Category Archives: law

Journeying Towards Universal Accessibility and Inclusivity

An Interview with McGill Law’s Universal Access Consultant Gift Tshuma


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In the context of McGill’s Faculty of Law, accessibility is a concept that isn’t confined to the proverbial wheelchair. According to Gift Tshuma, the LSA’s summer Universal Design Coordinator and the current Universal Access Consultant, accessibility calls attention to the concerns of a variety of marginalized groups amongst its students and staff: from the less-abled, to the racialized, to the gendered, and to the overall stigmatized.

LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian sat down with Mr. Tshuma to find out more about his accessibility report of our Faculty and Student Association, the LSA. He also discussed what accessibility means in the Faculty, how the Faculty is accessible in some ways but not in others, and how its students and staff can lead the way towards shedding the barriers to a more inclusive environment for all.

Thank you to Mr. Tshuma for his time and patience in agreeing to the interview and for kicking off the Faculty’s journey towards universal accessibility and inclusivity, alongside the LSA and Dean Leckey.

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


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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 October 2014 – Stop!

Blast from the Past – An episode from Lillian Boctor, Alyssa Clutterbuck, and Garrett Zehr!



Episode – September 2016 – About LegalEase!

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.

Listen to the Episode here


In today’s show we will hear from past and current students about their involvement in social movement lawyering and how it has shaped their experiences in law school. From Radlaw (Legalease’s original affiliation) to Legalease, students’ perspective on the law and the communities whose lives are affected by it on the daily has been sharpened through engaging with these perspectives, both individually and collectively.

LegalEase présente un rapportage de cette été des travailleurs du Vieux-port qui étaient en grève depuis plus de 100 jours. Ils militent pour des bénéfices

Finally, we have put together extracts of past shows, to illustrate the breadth and diversity of topics covered in the show, and give new recruits an idea of what they are signing-up for!

Episode – October 2016 – Abortion, MMIW, Land Defenders

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise. This month the program is entitled,  Abortion, MMIW, Land Defenders. Listen to the Episode here.

Professors Shivaun Quinlivan and Susan Cahill shared their lived experiences and insights on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. This Amendment equates the right to life of a pregnant woman with that of a foetus and criminalizes abortion in all cases except where continuing a pregnancy would result in death.
You can read Cahill’s story at…grets-1.2542740

Last week, hundreds walked in honour and solidarity of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) at the 11th annual Missing Justice March in Montreal. Hear from Mohawk artist and activist Ellen Gabriel, who cast doubts over the effectiveness of the current national inquiry on MMIW and Stacey Gomez of the Centre for Gender Advocacy, who shared ways to get involved in raising awareness for MMIW.


And finally, Anishinaabe land defenders Vanessa and Lindsay Gray spoke in Montreal last month. Vanessa is facing a 25-year prison sentence for allegedly sabotaging Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. We’ll play parts of their talk, in which they discuss environmental racism, organizing in the Chemical Valley, and the importance of defending land defenders.

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at] or check our podcast library for past programming.

This month’s edition of LegalEase was produced by Alice Mirlesse, Gwendolyn Muir, and Emma Noradounkian.



Join us on Saturday, March 16, 2013, for the Law Union of Ontario’s Annual Conference! 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Law Union, and this year’s conference will bring progressive legal and activist communities together to discuss an exciting and challenging series of issues. To register for a day of inspiring and provocative panels, workshops, and discussion click here: REGISTER

The conference will be held at Victoria College, on the University of Toronto campus. The address is 91 Charles Street, with the building just south of Charles. This facility is wheelchair accessible. Follow this link for a map of the exact location of the conference:

Scroll down for the full schedule of panels and speakers.

CPD hours pending.


In honour of the Law Union’s 40th anniversary, join other conference-goers on the evening of Friday, March 15th, for a celebration with live music, drinks, reflections, and awards. This event will be held at the Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, from 7:30 pm onwards. All are welcome!

Victoria College


PANELS: 9 – 10:30 am

Envisioning the New Law Practice Program
Renatta Austin, Articling Student, City of Toronto
Elena Iosef, Osgoode Hall Legal and Literary Society
Janet Minor, Ministry of the Attorney General, Law Society Bencher

Deconstructing the Doctrine of Discovery
Tannis Nielsen, Artist and Educator

Mental Health and Justice: Three Unique Voices
Sarah Shartal

Working on the Margins: Perspectives on Migrant Work in Canada
Fay Faraday, Osgoode Hall Law School, Faraday Law
Kelly Botengan, Magkaisa Centre, Phillipine Women’s Centre
Evelyn Encalada, Justice for Migrant Workers

MORNING PLENARY: 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Panels full of Women: 40 Years Later, Has Anything Changed?
Beth Symes, Symes Street & Millard LLP, Law Society Bencher
Janet Minor, Ministry of the Attorney General, Law Society Bencher
Jessica Wolfe, Legal Aid Ontario
Sharon Walker, Dykeman Dewirst O’Brien, LLP

PANELS: 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Resonance: Police Racial Profiling and Intelligence Gathering
Vickie McPhee, Rights Watch Network

Decolonizing Relationships: Treaties and Beyond
Diane Kelly, Former Ogichidaakwe (Grand Chief), Treaty #3
Crystal Sinclair, B.S.W., Activist and Organizer, Idle No More Toronto
Lorraine Land, Olthuis Kleer Townshend

Advocacy out of the Courtroom: Skills without Gowns
Asha James, Falconer Charney LLP
Janina Fogels, Human Rights Legal Support Centre
Diana Zlomistic, Toronto Star

