The McGill Law Journal Podcast
All Episodes McGill Law Journal

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

The Supreme Court started its fall session October 6th. The judges will grapple with issues including the gun registry data, assisted suicide, and mandatory minimum sentences. It's also the first session for the newly appointed Justice Gascon. To get a better sense of the cases and issues coming before the Court, we spoke with Professor Emmett Macfarlane of the University of Waterloo.

Direct download: Supreme_Court_Fall_2014_Preview_featuring_Prof._Emmett_Macfarlane_-_FINAL.mp3
Category:Law -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Last year startups in California alone raised $15 billion in funding - Canada? Less than $2 billion. In this episode we compare Canada and Silicon Valley as destinations for tech startups. How can Canada become a hub for innovation? We speak with James Smith, partner at LaBarge Weinstein LLP; Joe Frasca, general counsel at Shopify; Professor Allison Christians, Stikeman Chair in tax law at McGill's Faculty of Law; and Gareth MacLeod, CEO at Tinker.

Stephan Hashemi has asked the Supreme Court for permission to sue Iran for his mother's death. David Groves sat down with Mathieu Bouchard, Payam Akhavan, and René Provost to talk about the case, human rights, and the evolution of state immunity.

Direct download: MLJCast_30_-_Kazemi.mp3
Category:International Law -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

Voltage, a US film producer and distributor, is using a controversial legal procedure to go after illegal downloading. We talk to Allen Mendelsohn, internet law expert, David Fewer, Director of CIPPIC, and Voltage's lawyer, John Philpott, about how this will impact Canadian Internet users.

Direct download: MLJCast_29_-_Voltage.mp3
Category:Private Law -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Dans cet épisode, Eloïse Gagné rencontre le professeur Charles Jarrosson, de l’Université Paris II, et Me Alexis Mourre, Vice-président de la Cour internationale d’arbitrage de la Chambre de commerce internationale, afin de discuter de l’arbitrage et ses impacts.

Direct download: MLJCast_28_-_Arbitrage.mp3
Category:Alternative Dispute Resolution -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

Dans cet épisode, Eloïse Gagné fait un retour sur la Conférence francophone annuelle de la RDM du 24 février dernier avec l’Hon. Stéphane Dion, parlementaire et politicologue. Celui-ci nous parle du rôle et de l’influence des juristes sur la politique législative en reliant son discours à différents sujets de l’actualité.

Direct download: MLJCast_27_-_Stphane_Dion.mp3
Category:Public Law -- posted at: 7:09pm EDT

In this episode, we ask whether three new law schools could be the solution to Canada’s access to justice crisis. Professors Harry Arthurs of Osgoode Hall Law School and Jason Maclean of Lakehead University’s Law Faculty weigh in on the future of legal education.

Direct download: MLJCast_26_-_Legal_Education.mp3
Category:Legal Education -- posted at: 6:31pm EDT