The Faculty's many lecture series bring a slate of notable speakers to campus each year.
McGill Seminars in Business and Society
Convened by the Professorship in Business Law, held by Professor Peer Zumbansen, this international business law speaker series brings together legal practitioners and academics to explore some of the most pressing challenges in business law today.
Some past seminars
- 8 November 2021: Shahla Ali - Advancing Global Stakeholder Representation Through Decentralized Transnational Dispute Resolution: A View from the Asia Pacific
- 29 October 2021: Kara Preedy - Labour & Employment Law: The German Experience
- 25 October 2021: Cynthia A. Williams - Corporations & Climate Change: Directors' Legal Obligations & Litigation
- 4 October 2021: Simon Archer - The Rising Tide of Climate Litigation: The Strategy and Politics
- 22 September 2021: Jonathan Price and Bernhard Maier - Cyberspace Law: ‘Big Data’, Algorithmic Governance and Democracy
The Annie MacDonald Langstaff Workshops and the affiliated Margot E. Halpenny and Patricia Allen Memorial Lectures form a cycle of conferences that aim to explore the questions of, and intersections between, women and the law.
Annie MacDonald Langstaff Workshops
Inaugurated in 1988 in honour of Annie MacDonald Langstaff, BCL 1914, the first woman to earn a law degree in Quebec, the workshops provide a forum for academics, judges, lawyers, and community activists to present scholarly research and practical insights on issues relating to women and the law.
Two named lectures, the Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture and the Patricia Allen Memorial Lecture are given each year as part of the series, in addition to three or four additional presentations.
Some past workshops
- 15 October 2021: Isabel Jaramillo-Sierra - Finding Voice
- 23 November 2020: Yvonne Dausab - Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law
- 13 November 2020: Julia Neiva - Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law
- 12 April 2018: Mariana Valverde - Jurisdiction and scale: deepening the conversation between sociolegal theory and legal scholarship
- 7 February 2018: Annie Bunting - Mobilizing marriage and masculinities in times of war: Debates about forced marriage in international criminal law
- 25 October 2017: Beth Piatote - Animations of Indigenous Law in Louise Erdrich’s "LaRose"
- 23 November 2016: Shivaun Quinlivan - Gender Discrimination in Third Level Institutions: Ireland, a Case Study
- 7 March 2016: l'hon. Marie Deschamps - Taking action on sexual misconduct
- 18 January 2016: Tanya Monforte - Cultural pluralism, Gender Equality and Treaty Making: The Case of Shari'a Reservations
- 23 November 2015: Laurel Weldon - Gendered Federal Systems: Informal Institutions, Intersectionality and Change
- 18 March 2015: Angela Cameron - Sperm Donation in Ontario: An Empirical Study
- 6 February 2015: Joanne St. Lewis - Why does the Ferguson Discussion in the States Matter so Much to Black Canadians?
- 27 March 2014: Madhav Khosla - Equality and the Indian Supreme Court: The Naz Foundation Case
- 11 March 2014: Marie Mercat-Bruns - Discriminations en droit du travail: dialogue avec la doctrine americaine
- 24 October 2014: Jennifer Nedelsky - Creating New Norms of Work and Care
- 26 September 2014: Rakhi Ruparelia - The Colour of Feminist Legal Scholarship
- 15 January 2014: Jane Bailey - When the Label Obscures the Problem(s): An Analysis of Canadian Federal Parliamentary Debates About ‘Cyberbullying’
- 10 January 2014: Olivia Smith - Invisible Inequalities: Disappearing Women and the Stagnation of Equality in Ireland
- 9 October 2013: Dolores Chew - Activism and Scholarship: Two Sides of the Feminist Coin
- 8 February 2013: Rebecca Ciao - Women's Rights in Egypt: Combating Sexual Harassment
- 21 November 2012: Sonia Lawrence - Is All Discrimination Alike? The Place of Analogy in Equality Struggles and Jurisprudence
- 9 November 2012: Esmeralda Thornhill - 'Race' Literacy and the Legal Profession: An Ethical Imperative for Cap, Bar, and Bench
- 5 October 2012: Joanne St. Lewis - Race, Representation and Black Women in Public Life - Imagining Michelle Obama
- 12 November 2010: Leslie Moran - Judging Pictures: Exploring the 'Public Sex' of the Judiciary
- 17 March 2010: Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré - Seeking Equality in Criminal Law: Continuing Challenges, Renewed Purpose
- 26 October 2009: Harvey Brownstone - Keeping it Real: Straight Talk from a Judge about the Bitter Realities of Family Court
- 23 October 2009: Pearl Eliadis - Women's Rights as Human rights: How Are We Doing Today?
