Faculty of LAW NE WSLET TER
WIN T ER,2020
Making a Difference Every Day Message from the Dean
ccess to justice and reconciliation with First Peoples are two important themes that animate the program at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. We are proud that graduates from the past four years, the classes of 2016 to 2019, are making a difference every day by providing legal services in the North and in rural and remote communities, in private practice and as government lawyers. As the new dean, it is exciting to be able to build on existing strengths in the Integrated Practice Curriculum as well as Indigenous and Aboriginal Law. I could not be more grateful for the universally warm welcome from my colleagues, students, the local bar, Indigenous partner communities and organizations, the Law Society of Ontario, fellow law deans across the country and the broader Lakehead and Thunder Bay communities. Miigwech to everyone for your kindness and support. I look forward to our future collaborations! There is a great energy in the building: new faculty recruitment (we are interviewing for four tenure track positions), constructing new faculty offices to accommodate our growth, hosting Michael Bryant for the Harold G. Fox Lecture (see page 7) and our Indigenous Law conference (more detail about that on pages 2 and 3), visits from Deputy Chiefs Ed Wawia (Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation) and Derek Fox (Grand Council of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation), and a number of guest lecturers from near and far. I had a chance to see the outstanding results from the Integrated Practice Curriculum first hand at the fall conference of the Thunder Bay Law Association where students provided updates on important criminal law decisions. They did us proud! Leading practitioners from the local bar and beyond continue to make very important contributions to the IPCâ€™s success through teaching in a broad range of subjects and through tutorials in the Civil Practice course. Feedback from lawyers with placement students has also been excellent. The IPC is a model that is working well and it is clear that our innovative program is attracting attention beyond the Thunder Bay region.
We are grateful that Celina Reitberger has agreed to chair the Anishinaabe Omaa-Minowaywin. I look forward to many more productive meetings. The input from the committee is key to further developing our Indigenous law offerings and supporting Indigenous students in the program. Student life at Bora Laskin is vibrant. For example, the Indigenous Law Student Association, under the capable leadership of Katrina Langevin was instrumental in the success of the Indigenous law conference. We also have a new Black Law Student Association chapter, stay tuned for Black History Month activities. Check out the update from LSS president Justis Danto-Clancy on page 8 for more information on student activities. On September 30, we welcomed the youngest member of our law school community, Tess Eliza Jane MacLeod. She is the reason that Sarah MacLeod is on maternity/parental leave, and we were happy to have Tess participating in her first law school events with her mom. In the meantime, General Office is in the capable hands of Keri-Lynn Parker. With best wishes for a healthy and successful 2020! Jula Hughes Dean
Indigenous Law Across Landscapes Conference
n November 14-16, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law hosted the Indigenous Law Across Landscapes: Languages, Lands, and New Directions conference in honour of the 2019 United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. The conference, which was planned by and for law students, attracted 175-200 students, staff, and faculty from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, the Universities of Alberta, British Columbia, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, and Windsor, Dalhousie University, McGill University, Queen’s University, and Université de Sherbrooke, in addition to local legal practitioners and community members. Since February 2019, the Indigenous Justice Conference (IJC) planning committee had been hard at work planning logistics and inviting Indigenous lawyers, legal scholars, and activists from Canada’s four directions. Thursday evening kicked off with a rousing Keynote Address from Dr. Pamela Palmater that seemed to set the tone for the conference. Friday’s events were opened by Elders Gerry Martin and Isabelle Mercier and the Thunder Bay Singers Drum Group, with opening remarks from Dean Hughes, Nishnawbe
Dean Jula Hughes with Panelists (Absent: Aaju Peter)
Student Day Participants
Dr. Pamela Palmater
Indigenous Law Across Landscapes
“Language in the Courts” with Justice Sweet, Karen Drake and Robert Atatise
“Sovereignty/Activism” with Dr. Friedland and Dr. Palmater
Your legacy is enriching my future.
