Podcasts

Starting in Volume 57, the McGill Law Journal became the first Canadian law journal to launch a significant podcast series. In the years since, our podcasts have explored many of the most important issues in Canadian law, including debates about criminal justice or the structure of Canadian Federalism, as well as international issues like humanitarian crises or emerging norms like the legal personality of the environment. Each episode features interviews from prominent academics, practitioners, and other experts, many of whom have been directly involved in debates and decisions that continue to shape the law in Canada and around the world.

Music provided by SOCAN.

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Our episodes
Posted on 15 Aug 2022

Unpacking Canadian Surrogacy Law

Surrogacy law in Canada has long been a debated topic, whose evolution is tied to moral and ethical issues including reproductive rights, and protection against the commodification of women and children. In this episode, we explore how the law regulates the rights, expectations, and relationships of surrogates and hopeful parents. We also unpack recent reforms that have attempted to clarify this complex area. Our guest is Dr. Stefanie Carsley, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and member of the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.

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Posted on 4 Aug 2022

A Tale of One City: Toronto's Battle for Electoral Independence

In Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General), the Supreme Court held the Ontario government’s decision to reduce the size of Toronto’s City Council – during an election – was constitutionally valid. In this episode, we explore the case and its implications on freedom of expression and unwritten constitutional principles. We speak with Nathalie Des Rossiers, Principal of Massey College, who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario when the events transpired.

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Posted on 12 Jul 2022

Cybersecurity and the Law, Part 2: Exploring the Specter of Digital Transnational Repression

At the international level, malware has become a tool of transnational repression – enabling governments to reach across national borders to silence and surveil dissidents. We speak with Siena Anstis, senior legal advisor at The Citizen Lab, about how digital transnational repression takes place, how it implicates human rights, and how governments around the world are responding to its occurrence.

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Posted on 5 Jul 2022

Cybersécurité et le droit, partie 1 : un guide pratique pour le 21e siècle

Selon les statistiques les plus récentes de Statistique Canada, deux grandes entreprises canadiennes sur cinq auraient été victimes d’une cyberattaque. Dans cet épisode, nous explorons les implications légales découlant des logiciels malveillants (“malware”) avec Maître Éloïse Gratton, avocate et associée au cabinet Borden Ladner Gervais. Nous discutons les impacts au droit à la vie privée, la protection des renseignements confidentiels et personnels et les obligations légales des entreprises de signaler ou de notifier les incidents.

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Posted on 22 Jun 2022

Conversion Therapy and Narratives of Cure: Debunking Anti-LGBTQ2+ Rhetoric in Law

While proponents of conversion therapy argue that legislative bans infringe on freedoms of expression and religion, its opponents contend that failing to impose a ban would have harmful consequences. Now criminalized at the federal level, we discuss the practice of conversion therapy: its impacts, ideological underpinnings, and the legislative approaches to its ban in Canada.

We speak with Dr. Kristopher Wells, associate professor in the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at MacEwen University, and author of the Canada Research Chair report, “Conversion Therapy in Canada: A Guide for Legislative Action.”

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Posted on 31 May 2022

Le droit des locataires durant la crise du logement au Québec

Dans cet épisode, nous explorons les droits et obligations respectives des propriétaires et des locataires au Québec. Nous discutons du phénomène des rénovictions, des particularités du Tribunal administratif du logement, ainsi que de certains mécanismes mis en place pour protéger les droits des locataires et de solutions potentielles à la crise du logement qui touche plusieurs villes du Québec.

Nous parlons avec Me Marc-André Émard, avocat au Bureau Centre-Sud de l’aide juridique, et Me Daniel Crespo Villareal, chargé de cours en droit du logement à l’Université du Québec à Montréal et avocat chez DDC Légal.

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Posted on 10 May 2022

The law, politics, and history of equalization in Canada

Enshrined in the Canadian Constitution since 1982, Canada’s equalization program transfers federal tax revenue to provinces whose fiscal capacity is less than the national average. But since its inception, equalization has been subject to recurring public debate and controversy. In this episode we unpack Alberta’s 2021 equalization referendum with Professor Eric Adams from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law, and explore the constitutional legal history of equalization.

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Posted on 12 Apr 2022

Social Determinants of Health and the Charter: Has the Right to Health Been Realized in Canada?

Reflecting on 40 years of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we speak with Professor Martha Jackman from the University of Ottawa about the right to health. In particular, we explore how the right has been litigated on section 7 and section 15 grounds to advance protection over social determinants of health—such as access to food, clean water, and housing—with varying degrees of success. This special episode was produced in collaboration with the McGill Journal of Law & Health.

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Posted on 5 Apr 2022

Climate Change and the Charter: Securing the Right to a Healthy Environment

In a new and historic constitutional challenge, seven youth plaintiffs allege that the Ontario government’s weakening of the province’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target violates their Charter rights. In this episode, we explore the history of Mathur v Ontario and discuss whether governmental climate plans are reviewable by courts. Our guest is Fraser Thomson, a lawyer at Ecojustice who is representing the Mathur claimants.

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Posted on 29 Mar 2022

The Law of Armed Conflict and its Limits: Lessons from Afghanistan

The Afghanistan War and its legacy continue to exert a profound influence over Canada’s national security policy. In this episode, we reflect on Canada’s role within the war and the international humanitarian law that governed the conflict. We speak with Retired Maj Gen Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces (2010–2017), and Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame.

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