- 21 October 2009: Séverine Mathieu - Identités plurielles: couple mixtes et transmission du judaïsme
- 28 March 2008: Reflections on the contributions of Madame Justice Bertha Wilson
- 6 March 2008: Sophie Latraverse - La haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l'égalité: Contexte et enjeux
- 11 February 2008: Maria Rosaria Marella - Regulating families: Intersecting legal regimes
- 11 January 2008: Lisa C. Philipps - Just helping out: The tax treatment of informal family workers
- 30 November 2007: Solangel Moldanado - Facilitating paternal engagement: What the U.S. can learn from Quebec
- 19 January 2007: Martha Jackman - Health and equality: Is there a cure?
- 3 March 2006: Lucie Lamarche - Régulations publiques, travail des femmes et accords de commerce: le Sombre Vilain n'est pas toujours celui que l'on croit
- 3 February 2006: Janet Halley - Figure and ground in the humanitarian law of rape
- 27 January 2006: Mariana Valverde - Local government and queer citizenship
- 30 March 2005: Lucie White - Trafficking care
- 18 February 2005: Constance Backhouse & Diana Majury - Grandview Training School: An attempt to create a feminist adjudication process
- 15 November 2004: Guylaine Vallée - Le travail atypique et les paradoxes de la responsabilité sociale de l'entreprise
- 10 November 2004: Margrit Eichler - Lifting the veil of invisibility: Unpaid housework and lifelong learning
- 20 February 2004: Orit Kamir - Women on Towards a Theory of Law and Film
- 21 November 2003: Maria Aristodemou - Women on the verge of the law: Feminism and Almodovar
- 3 October 2003: Rebecca Johnson - Strange encounters: 'Unforgiven' and the spaces of citizenship
- 19 February 2003: Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré - Judging in a multiracial society
- 30 October 2002: Michèle Rivet - L'impartialité et l'identité: Le défi du jugement
Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture
Margot Halpenny, BA'72, LLB'76, became a member of the Ontario Bar and spent the last ten years of her career working for Noranda as legal counsel. After her passing, donations poured in from friends in her honour. Her family felt that these donations would be properly directed to the McGill Law Faculty, given Margot’s educational background and the family’s overall strong affiliations with McGill. The Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture honours her memory.
Some past lectures
- 12 March 2021: Gillian Lester and Camille Nelson - Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law
- 20 March 2017: Anita Bernstein - The Common Law inside the Female Body
- 17 February 2016: Cindy Blackstock - Reconciliation means not having to say sorry twice: Implications of the historic ruling of the CHRT for reconciliation
- 14 October 2008: The Politics of Rape: Jane Doe Speaks at McGill
- 23 November 2007: Fiona Sampson - A perfect storm of inequality - Women's equality rights in 2007
- 14 March 2006: David Lepofsky - Achieving equality for persons with disabilities - What works?
Patricia Allen Memorial Lecture
Created in 1992 by the Class of 88 in memory of Patricia Allen, a graduate of the Faculty who was tragically and senselessly murdered by her husband, this annual lectureship is devoted to sensitizing and educating the legal community and others about pressing social and legal issues related to violence, especially against women. Read an article about her in Contours, vol. 1 (2013).
Some past lectures
- 24 November 2021: Radhika Coomaraswamy (in dialogue with DCL candidates Vishakha Wijenakaye and Luisa Castaneda-Quintana) - Confronting Violence
- 5 February 2021: Indira Jaising - Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law
- 23 January 2020: Brenda Cossman - #MeToo, Sex Wars 2.0 and the legal regulation of sexual harm
- 7 November 2018: Elaine Craig - Sexual Assault Trials and the Role of the Complainant
- 26 January 2018: Marilyn Poitras - Violence as teacher and mentor
- 15 February 2017: Greg Gilhooly - I Am Nobody: Confronting the Predatory Coach Who Stole My Life
- 7 March 2016: Marie Deschamps - Taking action on sexual misconduct
- 20 November 2013: Carissima Mathen - Are Women Bad for Multiculturalism?
- 20 February 2013: Beverley Baines - The R v NS Case: Why did the Supreme Court Change the Oakes Test?
- 1 October 2010: Constance Backhouse - Canada’s First Same-Sex “Lesbian” Sexual Assault Prosecution
- 17 March 2010: Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré - Seeking Equality in Criminal Law: Continuing Challenges, Renewed Purpose
- 7 November 2008: Camille Nelson - Racializing Disability, Disabling Race: Policing the Intersection of Race and Mental Disability
- 11 January 1996: Heidi Rathjen & Suzanne Laplante-Edward - Women, violence and gun control: from personal loss to national change
Annual Human Rights Lectureships
Several prestigious lectures in human rights are presented annually at the Faculty, such as the Raoul Wallenberg Lecture, the John P. Humphrey Lecture, and the René Cassin Lectureship. Many prominent human rights activists and scholars have come to McGill to present these conferences. The Faculty of Law also invites recipients of the Robert S. Litvack Award to participate in a public lecture at the Faculty.
