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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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.

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.

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.

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.

Posted on 23 Mar 2022

Deconstructing the Reasonable Person

Although the reasonable person standard continues to be a useful tool in many areas of the law, it can also reinforce stereotypes of power and privilege. In this episode, we speak with Professor Mayo Moran about what a critical lens reveals about the shortcomings and limitations of the reasonable person standard.

Posted on 15 Mar 2022

Legislating Cyberspace: Online Harms and Threats to Civil Liberties

Regulating online content is a complex issue that platforms and governments alike continue to grapple with. In this episode, we explore the Canadian Government’s Proposed Approach to Address Harmful Content Online and its potential impact on civil liberties.

We speak with Me Lex Gill, a public interest lawyer who co-authored a recent report on the pressing privacy, freedom of expression, and human rights considerations related to the government’s proposal.

Posted on 22 Feb 2022

Minority Language Rights and Bill 96

Le projet de loi n° 96, la loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français, a été présenté par le gouvernement de la Coalition Avenir Québec en 2021. Il propose plusieurs mesures pour renforcer et promouvoir la langue française au Québec. Bien que l’Assemblée Nationale du Québec a voté unanimement pour que le projet de loi 96 passe à la phase de consultation, certains ont remis en cause sa nécessité et sa constitutionnalité. Dans cet épisode, nous discuterons avec le professeur Guillaume Rousseau et Me Julius Grey sur les origines et les objectifs principaux du projet de loi 96 ainsi que les critiques les plus courantes formulées à son encontre.

Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, was put forward by the Coalition Avenir Québec government in 2021. It proposes several new measures to strengthen and promote the French language in Québec. Although the National Assembly of Quebec voted unanimously to push Bill 96 into the consultation stage, some have questioned its constitutionality. In this episode, we discuss with Professor Guillaume Rousseau and Me Julius Grey about Bill 96’s origins and main objectives, and highlight some of its largest critiques.

Posted on 16 Feb 2022

Les avocats peuvent-ils sauver l’environnement? La responsabilité extra-contractuelle et la prévention des dommages environnementaux

Dans cet épisode, nous discuterons du rôle de la responsabilité civile dans la prévention des dommages environnementaux. Afin de nous éclairer sur ce sujet, nous avons invité Maître Michel Bélanger, avocat spécialisé en recours collectifs et en droit de l’environnement.

Posted on 9 Feb 2022

An end to cyberstalking? Caplan v. Atas and the new tort of online harassment

In 2021, the Ontario Superior Court developed a new tort of online harassment. The tort was fashioned to respond to the outrageous conduct of the defendant, who incessantly posted malicious and defamatory falsehoods about the plaintiffs across various online platforms. But was the creation of a new tort necessary? And will it provide an effective solution for other victims of cyberbullying or internet harassment? Our guest is Iris Fischer, co-head of the Toronto Litigation Group at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

Music by Alexander Shamaluev and IvyMusic from Pixabay.

Posted on 27 Jan 2022

Meaning Making: Students and Indigenous Legal Education | Professor John Borrows

A recording of the lecture delivered by Professor John Borrows at the McGill Law Journal’s 2022 Annual Lecture.  

The Annual Lecture is a McGill Law Journal tradition that dates back to the 1980s. This year, Professor John Borrows spoke about the role students play in reshaping and growing the law and the legal field by collectively engaging in the process of making sense of the world around us.