Hot Docs Coverage – Part 2

  The festival is going full speed ahead, and I must hurry so I don’t fall behind in telling you about the awesome documentaries to be found here. As a note, I am enjoying the improvements to accessibility in this year’s iteration of Hot Docs. Many issues I noticed last year have been improved upon. …

Hot Docs 2018 Coverage – Part 1

Hello, anyone there? I’m Michael McNeely, a 1L at Osgoode waiting to be Remediated, and trying to stave off boredom and other ills by acting as Obiter Dicta’s resident film critic. To this end, I am covering Toronto’s premiere documentary film festival, Hot Docs, which started today (April 26th) and concludes on May 6th. Please …

CLASP-PBSC I.D. Clinic and Bill-26

CLASP and PBSC Osgoode working with PBSC National to make I.D. accessible to Ontarians and support Bill-26. Government issued photo I.D. is required to access many vital government services, including health care, social assistance and subsidized housing. The costs and administrative complexity related to getting I.D. has prevented many low income and otherwise precarious residents …

Ontario Court Puts Red Light on Uber Class Action

Heller v Uber raises important questions about Labour and Employment Law, International Law, and arbitration     Have you ever thought about who Uber drivers are employed by? Are you employing them? Are you in a contractual relationship with them? Do they work for Uber? Some of these issues were addressed in Heller v. Uber. …

Final Thoughts at the End of Law School

Well, it’s been a trip. I won’t lie and say I’m sad it’s over, because three years of grinding through textbooks and essays and exams worth your entire grade is enough to drive someone mad, and I already had a head start before setting foot inside Gowlings Hall.  My bank account certainly couldn’t take another …

Canadian Law and Assisted Human Reproduction: A History and Current Challenges

Osgoode Health Law Association: Perspectives in Health   Over the past few decades, assisted human reproduction has undergone significant developments in Canada.  Increases in technology have led to incredible developments, such as embryonic cloning and in vitro fertilization (IVF), resulting in a growth of study in assisted reproduction policy.  In 2004, the federal government passed …

De-extinction: Are we ready to bring back our lost species?

I was driving home from school, late at night. Paul Kennedy, the host of Ideas on CBC Radio, was intently discussing something. I wasn’t really paying attention, but suddenly I heard Paul Kennedy talk about bringing mammoths back to life. This got my attention. The thought of recreating extinct animals made me excited and nervous …

PROTESTING THE PIPELINE

Thousands Rally Against Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Recently, thousands of protestors gathered in Burnaby, British Columbia to oppose the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Overseen by the Canadian division of Texas-based oil giant Kinder Morgan, the $7.4-billion project will expand the current 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. The new extension is set …

Racism Lives at Osgoode Too

 Embracing the #RacismLivesHereToo campaign at Osgoode Hall Law School My excitement in coming to Osgoode was unparalleled: the first day of the legal career for the first lawyer-to be in the family. I couldn’t wait for all the intellectual discussions with like-minded people who were here to make the world a better place. To my shock, …

The Dead Tree

How the United States Constitution makes gun control nearly impossible In the aftermath of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, gun control is once again a hot topic in the U.S. In the days that followed the shooting, many of the school’s students spoke out about the U.S. government’s lax stance on …

Genetic Technology: A Blessing or Curse?

Osgoode Health Law Association: Perspectives in Health   Completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 ushered in a new era of genetic technology that offered significant promise of scientific advancement in the areas of medicine, life sciences and biotechnology. However, along with the potential for benefits also came serious concerns about the improper retrieval, …

Damn It, Not Again

Wow. Just wow. It was surreal to wake up to the news that Doug Ford is the new leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. It shouldn’t have been surreal, considering how many hard-right populists have risen to political power in recent years, but here we are. One more doughy blue-blood shoved into a suit and …

Could Technology Replace Family Lawyers and Judges?

