Examining 2015 Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions and their implications

Publication Date

Winter 4-4-2016

Document Type



TORONTO, April 4, 2016 – Canada’s foremost constitutional law scholars and practitioners will gather at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School on Friday, April 8, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to analyze noteworthy 2015 Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions and their implications.

Osgoode’s Constitutional Cases Conference, now in its 19th successful year, is the leading constitutional law conference in Canada, attracting a sold-out crowd every year of the “who’s who” of constitutional law in Canada. The conference will be held in the Moot Court Room at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 4700 Keele Street. See # 32 on the map. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin will open this year’s conference at 9:30 a.m. with a review of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2015 constitutional jurisprudence, highlighting key patterns and trends and commenting on significant developments. The Honourable Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada will deliver the keynote address at 1:30 p.m.

Important constitutional judgments of the past year (including those listed below) will be discussed at six sessions throughout the day: • Directions in Cooperative Federalism (Saskatchewan (Attorney General) v Lemare Lake Logging through Goodwin v BC (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles); • Liberty, Life & Justice (Carter v Canada (Attorney General); Hernandez v Minister of Public Safety, and a trilogy of freedom of association decisions); • Actors and Institutions of Criminal Justice (Canada (Attorney General) v Federation of Law Societies of Canada; R v Henry; and R v Kokopenace); • The Constitution and Communities (Mouvement laïque québécois v Saguenay (City)); Kahkewistahaw First Nation v Taypotat; Caron, Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23 v Yukon (Attorney General); and Association des parents de l’école Rose-des-vents v British Columbia); • The Boundaries of Criminal Law: Crime and Punishment (R v Smith; R v Nur and Guindon v Canada); and • Electoral Reform: Constraints and Comparative Perspectives.

The conference, which is co-chaired by Osgoode Professor and Associate Dean (Students) Benjamin Berger and Osgoode Professor Sonia Lawrence, will include several other prominent Osgoode constitutional law experts as speakers such as Professor Emeritus Peter Hogg, Professor Jamie Cameron, Professor Lisa Dufraimont and Professor Bruce Ryder.

“This conference is a unique gathering of academics and practitioners with a long track record of providing trenchant analysis not only of the latest decisions of the Court, but of the ways these connect to longer term trends in Canadian constitutional law,” Lawrence said. “This depth and breadth makes it an ideal and important stop for those interested in the fundamental law of Canada and how it is being interpreted by our highest Court.”

For a detailed agenda and a list of all the speakers, please visit the conference website.


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Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820 or vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca