2022 Annual Conference: The Right to Dignity in Canadian Law

Date: October 26-28, 2022
Price per person: (IN PERSON & ONLINE) Members: $895 – Non-Members: $1,045 – Young lawyer Member (5 years or less): $625 – Young lawyer Non-Member (5 years or less): $725 – Students: $75 (enrolled full-time at Canadian universities)
Location: Online & In Person: Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel: 1919 Upper Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3J5

***This event is over. You can watch the videos here and access the documents here.


Major Sponsor:

Logo LexisNexis

PwC Logo          Logo Nova Scotia Department of Justice


Bilingual program with simultaneous interpretation
Participation in this program is accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory.
Participation in this program is approved under Section 41 (1) of the Judges Act.


CIAJ’s 46th Annual Conference, entitled “The Right to Dignity in Canadian Law,” will discuss dignity as a fundamental human right. The conference will cover the many facets of the concept of dignity, from moral and philosophical notions to its uses as a legal norm. Discussion of the topic will be grounded in eminently pertinent issues such as the role of dignity in gender identity and reproductive rights, as well as medical assistance in dying, elder care, disability, and equality rights. The role of dignity will also be discussed in the context of the Canadian criminal justice and carceral systems, particularly with regards to Indigenous Peoples, restorative justice, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and reconciliation.

Honorary Chair

  • The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada


  • The Honourable Justice Julie Dutil, Court of Appeal of Quebec; First Vice-President, CIAJ
  • The Honourable Justice P. Colleen Suche, Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba; President, CIAJ

Keynote Speaker

  • R. Maria Shepherd, Principal, Sr. Paralegal & Notary Public, Shepherd Advocacy & Litigation; Co-Director, Innocence Canada

Panel Chairs

  • The Honourable Justice Elaine J. Adair, Supreme Court, British Columbia
  • Emma Halpern, Executive Director & Manager of Legal Services, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia
  • Adam O. Letourneau, K.C., Founder & Managing Partner, Letourneau LLP
  • Constance MacIntosh, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
  • Kent Roach, CM, FRSC, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • The Honourable Jon S. Sigurdson, Supreme Court, British Columbia (Retired)
  • The Honourable Lynn Smith, OC, K.C., Former Justice, Supreme Court, British Columbia


  • Kristen Basque, RSW, Manager of Prevention Services, Mi’kmaq Family & Childrens Services of Nova Scotia
  • Chantalle Briggs, Ph.D., J.D., 1st-Year Associate, Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • The Honourable James S. Cowan, CM, K.C., Former Senator, Senate of Canada; Past Chair & Board Member, Dying With Dignity Canada
  • Amber Crowe, Executive Director, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services (DBCFS), Hiawatha, ON
  • Jessie Denny, Lawyer, Mi’kmaq Family & Childrens Services of Nova Scotia
  • Barbara Fallon, Ph.D., Full Professor, Associate Vice-President, Research & Canada Research Chair in Child Welfare, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
  • Joseph Fraser, Director and CEO, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
  • Dr. Stefanie Green, MAiD Practitioner; Co-Founder and President of the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers (CAMAP)
  • Vanessa Gruben, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Mona Gupta, Psychiatrist, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Addictions, Université de Montréal
  • Dr. Nancy Hansen, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Director, Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies, University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Heidi Janz, Ph.D., Associate Adjunct Professor, John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, University of Alberta
  • The Honourable Harry LaForme, Senior Counsel, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP; Retired Judge, Court of Appeal for Ontario; Canada’s first Indigenous appellate judge
  • Tamara Levy, K.C., Director, UBC Innocence Project, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
  • Michelle Liu, J.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section and Ph.D. Candidate in Civil Engineering, Centre for Law, Technology and Society and Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa
  • Alisa Lombard, Lawyer, Lombard Law
  • Megan Longley, K.C., Executive Director, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
  • Michael McNeely, Government Lawyer; Self-Advocacy Instructor, Canadian Helen Keller Centre; Accessibility Consultant and Project Developer, Inside Out
  • Jennifer Metcalfe, Lawyer & Executive Director, Prisoners’ Legal Services/West Coast Prison Justice Society, BC
  • Cheryl Milne, Executive Director, David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • The Honourable Kim Pate, OC, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Dominga Robinson, Juris Doctor Candidate, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Ann Soden, Ad. E., Emeritus Lawyer, Mediator, Clinical Educator, Executive Director of The National Institute of Law, Policy and Aging and of The Elder Law Clinic
  • Nora Spinks, Founder, President & CEO, Work-Life Harmony Enterprises
  • Dr. Nathan Stall, MD, PhD, Geriatrician, Sinai Health, Toronto
  • Wayne Sumner, University Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
  • Jacob Weinrib, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
  • Patricia Whyte, Indigenous Peer Support Worker & Residential Manager, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia

Become a partner of the Conference!

Position your organization as a committed leader in supporting the administration of justice in Canada and reach decision makers and prominent members from all branches of the legal community and across the country. Discover all the possibilities in our brochure: Sponsorship Package / Exhibitors

Photo: @Rod Long / Unsplash


For further information, please contact the Program Coordinator, Mary Plagakis
Tel.: 514-731-2855, extension 4
Email: mary.plagakis@ciaj-icaj.ca


Cancellation Policy:

  • 30 days or more before the event: Administration fees of $40
  • 7 days or more before the event: 50% of registration fees
  • Less than 7 days before the event: No refund

At any time, a participant may be replaced by another person without charge

COVID-19 Requirements

To protect everyone’s health, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice requires participants, CIAJ staff, faculty members and speakers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they benefit from a recognized medical exemption. Masks are required to be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking. This requirement is in addition to any restrictions or vaccination requirements that may be in force in the jurisdiction or at the venue where the event is being held.