“Environmentalism” with Aaju Peter and Sákéj Henderson
Aski Nation, the Anishinabek Nation, and LSS and ILSA representatives, followed by an informative Keynote Address from Professor James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson entitled “Langscapes of Indigenous Law.” Three panels rounded out the day, including “Language in the Courts” with the Honourable D. Troy Sweet, Professor Karen Drake, and alumnus and local sole practitioner Robert Atatise (moderated by Professor Wendy Parkes), “Sovereignty & Activism” with Dr. Pamela Palmater and Dr. Hadley Friedland (moderated by Professor Nancy Sandy and 2L student/ILSA President Katrina Langevin), and “Environmentalism” with Professor Sákéj Henderson and Inuk lawyer and activist Aaju Peter (moderated by Professor Daniel Dylan Sákéj Henderson and 1L student Danika Goshulak). The day concluded with an evening social event at Magnus Theatre that included a film screening of Angry Inuk and discussion with Aaju Peter, one of the film’s stars, as well as a performance by Mushkegowuk Cree hip-hop artist, Shibastik (Chris Sutherland). At the Student Day on Saturday, Professor Karen Drake and alumni Shawn Bell and Larissa Speak wrapped up the conference with approximately 20 student ambassadors by facilitating group discussions around each panel and developing actionable items to expand on the knowledge shared at the conference. A huge miigwech goes out to every single person involved in making this event a success!
Thank you for leaving a gift in your Will. Your kindness and support ensures that students like me receive an education that fosters critical thinking and a better understanding of our world. ~ Natasha, 4th year BEd, HBA (English and Women’s Studies) student Charitable Registration # 11900-2681-RR 0001
For information on how to include a charitable gift in your Will to Lakehead University contact Lee-Anne Camlin at: T: (807) 346-7792 E: email@example.com All requests remain confidential with no obligation
Indigenous Law Across Landscapes
Hello from Student Services
his past August, Student Services was thrilled to welcome 65 new 1L students to the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law (BLFL) by throwing them an exciting and informative Orientation Week. In addition to providing our new 1Ls with important information about what to expect during law school, students were given BLFL toques to stay warm during the winter months! Shortly after Orientation Week, the Student Services team hit the road for a recruitment trip to Southern Ontario. This trip was a great success! We had a wonderful time connecting with prospective students and promoting the BLFL and Thunder Bay. Many students commented on our unique Integrated Practice Curriculum (we did it first, Ryerson!) and our small class size. The BLFL takes the mental health and wellness of its students seriously. During Orientation Week, Doron Gold, a registered social worker, certified professional coach, psychotherapist, author, and a previous practicing lawyer, presented to our 1L students on the importance of self-care and taking mental health seriously, both during law school and while practicing law. Throughout the academic year, we continue to work closely with our colleagues from Student Health and Wellness to provide ongoing support for law students. This year, students have been given the opportunity to participate in health and wellness in-class sessions and a managing stress mindfully course. In addition, students are encouraged to access individual counselling services
on main campus when needed. Balancing law school with the challenges of everyday life can be difficult. Here at Student Services, we continue to look for ways to support our students as they strive to achieve their academic goals. Working alongside law students to help them meet their career goals is also an important mandate for Student Services. This past October we held our second annual Career Week. During this week, Student Services, along with members of the local bar, presented sessions to students on various topics including how to prepare strong resumes and cover letters, how to prepare for and ace the interview and how to network effectively. The week began with a lawyers panel on our three mandate areas and ended with a wine and cheese event where students were given an opportunity to practice their newly acquired networking skills. The week was very well received by our students and we are grateful to the members of the local bar who volunteered their time to make this event a success. Specifically, we would like to thank Lydia Stam, Kerrie Blaise, Brad Smith, and our esteemed alumni, Molly MacDonald and Katy Commisso. Their contributions are integral to Career Week and to educating our students on career-related topics. Finally, we would like to welcome back our 3L students who were just on Practice Placement. The law school wasn’t the same without you around! As for our students who are about to go on Practice Placement in January, good luck! We know you will have a fantastic time learning from experienced members of the Ontario bar.
Richard Garrett Specializes in Criminal Defence Richard Garrett was raised in Thunder Bay and is a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Richard’s legal career began at the Office of the Registrar General where he started working in the mailroom (Better Call Saul, anyone?) and was granted a 2-year secondment as an Administrative Assistant to the Registrar General. In this role, Richard’s interest in the law began when he would research and respond to written inquiries from the public regarding the registration of births, deaths and marriages, and applications for certificates. Richard graduated from the Political Science (Pre-Law) program at Lakehead University in 2015 and promptly applied to the newly opened Bora Laskin Faculty of Law! Richard graduated from the Faculty of Law in 2018, and speaks highly of how working at the Community Legal Services Clinic and completing the Practice Placement program in 3L prepared him for his legal career. With a passion for criminal defense work, his Placement as a student with Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services gave him first-hand experience in criminal court where he remanded matters, negotiated resolutions, and made sentencing submissions for summary conviction guilty pleas. During his final
4 Faculty Highlights
week as a law student, Richard ran a trial for a young client and argued various Charter violations that he spotted in her case. The client was acquitted and Richard knew he was where he needed to be! A testament to his career success, Richard has recently partnered with Marco Frangione to open their own practice in Thunder Bay, Frangione Garrett LLP, specializing in criminal defence, family, and child protection law. Richard’s advice to law students?
