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CIAJ’s Judicial Internships Across Canada: A McGill Student’s Experience Alongside a Chief Justice

This past August brought me back to New Brunswick for a week at the Court of Appeal. After living in Montreal, Fredericton appeared even more bucolic than I remembered, especially in the late-summer tranquility before university students enliven the streets. The timing of my visit was for less congenial reasons: Chief Justice Marc Richard decided […]

How Privacy Rules Can Prevent Discrimination

In a job interview, there are several things that potential employers are prohibited from asking job applicants. Think of rules precluding from asking about an applicant’s age, disabilities, marital status, or intention to have a child. The logic behind these rules is that decision-makers will be unable to discriminate if they lack the sensitive information […]

We Can Run and Hide, But Should We?

As human beings, with innate compassion and empathy, we are obviously not immune from the connectivity that comes with the proliferation of social media, email and the internet. Conversations have opened up about the appropriate ways we should engage with these digital communication platforms.

Emojis and Judicial Law: A Few Challenges (2)

Part 2: And That Emoji, How Do You Write It? In Part 1, one could read, “For those peppering their text messaging with them, emojis are small pictograms used as an illustration or to express an emotion.” For a computer system, however, an emoji is one of many characters.

Emojis and Judicial Law: A Few Challenges (1)

Part 1: When You Write “👿🐙💮” What Do You Mean Exactly? This is how the microblog “Tweeting case law as emoji (badly)” summarizes the 1665 decision of Scot and Scot v. Fletcher. The case did deal with intellectual property rights in books, and indeed “the question was touching what was necessary to be proved in [some] summons.” It does not refer to basketball, or any sport, really.

Three Reasons Why Canadians Should Know About Deepfakes Now

On September 5, 2019, Facebook’s current Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer broke the news that the company will be participating in the launch of a challenge to detect deepfakes.  What are “deepfakes”? You may have heard about them in the last two years because Nicolas Cage’s face has begun appearing in clips of movies and […]

The Jury’s Own Voice

The jury is said to be the conscience of a community (R v Sherratt). As the representatives of the public and the arbiters of culpability, jurors democratize criminal trials. Given the importance and authority accorded to that body, any changes to the law that determines how the jury is composed demands attention. In anticipation of […]

Careful: Secularism Doesn’t Actually Protect Women’s Rights

Bill 21, “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” claims in part to be a move to defend gender equality. The logic behind the proposed bill is that visible religious signs impede women’s full participation in public. We know this is not a new concern. Like limitations imposed on women in countries across the […]

Principled Limitations? or Just Path Dependency?

The rules of evidence in applications for judicial review need to be modernized, to account both for the broader range of “decisions” and “decision-makers” that are now subject to judicial review in Canada, and most notably non-adjudicative decisions and decision-makers, and for the more expansive availability of judicial review for substantive reasonableness.

Better Representation on Criminal Juries

Canada’s jury selection process does not have a storied history. Both the federal and provincial processes have been found wanting, particularly as they concern the representation of Indigenous People and racialized minorities on juries for criminal trials. Public scrutiny has most recently turned its eyes upon peremptory challenges. Provided for in s.634 of the Criminal […]