Episode January 2016–Accessibility, Name Changing, Slavery and the Law

Bienvenues à LegalEase, une émission consacrée au droit qui vise à
en rendre le jargon plus accessible tout en évaluant de manière
critique ses institutions.

LegalEase is a monthly show put together by a collective of former
and current law students at McGill that explores the law and its
institutions with a critical lens and at the same time makes the
jargon of the law more accessible.

First off, LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian interviews the McGill
Faculty of Law’s Universal Access Consultant, Gift Tshuma, on his
accessibility report, which was released in the late Fall of 2016.
They discussed the details of the report and ways that students can get involved to make the Faculty more accessible and inclusive for all.

Next, we’ll hear from the McGill Legal Information Clinic on the current status of name changing in Quebec, brought to you by Alexa Franckzak.

The Legal Information Clinic is a non-profit,
student-run, bilingual and free information legal service. Their
mandate is to provide legal information, student advocacy services,
referral and community services to the McGill and Montreal
communities, with a continuing commitment to meeting the needs
of marginalized groups. The clinic is located in the SSMU building
on McTavish.

Finally, we’ll feature a talk which Professor Afua Cooper gave
during Professor Adelle Blackett’s “Slavery and the Law” seminar.

A scholar, historian, poet, and commentator– she currently is an
Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social
Anthropology at Dalhousie University and founded a minor in
Black Canadian Studies. She discusses her research and the history
of slavery in Canada by pointing to individual narratives and the
cultural entrenchment of the practice in codes and statutes. She
completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada.

Vous écoutez LegalEase sur CKUT 90.3 FM à Montreal.

 

 

Episode December 2016–A Gift or a Curse?

Bienvenues à LegalEase, une émission consacrée au droit qui vise à
en rendre le jargon plus accessible tout en évaluant de manière
critique ses institutions.

LegalEase is a monthly show put together by a collective of former
and current law students at McGill that explores the law and its
institutions with a critical lens and at the same time makes the
jargon of the law more accessible.

LegalEase’s Lillian Boctor reports from the Standing Rock resistance encampments where water protectors have, for now, managed to halt construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline…more on that to come. We’ll also get an update on struggles against the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Ensuite, we’ll hear testimonies from members of the Non-Status Women’s Collective of Montreal, a collective of non-status women self-organizing for status for all here in Montreal, who took to the streets this past Saturday, to mark one year of collective struggle and continue their fight in denouncing the arbitrariness of Canada’s immigration system and its particularly violent impacts on women.

Finally, to add a little holiday flavour to our somber program we’ll get a brief law lesson from the Legal Information Clinic of McGill on the subject of gifts.

Vous écoutez LegalEase sur CKUT 90.3 F.M.

“When the Law is Broken:” Professor Val Napoleon Talks of the University of Victoria’s Proposed Dual Indigenous Law Program

ILRUhomepage.jpg

(Photo credit: http://www.uvic.ca/law/about/indigenous/indigenouslawresearchunit/)

Click here to download audio.

After over a decade of planning and discussions, the University of Victoria’s (UVic’s) proposed joint Common Law and Indigenous Law degree program (the JID) is nearing fruition. Once approved by both the federal and provincial governments, Canada will see its first ever dual Indigenous law program, starting next Fall of 2017.

LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian sat down with one of its architects, UVic Director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit and Research Chair, Val Napoleon. We discussed the details of the proposed program, its parallels to the McGill transsystemic model, as well as issues of Indigenous essentialization and reconciliation in creating such a program.

Thank you to Professor Napoleon for her time and patience in agreeing to the interview. Thank yous are also due to Professor Napoleon, as well as Professors Friedland, Anker, and Kong, for having taught first-year students to be brave, to engage with what we didn’t know, and to question what we thought we already knew about Indigenous laws this past Integration Week.

“We don’t owe you anything:” Women’s rights activist Julie Lalonde speaks up about her decade-long stalker

stalk

(Photo credit: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-stalking-cases-police-women-saftey-online-stalking-3074436/)

Click here to download audio.

Stalking is a term that legally translates to criminal harassment in the Canadian Criminal Code. It is a term that has been romanticized in novels and romantic-comedy movies and normalized in everyday romantic interactions, predominantly between men and women.

In Canada, 76% of victims of stalking are women, and 58% of these women are stalked by former partners.

LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian sat down with Julie Lalonde. Julie is a women’s rights activist, the manager of Draw the Line, a campaign that encourages bystanders to intervene in instances of sexual violence, and the founder of the Ottawa chapter of Hollaback!, a movement dedicated to ending street harassment. She is also a victim of stalking.

Julie shared her story with her decade-long stalker and she shed some light on the many barriers imposed by the Canadian criminal law on victims of stalking.  She also shared her thoughts on Canada’s new federal strategy that aims to reduce gender-based cyber-harassment. A consultation process for this strategy is expected by early 2017.

 

 

A Look at the First Ever Legal Aid Lawyers Union in Ontario

The Quebec State Lawyers have been on strike for approximately two weeks as of today, with an unlimited mandate, waiting for their collective agreement to be renewed. A recent TAT decision has deemed certain services “essential,” to which lawyers reacted by saying that they should benefit from special negotiation procedure in light of that new categorization. In this show, we explore a different but related issue of the unionization of Lawyers, in the context of Ontario Legal Aid.

LegalEase’s Alice Mirlesse spoke with Garrett, a criminal defence lawyer, who is currently organizing the first ever Legal Aid Lawyers union.

Episode November 2016–Sail on, Sail on

Welcome to LegalEase, a broadcast about law cast broadly. We are your hosts Alice Mirlesse, Zach Morgenstern, and Emma Noradounkian for this November edition of LegalEase.

Bienvenu(e)s à LegalEase, une émission consacrée au droit qui vise à en rendre le jargon plus accessible tout en évaluant de manière critique ses institutions.

First off, we are joined by a Divest McGill activist, who was arrested at Parliament Hill on October 24th. They were calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to halt the construction of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

Next, the Quebec State Lawyers have been on strike for approximately two weeks as of today, with an unlimited mandate, waiting for their collective agreement to be renewed. A recent TAT decision has deemed certain services “essential,” to which lawyers reacted by saying that they should benefit from special negotiation procedure in light of that new categorization. In this show, we explore a different but related issue of the unionization of Lawyers, in the context of Ontario Legal Aid. We will speak with Garrett, a criminal defence lawyer who is currently organizing the first ever Legal Aid Lawyers union.

Finally, still on the subject of strikes, fair wages and collective bargaining we interviewed two  representatives from AMUSE – the McGill temporary workers union– which has recently declared a five day strike and are bargaining, amongst other things, for a $15 minimum wage.

Asé tsi Tewa:ton,“We Will Renew Ourselves:” The Mohawk Approach to Environmental and Cultural Restoration with Dr. Taiaiake Alfred

Click here to download audio.

The most common approach to compensating Indigenous peoples for harms caused to their peoples, their lands, and their culture has been to pay them a lump sum of money and call it a day. Taiaiake Alfred, a Professor of Indigenous Governance and Political Science from Kahnawá:ke, however, gave a talk at McGill about an alternative approach to addressing these harms that tends to Indigenous peoples’ actual needs. That is, through the restoration of their land based practices. This program was launched in 2014, in the community of Akwesasne in the US, where master knowledge-holders have since been teaching apprentices how to hunt, trap, and heal through medicinal plants, among other things. 

This talk took place in September 2016 as part of McGill’s 6th Annual Indigenous Awareness Week. The recording is brought to you by LegaLEase’s Emma Noradounkian and Alice Mirlesse.