Actus Reus brings Murder to the Moot Court!

By Roshini Nair

Actus Reus, McGill Law’s amateur theatre company, spent months preparing one of the most renowned plays of all time, The Mousetrap! Having first opened on London’s West End in 1952, The Mousetrapis the world’s longest running theatre production. 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the play, and the perfect opportunity for Actus Reus to pay homage to the queen of murder, mystery, and bold red herrings, Agatha Christie.

Murder and Mystery in Monkswell Manor: Katie Webber as peevish guest Mrs Boyle and Janina Sochaczewski as proprietor Mollie Ralston (credit: Lysanne Larose).

The Mousetrap contains all the classic Christie elements – a remote guesthouse, a winter storm, a succession of absurd guests, a rather inconvenient murder, and an intrepid detective to sort things out with danger lurking behind every corner.  Playing to a sold-out crowd on all three nights in the very versatile Moot Court theatre, the talented cast had audience members guessing which one of the strange guests committed the crime.

Starring returning thespians Katie Webber (3L) and Chris Durrant (2L), this year’s Actus Reus debuted the talents of 1Ls Janina Sochaczewski, Emily MacArthur, Derek Zeisman, Alexandra Bornac, LLM student Edmond Boulle, and Parisian exchange student Johanna Grangier.  The play was directed by Roshini Nair (3L), stage managed by Sara Shearmur (1L), and produced by Ke-Jia Chong (2L).

The play was made possible by LSA funds and DDF funds.

* The original version of this article incorrectly credited Emily MacArthur rather than Janina Sochaczewski as playing the character of Mollie Ralston and Ke-Jia Chong rather than Roshini Nair as author.

Environmental Law panel

Environmental Law McGill (ELM) hosted a career panel in January to expose students interested in the field to practitioners in both the private and public sector. Forty-five students from various faculties, including Law and the School of Environment, attended, said ELM director Giselle Davidian, to hear four panelists: Katia Opalka, BCL/LLB’97, sole practitioner in environmental law and adjunct professor at the McGill School of Environment; Geoff Garver, PhD/LLM student at McGill and co-author of Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy; Patrick Nadeau, co-executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; and Isabelle Tremblay, BCL/LLB’99, a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais’ Montreal office who practices in environmental and general commercial law.

Women’s Caucus Speed Meet
Participants at the speed meet

“The “5 à 7″ speed-meet event is one of the main initiatives of the McGill Law Women’s Caucus and has witnessed a growing success in past years,” said 3L  and Women’s Caucus organizer Brittany Carson. The event aims to offer a networking opportunity for female students and a chance for them to ask questions about the specific experiences of women while pursuing a career in the legal field.

At the speed-meet event in January, students sat in groups in the Atrium and guests spent ten minutes at each table sharing their stories, answering questions about their lives and careers and how they have attained success in their respective fields.

Law Journal panel: 30 ans après le rapatriement: quel avenir pour la Constitution?
The McGill Law Journal team invited Benoît Pelletier, Daniel Turp (not in photo) and Serge Rousselle to debate the question of the future of the Canadian Constitution 30 years after its repatriation.

The McGill Law Journal hosted a discussion on the future of the constitution 30 years after repatriation. Benoît Pelletier, Serge Rousselle, and Daniel Turp formed a panel of diverse perspectives, while Justice Carol Cohen of the Superior Court of Quebec moderated the debate.

Justice Cohen posed questions to the panellists on, among other things, the failure to obtain Québec’s agreement to the Constitution Act, 1982, the future of constitutional amendments, and the place of First Nations in future constitutional negotiations. The questions generated not only a lively debate among the panellists but also interesting comments and questions from the audience following the panellists’ presentations.

The event served as a nice precursor to the McGill Law Journal’s upcoming annual lecture, which will be delivered by Ms. Mary Dawson, who was the final drafter of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. The lecture will be held later this month on February 29th at 6pm in the Moot Court.

Lucas Gilfuni, BCL/LLB’11, wins award from the North American Consortium on Legal Education
Lucas Gilfuni, BCL/LLB’11, whose essay for Professor Armand de Mestral about the Commission on Environmental Cooperation was selected as one of six winning papers presented at the annual meeting.

At the North American Consortium on Legal Education meeting in Washington D.C. in late 2011, Lucas Gilfuni, BCL/LLB’11, presented a paper he wrote for Professor Armand de Mestral about the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, a Montreal-based environmental organization established in conjunction with the ratification of NAFTA.

His term paper, “The CEC Council’s Discretionary Decision Making Under Article 15 of the NAAEC and its Legality at International Law,” was selected as one of six winning papers to be presented at the annual meeting.