A bequest to McGill from law alumnus A. Maxwell Boulton, QC (BA '30, BCL '33) created the Boulton Visitors Program, which sponsors the visits of senior scholars and fellows to the Faculty. These visiting scholars and fellows offer courses and seminars on topics related to their specialties while working on a major research project.
Civil Law Workshops
The Paul-André Crépeau of Private and Comparative Law runs a series of civil law conferences around broad comparative themes. Speakers either present scholarly work in progress or focus on issues of law reform in Quebec or curricular reform at McGill. The workshops provide a valuable forum for scholarly exchange, particularly among colleagues working in areas of Quebec private law.
Endowed LecturesThe Faculty hosts each year, funded by endowments from the Classes of '75 and '77, made on the occasion of their 10th anniversaries. Launched in 1994, thanks to the generosity of Senator Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton (1903–1999), BA 1926, BCL 1929, LLD 1992, the bi-annual Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton Lecture is devoted to contemporary issues of public policy. Senator Macnaughton was Speaker of the House of Commons, founder and Honorary Chairman of the Canadian World Wildlife Fund, Counsel at Martineau Walker, and a member of the Faculty of Law Advisory Board.
Other Faculty endowments and funds that bring lecturers to the Faculty include the Fern Gertrude Kennedy Jurisprudence Fund, established in 1987 to promote jurisprudence within the Faculty, and the McGill International Law and Practice Fund, which promotes the study of international trade and business law.
The Michel Proulx Memorial Lectures
The Honourable Michel Proulx (1939-2007) devoted his life to the improvement of the criminal justice system and to the advancement of human rights in Canada.
Called to the Quebec Bar in 1963, he quickly acquired the reputation of being one of the finest criminal lawyers in Canada. In 1989, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Quebec. A brilliant attorney, he also acted as counsel before the Cliche Commission, the Malouf Commission, the Keable Commission, and the MacDonald Commission on the RCMP. His achievements include a criminal and penal case management service that improved the court system and made it more efficient. In 2006, he was awarded the Prix de la Justice du Québec, in acknowledgement of his devotion to the improvement and promotion of justice in Quebec.
Michel Proulx also taught Criminal Procedure and Evidence in Criminal Matters for over 20 years as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill, and supported our international human rights conference programs. His commitment to the Faculty was constant and devoted, providing counsel and encouragement to students, teachers and deans. The Faculty of Law hosts the Michel Proulx Roundtable Conferences in Criminal Law to honour his memory.
John E.C. Brierley Memorial Lecture
The John E.C. Brierley Memorial Lecture on arbitration commemorates the life and work of John E.C. Brierley, who was Professor and Dean of Law at McGill. He was a prominent figure in the discipline of comparative law internationally and the leading Canadian expert on arbitration. See all the previous conferences on the Private Justice and the Rule of Law research group's web site.
McGill Dispute Resolution Lecture Series
Every year, the McGill Dispute Resolution Lecture Series puts students in contact with noted international arbitration practitioners from most continents and many dispute resolution institutions from around the world. See all the previous lectures on the Private Justice and the Rule of Law research group's web site.
Seminar Series in Intellectual Property
The Seminar Series in Intellectual Property provides a forum for leading academics and practitioners in topics of interests in the field of intellectual property and technology law.
Meredith Memorial Lectures
In 1949, the Faculty of Law began a series of lectures known as the Bar Extension Lectures. These were designed to assist in the promotion of continuing legal education for members of the legal profession in the Montreal area. A variety of topics of current interest both to the members of the Bar and the notarial profession have been offered annually. Since 1961, the lectures have been published as The Meredith Memorial Lectures in honour of the late W.C.J. Meredith, QC, Dean of the Faculty of Law of McGill University from 1950 to 1960.
The Meredith lectures bring together representatives of the Bar, the notarial profession, and the university in a distinguished forum to consider recent developments in the law. Past series have dealt with cross-border transactions, franchising, corporate acquisitions, and employment law. In 2006, the Meredith Memorial Lectures theme was Intellectual Property. In 2009, the theme was modern practice in an increasingly globalized world.
Special Conferences and Speakers
Many additional lectures and colloquia occur at the Faculty every year on a variety of legal issues. Recent one-day conferences hosted by the Faculty have focused on aboriginal rights, constitutional change, and activist strategies for law reform.
Visiting Scholars Program
From time to time the Faculty invites distinguished legal scholars to spend time in the law Faculty, joining in McGill life and presenting a series of linked seminars.