“Network as much as possible. Work in a law office during the summer. Do whatever you can to get as much experience as possible interacting with clients, especially learning the systemic issues facing First Nations people involved in the criminal justice system.”
Frances E. Chapman Receives Teaching Award
was lucky enough to be one of only four recipients of the LU (Thunder Bay) Contribution to Teaching Award (CTA) for 2018-2019. The best part of this award was that the nomination comes from students at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. Five (currently) 3L students nominated me by preparing a letter discussing my teaching methods. Every nominated Professor is asked to prepare a dossier containing all of their teaching evaluations, syllabi, assignments and teaching methods for the past four semesters (mine was about 100 pages long). I got the opportunity to tell main campus about “Torts Crime Scene” and the alumni judged sentencing assignment and the method that I employ in class that I call “Dialogue Pedagogy” where class is more like a conversation than Socratic Method or lecture. However, this award caused me to reflect. Professors are asked to document their last four terms at LU. When I prepared the package earlier in the year, I realized that to go back four completed terms (not including the last school year) would make me evaluate one semester before my medical leave, and the three after. This was a wonderful opportunity to be able to look back on how I taught before such a huge milestone in my life, and after. It also reminds me that I love what I do.
Rather than talk about how awesome I am (and I am awesome) I wanted this part of the newsletter to be a huge “thank-you” to the students. I often reflect that you do not get enough praise for the wonderful things you do every day. Approximately 500 students have walked through our doors since the school opened in 2013. In that summer before our first class arrived, Dr. Brennan will tell you that we were unsure if we would even have a classroom in those first days in September. I was so excited to be a part of something so monumental and I really cherish those memories of our first students. What we did not know was whether we would have more students who would continue to come to the BLFL. It has been such an honour to see six subsequent classes all with their own distinct personalities. Despite medical leaves and tribulations, I have had the opportunity to get to know almost every student that has attended the BLFL. It has been the privilege of my career to be able to do so, and your contributions often go unsung. So . . . thank you. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for making me think. Thank you for making me appreciate every class and I never forget that it is a privilege to be your teacher. F r a n c e s E . C h a p m a n R e c e i v e s Te a c h i n g Aw a r d
R v Le (SCC) – A New Paradigm on Charter Jurisprudence R v Le (SCC) – A New Paradigm on Charter Jurisprudence was in the Limelight at 2019 TBLA Conference The October 2019 Fall Conference of the Thunder Bay Law Association (TBLA) will indeed be remembered in a distinctive way for three reasons. First, it was the first formal outing of our own Dr. Jula Hughes as the Dean of Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at an event organized by the local bar. Second, it was the first time, I assume, the Association in its conferences would feature a full Bora Laskin faculty team as a guest presenter and commentators’ panel. Third, the Criminal Law section at the Conference turned out to be an all Bora Laskin exhibition, because in addition to the all Bora Laskin faculty guest panel, three of our students currently on placement, Claire McCann, Daniel Glen Cox and Kevin Meuzynski, were trio of the other brilliant panel who orchestrated a fascinating display of our grandeur as a law school. It was an honour on my part to be a co-commentator, alongside Dr. Ryan Alford, on Dean Hughes’ presentation. I can now tell how it feels, being an infant professor, to sit on a conference panel with a Law Dean and a Bencher of the Law Society. The illuminating commentary on R v Le, 2019 SCC 34, a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada delivered on May 31, 2019, was a professional treat much as it was a presentation. But what is Le’s case about? Four black men and one Asian (Le) were hanging out in a fenced backyard of a townhouse at a Toronto cooperative housing, when two police officers without a warrant or consent, entered the backyard. A third officer jumped the fence. They immediately questioned the young men about what was going on, who they were, and whether any of them lived there. Le was asked what was in the satchel he was carrying. He fled, was pursued and arrested. He was in possession of a firearm, drugs, and cash. Both the trial judge and the majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal found 6
R v L e (SCC) – A N e w P a r a d i g m o n C h a r t e r J u r i s p r u d e n c e
