and John Howard Society’s case, and a man who, on the condition of anonymity, shared his personal experience of segregation.

La loi 15 sur la réforme des régimes de retraite municipaux représente-elle une façon légitime pour le gouvernement de mieux gérer les fonds publics ou est-elle une mesure inconstitutionnelle qui vient brimer le droit d'association des travailleurs municipaux? Dans cet épisode, nous discutons avec Serge Cadieux, secrétaire du conseil et secrétaire général de la FTQ, et Frédéric Massé, associé chez Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, des circonstances qui ont mené à l'adoption de cette loi controversée, ainsi que du débat entourant sa constitutionalité.

Is Bill 15, a law instituting the reform of municipal pension plans throughout Québec, a legitimate way for the government to rein in public spending or does it represent an unconstitutional encroachment on the freedom of association of municipal workers? In this episode, we speak with Serge Cadieux, Secretary of the Board and Secretary General of the FTQ and Frédéric Massé, Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP about the causes that led to the adoption of this controversial law and the debate surrounding its constitutionality.

Direct download: Des_libres_ngociations_et_des_rsultats_prdtermins.mp3
Category:Droit public, droit municipal -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

Making the victim surcharge mandatory is the latest Conservative tough-on-crime measure to come under fire in the courts and in the media. The victim surcharge requires that any person sentenced for a crime pay a surcharge in addition to any other sentence they receive - this money is intended to fund victims’ services. In 2013, the government passed a bill that doubled the surcharge and removed the discretion that judges previously had to waive it.

This episode explores the function and purpose of a victim surcharge in criminal law, the rationale behind making it mandatory, and the ways that some judges have resisted it.

We interview Sue O’Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.

Manitoba judge, Lori Douglas, has sexually explicit photos out there on the Internet. They were put out there by her now-deceased husband without her consent. Since 2011, the Canadian Judicial Council has been inquiring into whether she should be removed from the bench. The inquiry committee was set to look at the photos until Justice Douglas negotiated that she would retire. In exchange, the CJC has suspended the inquiry.

In this episode we get to the bottom of Justice Douglas’ story in hopes of uncovering what expectations we have of our judges. After Justice Douglas, who can be a judge? We talk with Kyle Kirkup, a Trudeau Scholar and doctoral student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and Professor Susan Drummond of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Direct download: Sex_Lies_and_Justice_Lori_Douglas.mp3
Category:Public Law -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Has Canada achieved the right balance between protecting the state’s national security interest and respecting the legitimate privacy expectations of Canadians? In this episode, we speak with Professor Vincent Gautrais (Université de Montréal) and Éloïse Gratton, a partner and co-Chair of the Privacy Practice Group at McMillan LLP, about state surveillance in Canada and its impact on the right to privacy.

Le Canada a-t-il atteint le juste équilibre entre les intérêts gouvernementaux dans la protection de la sécurité nationale et les attentes des Canadiens en matière de vie privée ? Dans cet épisode, nous rencontrons le professeur Vincent Gautrais de l’Université de Montréal et Me Éloïse Gratton, co-présidente du groupe en protection de la vie privée au cabinet d’avocats McMillan, afin de discuter de la surveillance étatique et de ses impacts sur le droit à la vie privée.

Direct download: Vie_prive_sous_surveillance.mp3
Category:Privacy Law -- posted at: 9:50pm EDT

Tsilhqot’in Nation constitutes the very first time Aboriginal title has been upheld in Canada. The Supreme Court’s decision has been hailed as the path toward reconciliation between First Nations and Canada, while at the same time it has been vilified for shifting power toward indigenous peoples in matters of economic development. This episode explores the potential impact of the decision on three distinct groups of actors: first peoples, government and commercial actors.

We interview Professor Kirsten Anker of the McGill Faculty of Law, Aaron Mills, a Trudeau and Vanier Canada Scholar at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law, and Me Caroline Briand, practicing Aboriginal law with Cain Lamarre Casgrain Wells.

Direct download: Tsilhqotin_and_Aboriginal_Title-_A_Path_to_Reconciliation.mp3
Category:Aboriginal Law -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT