LSA Awards announced

UPDATE: 7 May 2012. The Law Student Association has announced its LSA Awards picks for 2012. Les étudiants et groupes étudiants suivants se sont vu décerner un prix.

Alexandra Dodger Award for Social Justice: Gjergji Hasa

Alan Neil Ash Awards (2): Andrea Suurland and Matthew Quadrini

Patricia Allen Awards for Participation (6): Preeti Dhaliwal, Megan Lee, Marie-Laure Tapp, Nicholas Choinière, Corri Longridge, and Mélanie Bénard

LSA Graduating Student Award (4): Adam La France, Jesse Gutman, Adam Plotkin and Ashley Adams

LSA Award for Clubs (2): Radlaw and the Asia Pacific Law Association of McGill (APLAM)


McGill Law students celebrate their Honorable Mention.
McGill Law students celebrate their Honorable Mention in front of the United Nations.

McGill receives Honorable Mention at model United Nations in NYC

For the second time in the history of McGill’s Faculty of Law, a student delegation participated in the National Model United Nations simulation in New York City, which ran April 3 -7, 2012. Speaking in the name of Iceland, their diplomatic negotiations with delegates from all around the world won McGill an Honourable Mention.

Students Marie-Laurence Basque, Alexandra Bornac, Constance Deschênes St-Pierre, Marwan El Attar, Aude Florin, Antoine Grondin Couture, Ophélie Kerckhove, Sarah Kettani, Elsa Paparemborde, Ariane H. Simard, Alexander J. Spraggs and advisor Catherine Coursol joined 3,000 international delegates in one of the world’s biggest Model UN events.

The McGill delegation also had the opportunity to meet Greta Gunnarsdottir, Iceland’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York City.

The team was able to discuss with her Iceland’s foreign policies and involvement in different areas of international interest, such as freshwater management and economic development, green economy and eradication of poverty, gender equality, transnational organized crime, illicit trade of small arms and light weapons in Africa, subjects which the students had been researching since last September.

Putting the Kony 2012 video into perspective

Screenshot of the Kony 2012 video that received millions of hits and a great deal of criticism.

Three former film students posted a video about Joseph Kony, the brutal Ugandan guerrilla leader, in early March, hoping to get attention and donations for their campaign against the war criminal. Within a couple of days, the 30-minute video went viral.

For anyone working in human rights and international development, Kony 2012 serves as something of a flashpoint for debate about the role of activism and international non-governmental agencies. That’s why student Siena Anstis and Dr Nandini Ramanujam, the Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill’s Faculty of Law, organized a discussion around it.

Read the rest of the story in the McGill Reporter: Kony 2012: Making a difference?

Do we look suspicious?

Spurred by the shooting death of an unarmed black youth in Florida, more than 100 McGill law students and half a dozen faculty members donned hooded sweatshirts this week to raise awareness about racial profiling.

«Do we look suspicious?» Part of the Law students and profs who wore hoodies seen here in the Atrium

The symbolic demonstration echoed events held at law faculties at U.S. universities like Harvard, Yale and Georgetown in honour of Trayvon Martin.

Students at McGill wore hoodies on Wednesday and Thursday to remind people those issues are not confined to the U.S. “I just wanted to highlight that we like to think of racial profiling as a problem in the States, but it’s a problem in Canada that needs to be addressed as well,” said first-year law student Ngozi Okidegbe, 23, who initiated the event with the aid of Jason Chung, Emily Elder and Anne-Karine Dabo.

Read more in the March 30 edition of the Montreal Gazette:
McGill joins hoodie protests sweeping U.S. law campuses over Trayvon Martin death (or view a PDF copy of the article)

(You can also see a larger version of this photo on the Faculty of Law’s Facebook page.)

Mental Health and Criminal Justice

People with mental illness are overly represented in the criminal justice system. On March 19, the Disability and the Law Portfolio of the Human Rights Working Group hosted a panel discussion on Mental Health Tribunals and other initiatives aimed at addressing this issue. The panel featured Justice Marie Brouillet of the Montreal Municipal Court and Mental Health Tribunal, Me. Lucie Joncas of Desrosiers, Joncas, Massicotte,  McGill Psychiatry Professor Anne Crocker of the Douglas Hospital Research Center, and Agent Michael Arruda of the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal.

McGill Arbitration Society: Jura Novit Curia and Arbitral Justice

Last March 26, the McGill Arbitration Society hosted a debate between Sophie Nappert, of Grey’s Inn, London, and Stephanie Cohen, formerly of White & Case, on the controversy surrounding an arbitrator’s control over legal issues. Moderated by Professor Frédéric Bachand, the Moot Court event revolved around the powers of the arbitrator to go beyond party submissions, with Ms. Cohen arguing for limiting arbitrators to the mandate, and Ms. Nappert supporting the argument that arbitrators should be given more freedom. The Honourable Joseph R. Nuss, from the event’s sponsor, Woods LLP, gave input on the national court viewpoint. The event was well attended by both practitioners and students, with many audience members remaining divided on this controversial subject. (By Ke-Jia Chong)


Skit Nite 2012

On March 20 at Club Soda, the Faculty’s annual Skit Nite raised more than $3,700 for Montreal community organizations Chez Doris, Dans la Rue, Share the Warmth and the Old Brewery Mission.

According to Nicholas Choinière, “one of the main reasons for coming to Skit Nite is to see our professors perform.” As he wrote in Quid Novi, the profs did not disappoint. In addition to video appearances by professors Macdonald and Janda, professors Van Praagh and Jukier performed “I’m a Believer,” while Professors Leckey and Piper joined with Maryse Chouinard from the CDO to tell the Harry Potter-esque story of how the transsystemic program came to be, and Dean Daniel Jutras opened the show with a cover of Simple Plan’s hit song “Jetlagged” which, Choinière notes, is “probably the first time anybody wrote a song about a Civil Code.”

Students contributed several spoof videos and many great skits, such as “Occupy Everything,” the LSA’s “Coffeehouse Through the Ages,” which featured quick costume changes and disco dancing, a witty musical number called “Foosball Wizard,” and Chris Durrant’s “Rejected Skits,” a saucy review of life at the Faculty in the last year.

The Skit Nite Band, featuring veterans Krista Kais-Prial and Phil Dehm as well as new recruits Will Colish, Arthur Nahas and Lisa So, rocked out to four songs, while the operatic skit performed by Brodie Macrae and Meara Conway received a standing ovation.

Special thanks are due to the President of the organizing committee, Krista Kais-Prial, as well as Jeremy Boulanger-Bonnelly, who took care of all the technical details of the show, and Blakes, Cassels and Graydon LLP.