20th Annual Constitutional Cases Conference on April 7 at Osgoode Hall Law School

Publication Date

Winter 5-4-2017

Document Type

News Article


Osgoode Hall Law School of York University’s highly regarded annual analysis of the constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Moot Court Room (Room 1005) of the Law School at York University’s Keele campus. Members of the media are cordially invited to attend this sold-out conference. Please advise Virginia Corner (below) if you are planning to attend, as space will be limited.

Now in its 20th successful year, Osgoode’s Constitutional Cases Conference will bring together constitutional law scholars and practitioners from across Canada to provide practical and incisive analysis of noteworthy 2016 Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions and their implications.

The opening address at 9.30 a.m. by conference co-chairs Professor & Associate Dean (Students) Benjamin Berger and Professor Sonia Lawrence will provide a review of the Supreme Court’s 2016 constitutional jurisprudence, highlighting key patterns and trends and commenting on significant developments.

Six panel discussions as well as a keynote address at 1.30 p.m. by public law litigator Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C., who has been counsel on several landmark cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, will be part of the program.

“Osgoode’s Constitutional Cases Conference is the annual gathering of the ‘who’s who’ of constitutional law in Canada,” Berger said, “a forum for sharing insights and opinions about the important Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions of the past year. Osgoode is very proud to have been hosting this conference for the last 20 years.”

The panel discussions will be as follows:

10 a.m. Drafting a Constitution — A generation on, we try to reconnect the memories of the drafters with our contemporary Constitutional reality. What can the links and disconnects between the past and present of this document tell us about its future?

11.30 a.m. Panel A: A Division of Powers – This panel will consider how the Court’s approach to s 91(24) in Daniels and its surprising use of interjurisdictional immunity in Rogers Communications contribute to and complicate our understanding of the division of powers.

11.30 a.m. Panel B: Sentencing and Punishment – This panel will consider constitutional principles governing sentencing and punishment through analysis of Lloyd, Safarzadeh-Markhali, and KRJ. Lawyers and Judges vs the Legislature/Executive.

2.15 p.m. Panel C: Lawyers and Judges Vs. The Legislature/Executive – This panel will consider Chambre des notaires du Québec, Juges de paix, and Cawthorne, the three cases raising questions about how we protect and restrict laywers and judges in the performance of their roles.

2.15 p.m. Panel D: Legal Rights and Remedies – This panel will reflect on three landmark decisions about rights and remedies Carter II, Jordan, and Saeed, to see how they further refine our understandings of the relationships between the Courts, Parliament, and the police.

3.45 p.m. Reconciliation and the Canadian Constitution – The Chief Justice has said that our current Constitutional moment is marked by the urgent need to reconcile First Nation interests with Crown sovereignty. Over the past year, we have seen unprecedented attention on the idea of reconciliation in our national discourse. How are the Court and the Constitution defining, furthering, and frustrating movement towards a genuinely just relationship with First Nations?

This program is eligible for 7.0 Substantive Hours towards the annual CPD requirement with the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). For a detailed agenda and list of speakers, please visit the conference website at: http://osgoodeconcases.info.yorku.ca/

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U’s fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

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