Resisting Neoliberal Reductions in Access to Justice

PANELS: 3:15 – 4:45 pm

Solidarity City Now: Legal and Community Organizing for Immigrant Justice
Rathika Vasavithasan, Parkdale Community Legal Services
Faria Kamal, Health for All
Sarah Mikhaiel, Sanctuary Network
Liza Draman, Caregivers Action Network

The End of the Employee: A Critical Discussion on the Rise of Contract Work, Internships and Underemployment
Claire Seaborn, Canadian Intern Association
Jenny Ahn, CAW, Director for Membership, Mobilization and Political Action

Aboriginal Youth and Child Welfare
Rina Okimawinew, Attawapiskat First Nation
Billie-Jean McBride, George Brown College
Judith Rae, Olthuis Kleer Townshend

Prison Litigation as Harm Reduction


Delia Opekokew is a lawyer and a deputy Chief Adjudicator for the Independent Assessment Process. From the Canoe Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, she was the first First Nations lawyer ever admitted to the bar association in Ontario and in Saskatchewan, as well as the first woman ever to run for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations.

Childcare will be provided – please email us in advance at with the number and ages of the children who will be attending.

If you would like to donate to the conference, you may do so through
the Jur-Ed Foundation at Canada Helps

Questions? Email us at, and include “conference” in the subject heading.

Pétition : Demande d’enquête publique sur les plans stratégiques et les interventions des forces policières lors de la grève étudiante

Pétition :
Demande d’enquête publique sur les plans stratégiques et les interventions des forces policières lors de la grève étudiante

Pour signer cette pétition, vous devez compléter 3 étapes :

Étape 1 : remplissez le formulaire sous le texte de la pétition et envoyez-le (vous devez accepter les conditions à respecter pour pouvoir signer la pétition avant d’envoyer le formulaire).
Étape 2 : consultez votre boîte de courriels et ouvrez le message envoyé par l’Assemblée.
Étape 3 : dans ce message, cliquez sur le lien vous permettant d’enregistrer votre signature.
Vous ne pouvez signer la même pétition qu’une seule fois.

Texte de la pétition

Considérant que les nombreuses interventions policières effectuées lors de la grève étudiante du printemps 2012 auraient été marquées par des gestes qui mettraient en cause l’application de la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne;

Considérant que, selon des témoignages, il y aurait eu entrave par les forces policières aux soins d’urgence à prodiguer aux personnes blessées lors de certaines manifestations;

Considérant que le Comité contre la torture de l’ONU avait interpellé le Canada en 2005 concernant l’emploi abusif et dangereux d’armes chimiques, irritantes, incapacitantes ou mécaniques;

Considérant que le Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU avait interpellé le Canada en 2005 concernant des arrestations massives faites par les corps policiers lui rappelant que seules les personnes ayant commis des infractions pénales au cours des manifestations pouvaient être arrêtées;

Considérant que la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés reconnaît le droit constitutionnel de manifester et les libertés d’expression et d’association;

Nous exigeons que le gouvernement du Québec institue une enquête indépendante qui devra permettre notamment :

d’identifier les plans stratégiques adoptés lors des manifestations qui ont eu cours lors de la grève étudiante du printemps 2012;
d’examiner le rôle et la responsabilité des dirigeants politiques et policiers dans la planification et la coordination des différentes stratégies d’intervention des forces policières;
d’examiner le recours à des balles de plastique ou autres pour contrôler des foules;
d’identifier s’il y a eu des violations de droits;
d’assurer aux victimes de violations de droits une réparation adéquate.

Episode 28 (Dec 2011) – Crackdown

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise. This month the program is entitled, “Crackdown.”

Listen to the Episode Here

Students Discuss the Nov 10 Crackdown

“Changed, Changed utterly.” Garrett Zehr examines the recent November 10th police crackdown against student protestors at McGill University in Montreal. Students mobilized against tuition increases and unexpectedly met with Riot police violence. Here is a link to the report prepared by Dean of Law Daniel Jutras Inquiry. Here is a link to the Independent Student Inquiry. For a host of articles and information on the Nov 10, see the McGill Daily’s coverage.

Preeti Dhaliwal interviews McGill law student (and former LegalEase contributor) Melanie Benard who shares her first-person narrative of the November 10 crackdown.

Paul Holden and Mark Phillips close the first half of the show by updating our listeners on the MUNACA strike for the last time. The strike is over, but LegalEase presents a case study on how the strike affected student communities. Namely, LegalEase investigates its own nest in the law faculty – observing the McGill Law Student Association’s Referendum and General Assembly processes, canvassing the opinions of students. Est-ce que c’est un ‘crackdown’ sur la proces démocratique?

In the second segment, LegalEase shifts gears: how can we crack down on corporations using the tools of Canadian criminal law? Rana Alrabi presents two guests on the subject of business and human rights, criminal Corporate Responsibility. Elise Groulx and Helen Dragatsi, two members of the Quebec bar, implore us to look closely at the role of Canadian corporations operating abroad. Me Dragatsi discusses her recent book, “Criminal Liability of Canadian Corporations for International Crimes.” La deuxième invitée, Me Groulx, éxplique les nuances de la commerce et la droit de la personne dans la contexte globale. She predicts the development of international criminal law to enable the prosecution of private corporations who perpetuate global conflict through rogue actions.

The two experts discuss the case Association canadienne contre l’impunité (ACCI) c. Anvil Mining Ltd., 2011 QCCS 1966 where the Superior Court accepts jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed by a Canadian corporation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For further discussion on this subject, consult recent article by Yale graduate student, James Yap, “Corporate Civil Liability for War Crimes in Canadian Courts
Lessons from Bil’in (Village Council) v. Green Park International Ltd.” published at Journal for International Criminal Justice (2010) 8 (2): 631-648.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month from 11h00-12h00 on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal or listen on-line at For more programming, check us out at