no breach of Le’s Charter right. However, the Supreme Court of Canada in a majority of three against two, held that the police entrance to the property was a trespass. There simply were no grounds, let alone reasonable grounds, to suspect that any wrongdoing was being committed. The discovery of the evidence was made possible because of the serious breach of Le’s section 9 Charter right. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal, excluded the evidence, set aside the conviction, and entered acquittal. Thus, the apex court remedied what would have been a blight on Canadian Charter jurisprudence. A few points are notable in Le. First, “race relations between the police and racialized people in Canada” was made an important factor in the judicial considerations – judicial notice was thus taken of it. On the same note, the Supreme Court recognized that social science evidence can be as reliable as other types of evidence in proving race factor in police encounters. According to the court, evidence about race relations relevant for detention analysis, like all evidence of social context, can be derived from “social facts” or the taking of judicial notice. In the final analysis, the decision made a bold statement regarding the freedom from arbitrary detention, which must be enjoyed by all Canadians regardless of their race or colour. It also emphasized how important it has become for courts to consider race issues in the adjudication of Charter rights. The case drew twelve interveners, who represented marginalized and racialized groups across Canada. Whether the appearance of the interveners swayed the court in coming to its decision, is a conversation for another day. Similarly, whether a change would ensue in the way racialized communities are policed, as a result of this decision is equally a discussion reserved for another day. Dr. Martin-Joe Ezeudu
Faculty News intersections of law and popular culture and so the paper is a natural reflection and manifestation of that work. Professor Dylan hopes to present another paper dealing with property-based issues in the Phish community at the next iteration of the conference.
Professor Daniel Dylan Presents at Landmark Interdisciplinary Conference Funded in part by a Lakehead University Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Travel Grant, in May 2019, Professor Dylan traveled to Corvallis, Oregon, United States, home of the Oregon State University, to present his paper “Donuts, Dresses, and Phish: A Dramaturgical Analysis of Trademark law,” at the firstever and landmark interdisciplinary Phish Studies Conference. The conference— similar to ones earlier held at a variety of American universities in respect of the popular culture behemoth, the Grateful Dead—was attended by a large number of academics, scholars, musicians, and researchers from around the world each presenting a paper or body of work devoted to situating the music, culture, and phenomena of the thirty-plus-yearold, Vermont-based progressive rock band Phish in a range of contexts. A variety of unique and informative presentations from the disciplines of anthropology, economics, law, medicine, philosophy, social work, sociology, musicology, and religion among other disciplines were made at the conference. Professor Dylan’s paper examines the intersection of sociology and trademark law in the context of Phish’s unsuccessful trademark application in respect of its drummer’s famed “donut patterned” garb, and is expected to be published in 2020. “To be able to present, in the forum of an academic conference, a legal study of the band which has brought much joy and an incredible number of experiences and friendships to me, was an intellectual dream come true,” said Dylan. A secondary aspect of Professor Dylan’s research focuses on the
Dean Hughes Keynote Speaker for TBLA Fall Conference At the kind invitation of the organizing committee under the leadership of Neil McCartney (Atwood Labine LLP), Dean Hughes provided the keynote address for the Thunder Bay Law Assocation Fall Conference on the topic of Responding to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - Taking a Rights-Based Approach. Highlighting the evolving approaches of federal inquiries into Indigenous-settler relations between the Royal Commission and the National Inquiry, Dean Hughes explored the rights to culture, health, security and justice advocated by the National Inquiry and their relationship to existing legal frameworks in Canadian law. The conference was an excellent opportunity to meet members of the Thunder Bay legal community.
scheduled for October 22-24, 2020. For additional information on the both CALE and the upcoming conference, please visit CALE’s website: https:// ethicsincanada.com.
Michael Bryant and the Work of CCLA Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Michael Bryant came to the Auditorium on October 22 to speak about the CCLAs recent initiatives. A lively conversation ensued as Professors Brennan, Alford, Parkes, and Dylan discussed their work on issues related to access to justice and Bryant discussed how the CCLA’s interventions and applications addressed similar concerns. This far-ranging and stimulating conversation ranged from issued related to standing, religious freedom, the notwithstanding clause, and high-profile litigation initiatives that relate to these matters, including the challenge to Quebec Bill C-22. Many students took time our from their busy schedules to learn about the work of the CCLA and our faculty members related to access to justice and the rule of law.
