Seminars and Workshops

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

Annie MacDonald Langstaff Workshops

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

Annie MacDonald Langstaff
Annie MacDonald Langstaff

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

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

Patricia Allen Memorial Lecture

Patricia AllenCreated 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

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.

Boulton Trust

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 Lectures

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton
Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton
The 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.

Wainwright Lectures

For over 20 years, the Wainwright Trust has sponsored a lecture series on the civil law.

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