To wrap up 2020, we bring you a wealth of alumni news, with everything from new publications and opinion letters to interviews, features, awards, court nominations, promotions, and new endeavours!

Constitutional Democracy Under Stress, edited by Peter Biro

Constitutional Democracy under Stress

Peter Biro, BCL’91, LLB’91, has launched the civic education initiative and has edited a book titled Constitutional Democracy under Stress: A Time for Heroic Citizenship (Mosaic Press, 2020), which includes essays from Irwin Cotler, BCL’64, LLD’19, Alison Harvison Young, BCL’83, LLB’83, Liam Harris, BCL/LLB’18, and Leonid Sirota, BCL/LLB’09. Find out more.

Hired Guns and Human Rights, by Kuzi Charamba.

Hired Guns and Human Rights

Kuzi Charamba, LLM’11, DCL’17, has published Hired Guns and Human Rights – Global Governance and Access to Remedies in the Private Military and Security Industry (Elgar, 2020). His monograph explores the challenges of regulating private militaries and security companies, as well as the significant jurisprudential and practical difficulties that victims face in attaining recourse from PMSCs, whether through state or non-state, judicial or non-judicial mechanisms. Find out more.

Start-Up Law

Start-Up Law

Oleg Stratiev, BCL/LLB’18, and doctoral candidate Luigi Bruno have each contributed a chapter to Start-Up Law (Elgar), a collection that covers the wide array of legal questions and challenges that start-ups face in five jurisdictions. Stratiev has authored the chapter about Canadian law, while Bruno has co-authored the chapter about Swiss law. Edited by Alexandra Andhov (U. of Copenhagen), the collection is available in open access. Find out more.

Lawfully Uncommon Profiles

This year, the student-run Droit Autrement / Legal Alternative (DALA) group at the Faculty produced a bevy of interviews, including with a dozen McGill Law alumni:

· Shereen Aly, BCL/LLB’18: From Big Law to FinDev Canada (30/11/20)

· Alanna Devine, BCL/LLB’06: Animal Lawyer and Founder of Devine Law (16/11/20)

· Marie-Laure Tapp, BCL/LLB’14: Protection des Réfugiés à la Croix-Rouge Canadienne (09/11/20)

· Allen Mendelsohn, BCL/LLB’01, LLM’11: Internet and Privacy Lawyer (02/11/20)

· Stefanie Santana, BCL/LLB’19: Legal Tech in Japan (27/10/20)

· Alain Babineau, BCL/JD’19: From RCMP Officer to Adviser on Issues of Racial Profiling (17/09/20)

· Fahad Diwan, BCL/LLB’17: From Bay Street to COVID-19 Non-Profit Work  (14/09/20)

· Joshua Fireman, BCL’94, LLB’94: Consultant for Law Firms at Fireman & Company (08/09/20)

· Jason Chung, BCL/LLB’14: From Big Law to E-Sports Management Professor (31/08/20)

· Mathieu Jacques, LLM’11: Des Nations Unies au Bureau de la procureure générale du Québec (09/04/20)

· Bob Cooper, BCL’69 / From criminal law to film and TV production (04/02/20)

· Véronique Bélanger, BCL’91, LLB’91, LLM’99: Chief of Staff to the Principal at McGill (28/01/20)

· Peter Mantas, BCL/LLB’12: Alternative Legal Services at Orion Legal Group (14/01/20)


Geeta NarangMultiples nominations à la Cour

Le 14 décembre 2020, Geeta Narang, BCL’00 (montrée à droite), associée chez Narang & associés à Montréal et chargée de cour à la Faculté, a été nommée juge de la Cour supérieure du Québec (district de Montréal). Lire le communiqué.

Le 19 novembre, notre ancien collègue l’hon. Frédéric Bachand, professeur à la Faculté de 2003 à 2017, et notre diplômée l’hon. Christine Baudouin, LLM’12, ont été nommés juges à la Cour d’appel du Québec. Lire le communiqué.

Le 1er octobre, Alexander Pless, BCL’98, LLB’98, avocat au ministère de la Justice Canada à Montréal et professeur auxiliaire à la Faculté, a été nommé juge à la Cour supérieure du Québec (district de Montréal). Lire le communiqué.

Trois diplômé.e.s primé.e.s par le Jeune Barreau de Montréal!

Le 3 décembre, dans le cadre d’une cérémonie virtuelle, le Jeune Barreau de Montréal (JBM) a remis ses prix de « leaders de demain » à trois membres de notre communauté diplômée :

  • Tara Mandjee, BCL/LLB’13 (catégorie Pratique en contentieux / Juriste de l’État)
  • Jordan Altman, BCL/LLB’14 (catégorie Droit corporatif)
  • Michaël Lessard, BCL/LLB’15 (catégorie Carrière alternative)

Par ailleurs, Eric van Eyken, BCL/LLB’09, et Alexandre Shee, BCL/LLB’11, figuraient également parmi les finalistes.

Bravo à tous et toutes! Lire l’annonce.

