Your First Law School Class – Saturday May 28/11 – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Prologue – The Globe and Mail – May 13, 2011
“The Supreme Court of Canada is facing a significant “void” as two of its judges – Mr. Justice Ian Binnie and Madam Justice Louise Charron – announced their impending retirements.
In a release from the court Friday, Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin announced that Justice Charron’s retirement will be effective August 30, 2011, with Justice Binnie’s scheduled for the same day.”
The Supreme Court is arguably the most important branch of government and the branch that people know the least about. On May 13, 2011 two Justices Binnie and Charron announced their retirements – giving Prime Minister Harper the opportunity to make two new appointments to the court. Those who are interested in the democratic process in Canada will note that these appointments are within the sole discretion of the Prime Minister. The judges appointed will be on the court long after Mr. Harper has retired. Retired University of Toronto Law professor Jacob Ziegel is one of many who believe that the process of appointing judges should be more open and democratic. (Those interested might find this article about judicial activism in India interesting.) The bottom line is that Mr. Harper, by appointing Supreme Court judges, will impact Canada far beyond his retirement. The judges that he appoints will be the real “Harper Legacy”.
(In addition Prime Minister Harper will making a number of appointments to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Theses appointments are even more likely to affect the lives of ordinary Canadians that the appointments to the Supreme Court.)
It is amazing to me that the issue of appointing judges was not an “election issue”.
What Kind of Judges Will Prime Minister Harper Appoint?
“We will pick, as we have done in the past, people we think are strong, independent legal minds,” said Harper.
“We do some analysis of decisions, but overall what you’re looking for is record, experience, judgment, judicial temperament. These people sit on the bench a long time. We will choose very carefully.”
He also said that once new appointees are announced, they will appear before a parliamentary committee to answer questions “about themselves and their philosophy.”
Introducing Professor Philip Slayton – Author of “Mighty Judgment” – The first book about the Supreme Court of Canada
Participate in your first law school class! This will be an amazing event for any pre-law student. Philip Slayton is a former professor and dean of the law school at the University of Western Ontario. He also practiced for many years at a large Toronto law firm. His book about the Supreme Court of Canada and the effect it has on Canadians – “Mighty Judgment” – has just been released. The book is MUST reading for law students. The book explores a number of Supreme Court of Canada decisions including the Sinclair decision which was released in 2010.
Professor Slayton’s presentation will consist of two parts:
1. A discussion of the Supreme Court of Canada and why it matters. In fact with the advent of the recent Conservative majority, the Supreme Court of Canada is now the only opposition to the government.
2. Professor Slayton will actually teach a law school class using the Sinclair case. This will give you the opportunity to learn something about the Charter of Rights and experience a law school class. (The Sinclair case deals with the right to Counsel.)
In order to get maximum benefits and participate in fully in this opportunity you must:
– have read the case in advance (all the judgments including the dissent by Justice Binnie) and come prepared to discuss them
– print the case and bring a copy with you. (Although you would not want to do this, you will find some discussion of the Sinclair case on pages 106 – 108 of “Mighty Judgment”.) Note that you can bring your laptop to access it as as pdf.
A summary of the case from the Supreme Court of Canada may be found here.
You can find the complete case which you must read and bring with you at:
Professor Slayton is also the author of “Lawyers Gone Bad”, written by a lawyer, about lawyers, for the general public, ignited controversy in the legal profession.
Meet Philip Slayton here.
Location: U of T – St. Michael’s College Carr Hall – 100 St. Joseph St. – Room 405
Registration and cost:
This event is available free to all Richardson LSAT preparation course students (past and present).
It is also available at no additional charge to those who register for the June 4, 2011 Pre-Law Forum in Toronto. In order to register for Pre-Law Forum, please email: prelawforum at gmail dot com
For others it is $10 payable at the door.
Richardson LSAT prep course students (past and present) need not pre-register. For others pre-registration is required. You can pre-register by either:
– emailing prelawforum at gmail dot com
– on the Facebook event page: