The Faculty got off to a running start this January, with new classes, new publications, new faces, new milestones to celebrate, and a full roster of events of interest to faculty, students and alumni. Many of them are accredited by the Barreau du Québec for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours.

S. Serge Shahinian
S. Serge Shahinian gave an interesting talk on patenting in the life sciences.

Daniel Jutras
La conférence de Daniel Jutras a fait salle comble.

Irwin Cotler
The Hon. Irwin Coltler (seen here in an archival photo) will give the René Cassin lecture on February 6.

On January 14, the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP) gave a lively talk on the evolution of patenting in the life sciences by Serge Shahinian, PhD’96, who is a patent agent and partner at Goudreau Gage Dubuc (and one of the authors of the new IP JurisClasseur).

Quelques jours plus tard, le 18 janvier, le doyen Daniel Jutras faisait salle comble pour sa conférence « Que personne ne bouge! La confiance légitime comme source d’obligations en droit civil. » La conférence s’inscrivait dans la série des Ateliers de droit civil : Les apparences en droit civil organisée par le Centre Paul-André Crépeau de droit privé et comparé. Par ailleurs, cette série de conférences bouclera sa première année avec une dernière conférence en avril donnée par le prof. Ross Anderson (Glascow).

The CIPP and Crépeau Centre then joined forces on January 25, in collaboration with Lallemand Inc., to present a seminar by Dr Elena Cooper, Orton Fellow in Intellectual Property Law from Cambridge, and a member of Cambridge University’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law. Dr. Cooper spoke on “Copyright as a Publicity Right? Stories from the U.K. in the Nineteenth Century,” drawing on original research on the early history of UK photographic copyright following the passage of the Fine Arts Copyright Act 1862.

Upcoming events include the next Une Pensée d’avance / Think Ahead lecture on January 29, entitled “Private International Law: Where to Sue after the Supreme Court decision in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda.” Professors Frédéric Bachand, Geneviève Saumier and Catherine Walsh will discuss an SCC decision that has brought greater certainty to the question of a real and substantial connection in the assumption of civil jurisdiction by Canadian courts in matters concerning the conflict of laws.  (3 hours of CLE).

Furthermore, three events on the theme of disability law will be presented in coming weeks. On January 30, the Faculty’s Disability Seminar series continues with a panel discussion on Mental Health in the Workplace, entitled “Beyond Stigma and Exclusion”. (two hours of CLE).

Later the same day, panelist Anna Lawson (Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds School of Law) will deliver the fifth Annual Lecture in Health and Law, presented by the Research Group in Health and Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, entitled “Equality and Health: Reaching for Resolution in the Realms of Disability Rights?” (1.5 hours of CLE).

And on February 11, the students of the Human Rights Working Group Disability and the law Portfolio present a play on disability issues, entitled Calcedonies, which will be followed by a panel discussion with the playwright, Dr. Jeff Nisker, as well as Laurence Parent of  the Regroupement des activistes pour l’inclusion Québec and Jean-Pierre Ménard, of Ménard, Martin avocats.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism welcome back the Hon. Irwin Cotler on February 6, to deliver the annual René Cassin Lecture. Mr. Cotler will speak on ‘The Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: What have we learned? What must we do?” (1.5 hours of CLE)

On February 7, Professor Shauna Van Praagh will speak at the Westmount Public Library as part of the Great Trials III lecture series organized by the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI). Her lecture, entitled “Through Lizzie Borden’s Mirror: Reflections on Women and Law,” will examine the late 19th-century Massachusetts acquittal of Lizzie Borden, who famously “gave her mother forty whacks,” and discuss the constraints and potential of law revealed by the experiences and perspectives of women. The final lecture in this year’s series will be delivered by Professor Wendy Adams on March 14. Entitled “Almost Persons: Life on Trial,” it will discuss our history of using the concept of legal personhood to institutionalize relations of hierarchy and dominance, particularly in relation to slavery (Dred Scott v. Sandford) and animal-human relationships.

Finally, we’d also like to draw your attention to the upcoming February 12 conference with David Milgaard, who spent 23 years in jail before being cleared by DNA evidence. Milgaard will appear with crime reporter Peter Edwards, who covered this case for the Toronto Star from the start, to discuss wrongful convictions in Canada. The event, which will include a Q&A period and cocktail reception, is open to the public, by RSVP. It is hosted by Innocence McGill, a non-profit legal clinic led by McGill law students with an advisory board of leading Canadian criminal lawyers, which focuses on researching claims of wrongful conviction in Quebec.

Event photos: Lysanne Larose.