Dominique HusseyHow Dominique Hussey rose to the top at Bennett Jones

Simon Lewsen, Precedent Magazine, 1 December 2020

On March 31, Dominique Hussey, LLB’97, became the vice chair and Toronto managing partner at Bennett Jones LLP and, in the same moment, the first Black woman to head up a major Bay Street law firm. She received congratulatory calls from hundreds of people. “I felt like I heard from every Black female lawyer in Toronto,” she recalls. But she also heard from Black executives, scientists and business owners who found inspiration in her achievement. It was a powerful moment. Hussey started to feel connected to a broader cross-section of society, no longer limited to the legal profession. “My recent experiences,” she says, “have expanded the group of people I consider my community.” Read the article.

Stuart Russell on human rights violations in Turkey

Turkey Tribunal, 26 November 2020

Stuart Russell, BCL’81, LLB’82, is the co-chair of International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) Monitoring Committee on attacks on lawyers. He talks about the pressure on the judiciary, and the arbitrariness of the mass arrest of lawyers and judges in Turkey. Watch the clip.

Amar Khoday wins Teaching Award

Professor Amar Khoday, LM’08, DCL’14, a faculty member of the Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, won the 2020 Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence in Law. See the list.

Jean-Philippe MacKayEntretien avec Jean-Philippe MacKay

Blogue du DPCP, 23 novembre 2020

Interviewé par la télésérie documentaire Les Coulissses du palais (Canal D et Crave TV), Jean-Philippe MacKay, BCL/LLB’14, procureur dans l’équipe « criminalité organisée et gang de rue » du bureau du Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) de Montréal, s’est ensuite entretenu avec le blogue du DPCP, expliquant plus en détail les requêtes en exclusion de la preuve, en quoi consistent-elles et dans quel contexte peuvent-elles être faites? Lire l’entrevue.

The Tigrayan Conflict and the Laws of Humanitarian Assistance

David Matyas, BCL/LLB’19, OpinioJuris Blog, 20 November 2020

“For over two weeks, violent and escalating clashes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have resulted in hundreds of deaths, thousands of displaced persons and ever growing humanitarian needs in this mountainous region of northern Ethiopia. The parties to this conflict include the government of Ethiopia, led by Abiy Ahmed (the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate), and the regional government of Tigray, led by Debretsion Gebremichael of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).” Read the post.

The Pitfalls of the Ethiopian Elites’ War of Narratives: Part I

Shimelis Mulugeta Kene, DCL’20, and Solen Feyissa, CHLRP Blog, 19 November 2020

In this two-part post, the authors provide a thorough historical analysis of Ethiopia’s social and political landscape, and demonstrate that a war of narratives has recently reignited between the “Pan-Ethiopianists” and “Ethno-nationalists.” Read the post.

Kirsten HillmanKirsten Hillman: Making the case for Canada in Washington

John Allemang, McGill News, Fall 2020

Kirsten Hillman, BCL’93, LLB’93, may not have written the book on the art of the deal, but there’s every reason to think she has an extraordinary grasp of the ins and outs of high-stakes negotiations.

As Canada’s first female ambassador to United States during what has arguably been the most challenging year in an often fractious and always lopsided bilateral relationship, the lawyer and veteran trade negotiator has played an important role in fending off a series of protectionist threats and insults while maintaining the flow of crucial goods in the midst of a pandemic. Read the article.

Fighting the good fight

James Hughes, BCL’91, was among four McGill University grads who lead some of the city’s most important charitable organizations in the McGill News‘ latest edition. Read the excerpt.

Yuan StevensCanada’s data protection and security laws are falling behind

Yuan Stevens, BCL/LLB’18, Toronto Star, 16 November 2020

The data collected, stored and used by social media platforms contains some of our most sensitive information, including details of our sex lives, political opinions, personal finances, health, location and biometrics. In many respects, it is more vulnerable to unauthorized access and misuse than most personal data stored by our governments, especially during this physically distanced and digitally connected period.

Yet Canada’s private sector data protection and security laws have not been substantially updated in two decades, and are falling behind their international peers. Keep reading.

Morris Fish

Ottawa launches independent review of Canada’s beleaguered military-justice system

Lee Berthiaume, National Post, 16 November 2020

Former Supreme Court justice the hon. Morris Fish, CC, QC, BCL’62, LLD’01, has been tapped to lead an independent review of Canada’s military-justice system, which is struggling with a variety of challenges — including over its handling of sexual-assault cases and treatment of victims.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Fish’s appointment on Monday as he launched the review, which is required by law about every 10 years to ensure the justice regime is meeting the needs of both Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. Read the article.

James O'ReillyJames O’Reilly : une vie à défendre les Autochtones

ICI Radio Canada, 10 novembre 2020

La Convention de la Baie-James et du Nord québécois était officialisée il y a 45 ans, en ce 11 novembre. Un tournant majeur qui reconnaissait les droits territoriaux et qui faisait des Autochtones des partenaires plutôt que des bénéficiaires. Une entente obtenue après de longues et coûteuses batailles devant les tribunaux pour la reconnaissance des droits, comme c’est encore le cas aujourd’hui pour plusieurs nations autochtones. Parmi les acteurs clefs qui ont arraché cette entente au gouvernement, l’un d’eux est resté jusqu’ici dans l’ombre, l’avocat James O’Reilly, OC, Ad E, BCL’63. Voici son portrait tracé par la journaliste Julie Marceau.

