Canadian Events in January

Announcing talks in Montreal and Toronto

This is just a quick announcement that I will be giving a couple of talks in Canada next month. Leaving the long and sunny days of New Zealand’s summer ― and this year, unlike last, at appears that we are having an actual summer ― for the Canadian winter is a dubious pleasure, but it’s for a good cause.

The first one will be on January 10, at McGill, I’ll be speaking about ― and against ― the “Statement of Principles” undertaking to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion that Ontario lawyers are now required to create. I have written a good deal about the “Statement of Principles” on this blog and elsewhere (explaining the reach and lawlessness of the requirement and, more specifically, its illegality; denouncing its violation of the freedom of conscience; and criticizing the vision of the legal profession behind it). I am looking forward to making my case to students and anyone else who might care to hear me. I am grateful to Runnymede McGill for giving me the chance. The talk will be at 17:30 at NCDH at 201.

The second event in which I will take part will be Runnymede Society’s Law and Freedom Conference at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, on January 12-13. I will be speaking on the 13, presenting a paper on “The Rule of Law All the Way Up”, which will argue that the Canadian constitution, which is supposed, including by its own terms, to be our Supreme Law, is all too often not treated by people both on the left and on the right as law at all, but rather as a set of merely political commitments. Justice Bradley Miller of the Court of Appeal for Ontario will comment, which is a great honour for me (and, truth be told, a source of some apprehension!). Our session is scheduled for 10:30, but there will be plenty of other interesting stuff there ― perhaps especially Justice Peter Lauwers’, also of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Friday keynote on “The Mischief of Charter Values”, the subject of a much-discussed opinion he co-authored with Justice Miller in Gehl v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 ONCA 319.

If you are able to make it to one of these events, please say hello! It’s always fun to meet readers in real life.

Author: Leonid Sirota

Law nerd. I teach public law at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom. I studied law at McGill, clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, and did graduate work at the NYU School of Law. I then taught in New Zealand before taking up my current position at Reading.

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