BLFL to Host CALE Conference The Canadian Association of Legal Ethics (CALE), whose members consist of academics, lawyers, regulators and judges, is Canada’s pre-eminent, notfor profit organization that focusses on professional responsibility and legal ethics. CALE is typically on the leading edge of legal ethics issues and contributes to academic discourse on the subject; the organization is currently preparing a formal response to the Canadian Judicial Council’s draft of the revised Ethical Principles for Judges. In addition, as part of the organization’s mandate to “encourage and facilitate debate on ethics and professionalism in Canada”, CALE hosts an annual conference. The conference typically consists of both research and teaching panels on all topics related to legal ethics and professionalism. The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is thrilled that it has been chosen to host the 2020 conference Faculty News
Striving to Thrive in Arduous Times
ow, how time flies. CLS has been offering free legal services to low income people in Thunder Bay for over 4 years. This year has been particularly busy. We opened over 440 files in the 2018/19 academic year and had over 25 students take part in this experiential training opportunity. In January 2019, we finished a major expansion renovation, complete with new office and interview space as well as an accessible washroom. We also hired a new Review Counsel. In April 2019, we welcomed Amy Parker to our clinic. Amy was born and raised in Thunder Bay. She is an alumni of Lakehead University and received her law degree from the University of Manitoba. She was called to the bar in 2004 and has extensive litigation experience. With this addition to our staff, we are now offering employment law services for non-union workers. Sadly, however, not all news has been good news. This year, the Provincial Government cut $133 million dollars from Legal
Aid Ontario’s annual budget. This has lead to catastrophic cuts to Legal Aid services across the board. Since inception, our clinic has been primarily funded by Legal Aid. As a result of these devastating cuts, our annual budget was reduced by 10%. This cut represents a permanent reduction in our annual funding and has left us in a quandary as to how to continue to make ends meet. As a result of the cuts, we have had to pull back on some of our services including our Criminal and Provincial Offences matters in the District. If we cannot find alternate sources of funding, more service cuts will certainly be necessary. In order to address some of our shortfall, we hope to launch a student levy campaign in January 2020. All Lakehead students will be asked to vote on whether or not they would support an annual fee for the clinic. If approved, this levy would allow more students to be eligible for our services. But this endeavour is subject to a referendum and, even if passed, would still be dependant on each individual student opting to pay the levy when they register for classes. We continue to seek alternate forms of funding and would be happy to receive donations to support this fantastic access to justice and experiential learning program. Let us know if you’d like to help. Sincerely, Kimberley Gagan, Director, Community Legal Services
Our Strong Community Spirit
tudents at Bora Laskin are in the midst of a terrific year. Our strong community spirit has been evident at a series of societies’ events this Fall, a spirited Orientation week for 1Ls, and fulsome participation in the Indigenous Justice Conference which saw law students from all across Canada visit to discuss important issues in Indigenous Law. Our co-curricular club scene is bumping! We’ve ratified new clubs like the Black Law Students’ Association, the Technology and Entertainment Law Club, and the Runnymede Society, who hosted a lively debate on the LSO’s Statement of Principles in November. The relationship between the LSS and the TBLA is cohesive and our students enjoy exciting placements in Thunder Bay and elsewhere across Ontario. Having a close relationship with lawyers in town means we are well supported at the Courthouse and while we consider our respective futures. It is inspiring to survey the Thunder Bay legal scene and see so many of our graduates succeeding. The LSS is still pushing for change. We are locked in monthslong negotiations with main campus Conference Services and ARAMARK about bringing food services back to PACI. We have advocated for changes to the ancillary fees scheme in a coalition with the student societies in Engineering, Nursing, and Outdoor
Recreation. We are in constant dialogue with the administration to ensure that student feedback continues to shape changes in our academic curriculum and integrated practice curricula. In short, it is a great time to be a student at Bora Laskin. We at the LSS have so much to look forward to: the Law Ball (January 18, 2020), the Moot season, myriad club events, and the rest of the academic year! Justis Danto-Clancy President LSS
Lakehead University Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Newsletter - Winter 2020