Jenna TopanConversations with the Class of Fall 2020: Jenna Topan, BCL/JD’20, Faculty of Law

McGill Reporter, 5 November 2020

Whether it’s in-person or, as is the special case this year, held virtually, Fall Convocation is a celebration of our graduating students’ hard work, talents and determination. In honour of this special day, the Reporter interviewed three particularly outstanding new grads, such as Jenna Topan, who graduated from the Faculty of Law with a BCL/JD double degree.

“Law is a tough program, and McGill is a rigorous school. Still, everything about the program was great — the professors, the students, the academics, the social aspects.” Read the interview.

Florence AshleyLe projet de loi 70 sur les thérapies de conversion doit aller plus loin

Florence Ashley, BCL/LLB’17, LLM’20, Policy Options Politiques, 4 novembre 2020

Le projet de loi 70 vise à « protéger les personnes contre les thérapies de conversion dispensées pour changer leur orientation sexuelle, leur identité de genre ou leur expression de genre ». Il sera désormais interdit, sous peine d’amende, de conclure des contrats proposant de telles thérapies, celles-ci étant considérées comme contraires à la déontologie professionnelle.

Il faut certes saluer l’initiative du gouvernement du Québec de prohiber des pratiques qui s’attaquent au bien-être et à la dignité des personnes LGBTQ+ de la province. Ces thérapies sont incompatibles avec la science et n’ont pas de place dans une société libre et égale comme la nôtre. Toutefois, à notre avis, ce projet de loi ne va pas assez loin. Lire l’article.

 David-Emmanuel RobergeMe David-Emmanuel Roberge, BCL’01, LLB’01 : quand Albert Camus mène au droit

Chronique Figures de maître du Barreau de Montréal, 27 octobre 2020

…Ce n’est pourtant pas à des études en droit que se destinait le jeune David, qui ne provient pas d’une famille de juristes. Déjà rédacteur pour le journal étudiant au secondaire et au Cégep et pigiste à ses heures, son chemin est tout tracé vers le journalisme et il bénéficie déjà du mentorat de Rachel Duclos, journaliste au Devoir.

C’est justement sa mentore qui lui conseille d’élargir son horizon avec une formation plus générale, comme l’économie, le droit ou les sciences politiques. Fort de cette recommandation, David fait son entrée en droit à l’Université McGill et c’est là, de son propre aveu, le début d’une grande passion. « J’ai été charmé par la profondeur de l’analyse juridique, l’étude de grands enjeux légaux et la richesse des échanges avec des collègues provenant de communautés et de pays variés ».… Lire l’article.

Opinion: All children in Quebec should have health coverage

Pearl Eliadis, BCL’85, LLB’85, Montreal Gazette, 13 October 2020

Little Psalm lives with his parents in Montreal, where he has lived every day of his nine months. He is a Canadian citizen and Quebec born.

But the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) insists that baby Psalm cannot be considered a resident because his parents are not permanently residing here. It has refused him access to public health insurance.

Psalm’s parents are from Ethiopia. His dad is an award-winning PhD student and a former Sauvé Scholar, now in his second year at Concordia University. Him mom holds a valid work permit and is currently on maternity leave. Both are lawfully in Quebec and would like to stay. For now, both parents pay for their own medical care and will continue doing so until their status changes. Keep reading.

L’héroïsme de Joyce Echaquan

Tamara Thermitus, Ad.E., LLM’13, La Presse, 7 octobre 2020

Je reviens de la manifestation réclamant justice pour Joyce. Comment une femme à l’article de la mort a-t-elle l’instinct et le courage de filmer l’ultime violence dont son peuple est la cible, si ce n’est que par sa connaissance de l’oppression raciale ? Le nom de Joyce Echaquan est passé à l’histoire tout comme celui de George Floyd. En mourant en direct sous nos yeux, ils nous ont rendus témoins du racisme dans toutes ses dimensions. Lire l’article.

John E.C. BrierleyGetting a second chance – to finish at McGill Law

Stephanie Wereley, McGill Giving Stories, 14 September 2020

Kevin LaRoche, LLB’85, was still in his first semester as a McGill Law student when he found himself in the Dean’s office. The reason? “My funding had disappeared, and it was clear to me that I would have to make my way back home to Saskatchewan,” says LaRoche. “In fact, there was barely enough money for that.”

So, LaRoche went to Dean John E.C. Brierley, BCL’59, explained his situation, and declared his intention to drop out. “He looked at me for a few moments. Glanced at a file, which I presume was mine. Then he picked up a piece of paper and wrote a note. He folded it in half twice, and wrote a number on it. He handed it to me, and then without saying anything else, told me to take it across the street to that room number.” Keep reading.