Category Archives: mcgill

Journeying Towards Universal Accessibility and Inclusivity

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

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(Photo credit: https://cielo24.com/category/state-accessibility-law/)

Click here to download audio.

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.

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

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(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.

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 http://www.ckut.ca. For more programming, check us out at https://legaleaseckut.wordpress.com

In Memoriam: Alexandra Dodger (1983-2011)

Alexandra Dodger


LegalEase is deeply saddened by the passing of recently graduated McGill Law student Alexandra Dodger (1983-2011). She had a major impact on the McGill community and beyond. Take a look at the Quid Novi memorial issue written by Professors and friends of Alex. Below you may find a youtube video which captures a speech made on behalf of Alex in the House of Commons. For newspaper articles, consult glowing reflections published in the Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star.

LegalEase recommends you read some of Alex’s writing. You can check out work for the McGill Daily here, on international law published at Legal Frontiers here, and I encourage you to check out pages 5 and 22 of the November 2009 Quid Novi (McGill Law Publication).

Alexandra Dodger will be missed dearly.