Monthly Archives: July 2010

Episode 13: Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 Years

Welcome to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT,  broadcasting the law cast broadly. This episode is entitled, Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 years . You can access the show by clicking here.

What is the Oka crisis? Check wikipedia: Host Melanie Benard directs this reflection of our collective legal consciousness.

Oka Crisis

Waneek Horn-Miller

First, Olympian and director of the First People’s House at McGill Waneek Horn-Miller shares a recollection of the Oka crisis. Horn-Miller spent a month and a half within the barricade and discusses the experience with the LegalEase collective.

Next, we go back to 1990 and play some CKUT archival footage from the Oka Crisis. This portion includes music and interviews.

Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema

Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema

Third, we hear from acclaimed NFB filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, the director of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance. These audio clips were recorded in June, 2010 at her presentation at the Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema conference, which was organized by the GIRA.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance is available online You can watch the entire film here.

Finally, we turn to Kahnawake and the Whiskey Point incident. In 1990, residents of a nearby reserve decided to leave, fearing reprisals by neighbouring communities. While leaving, thousands of residents from Chateaguay and surrounding areas attacked cars carrying Mohawk families fleeing the reservation.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month at 11am on 90.3 FM CKUT in Montreal or listen on-line at

Top Ten Most Cited Canadian Court Cases

Ever wonder what the top ten most cited canadian court cases are? Here is a list determined by a CanLii search. If the case is cited, perhaps you should read it (or at least the headnote!). The descriptors are not necessary accurate or verified – they are words commonly used throughout the decision and pulled by a CanLii program.

1. R. v. W.(D.), [1991] 1 S.C.R. 742 — 1991-03-28
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal recharge — jury — beyond a reasonable doubt — main charge — evidence
cited by 3689 cases

2. Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190 — 2008-03-07
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal adjudicator — review —reasonableness — administrative — procedural fairness
cited by 2855 cases

3. Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817 — 1999-07-09
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal humanitarian — compassionate — reasonable apprehension of bias — duty of procedural fairness — children
cited by 2701 cases

4. Housen v. Nikolaisen, 2002 SCC 33, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235 — 2002-03-28
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal curve — road — municipality — hazard — standard
cited by 2142 cases

5. Pushpanathan v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 982 — 1998-06-04
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal drug trafficking — contrary to the purposes — international — principles — refugee
cited by 2118 cases

6. R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265 — 1987-04-09 Supreme Court of Canada — Federal administration of justice into disrepute — bring the administration of justice — search — heroin — admission of the evidence
cited by 2044 cases
7. RJR — MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 311 — 1994-03-03 Supreme Court of Canada — Federal
public interest — irreparable harm — tobacco products — legislation — regulations
cited by 1923 cases

8. R. v. Proulx, 2000 SCC 5, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61 — 2000-01-31
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal conditional sentence — offender — incarceration — community — imprisonment
cited by 1913 cases

9. Canada (Director of Investigation and Research) v. Southam Inc., [1997] 1 S.C.R. 748 — 1997-03-20
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal community newspapers — inter-industry competition — substantial lessening of competition — remedy — advertisers
cited by 1910 cases

10. R. v. M. (C.A.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 500 — 1996-03-21
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal
sentence — offender — parole — imprisonment — fixed-term sentences
cited by 1900 cases

“From Tortia With Love”: Creativity and Law School Summaries

Hello cruel and curious world:

For those interested in Tort law – or extra-contractual law (as we call it at McGill) – take a look at this summary. It is a comic book. Two creative students put it together and made it available to everyone without cost. It covers some of the rudimentary subjects in Canadian tort law, in both common and civil law. You can download the pdf here.

Comic Law!

Isn't this neat?

For those who don’t know – most law students do not do all the readings. Intricate systems of summarizing cases are devised for each course. Sometimes a compilation is a group effort. In the case above, it was done by a team. Usually, a summary is adapted from some earlier version of the course (and some earlier summary) and updated based on the new readings and slightly altered lecture notes. In some cases, summaries enable students to either a) skip class or b) spend the entire class browsing facebook.

If you do go to law school, take your time to venture beyond the bland commonplace – use your talents to create interesting study tools. It will help you learn better and will make you proud of your work, despite whatever grade you may receive (and odds are, you probably will learn the material better in the process).

G20 and Canadian law

I think there is a need to publish some material on the ongoing G20 legal discussions. First, here is a legal analysis by an Osgoode student published on “the Court” (a blog): Click here.

For starters, here is the suspicious ‘order-in-council’ which amended the public works act within the jurisdiction of Ontario: Click here. It was passed June 21 and expired June 28.



For some alternate media coverage, please consult the Toronto Media Co-op.

More to come.