Exploring new innovative models in family law Written on behalf of the Osgoode Hall Family Law Association  I ask myself this question regularly. Technology now delivers countless essential services. Banking is automated. Dating apps are the norm. We Uber everywhere. But our legal system is stuck in the past. When it comes to technology, Ontario …

Lost in Taxation

Revenue Agency Ordered to Pay $1.7M in Damages In 2008, Tony and Helen Samaroo, a couple from Nanaimo, British Columbia who owned a popular restaurant called the MGM, were charged with twenty-one counts of tax evasion. The Samaroos were accused of misrepresenting earnings and pocketing upwards of $50,000 a month off the books. The couple …

Jordan’s Principle: Canada and its False Promises

Osgoode Health Law Association: Perspectives in Health       With tragic cases such as those of Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie recently coming to a close, Canadians are becoming aware of the effects that governments and their institutions have on Indigenous people, and in these cases specifically, Indigenous youth. These two cases illustrate the …

Ireland Prepares to Join the 20th Century

After decades of intransigence, Ireland will hold a vote to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion   2018 could be the year abortion is finally legalized in Ireland if a referendum to repeal the constitution’s Eighth Amendment passes this spring. The country’s restrictive abortion law is over 150 years old. Passed in 1861, the Offenses …

Starry Decisis, March 2018

Whether you’re on campus during the strike, or reading this online, I can guarantee that this month will have its share of challenges, and it will be the last column that I write as your Ostrologist.   Aries,   The month will be filled with turmoil and strife. The disruptions around you will cause things …

Newly Proposed Regulations for Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada: A Solution or Part of the Problem?

  In Carter v Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the criminal status of medically assisted dying was unconstitutional.[1] In June 2016, the government of Canada responded by creating provisions in the Criminal Code (Code) that decriminalized medical assistance in dying (MAiD).[2] Sections 241(2)-(7) of the Code set out the applicable exemptions allowing …

Considering the “Best Interests” of Indigenous Children in Family Law Cases

Indigenous children are starkly overrepresented in Ontario’s child welfare system: there are 7 times as many children in care as their proportion of the population.[1] The same problem existed in the 1980’s when the Supreme Court of Canada articulated the “best interests of the child” test in a de facto adoption case involving an Indigenous …

Take a Break, Have a Kit Kat:

How Chocolate but Never Climate Change is Always on the Mind There are few pleasures in this world greater than sinking your teeth into something chocolate-flavoured. Be it a bar, a cake, a truffle, macaroon, literally anything chocolate-flavoured is something delectable. However, I know there will be some people who deplore anything chocolate (not including …

Do My Parents Owe Osgoode Money? Makdissi v. Masson, 2017

Kids are expensive. At least, that’s what my parents have told me. Even if you don’t raise a child with expensive taste, the basics start to add up for families. Whether it’s food, shelter, extracurricular activities, or medical expenses, children are a significant financial commitment for their parents. It becomes even more complicated when separation …

PRESIDENTIAL CRISIS IN KENYA

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga Inaugurated as “People’s President” Raila Odinga, Opposition Leader of Kenya’s National Super Alliance, recently held an inauguration ceremony for himself at Uhuru Park in central Nairobi. Before tens of thousands of supporters, Odinga swore himself in as the “People’s President” -– an apparent swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta who won a …

And the Hammer Falls

In previous years, I compiled a yearly anthology of “horror stories about men without shame,” detailing sexual harassment stories that female associates had been willing to put in print. I will forgo publishing this year’s edition for one simple reason: it’s redundant. I honestly expected that 2017 was going to be the Year of the …

Perspectives in Health

Understanding the Ongoing Dispute Between the Ontario Medical Association and Ministry of Health   On September 5, 2017, the Ontario Medical Association (“OMA”) and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term-Care (“MOHLTC”) entered a mediation and binding arbitration process to negotiate a new Physician Services Agreement (“PSA”). The OMA is a professional association that represents …

Starry Decisis

Aries Now is the winter of your discontent, but that will soon melt into the spring of indifference, which will turn slowly into the summer of apathy. This roller coaster ride seems more than ¾ done by now, yet you can’t help but wonder when the next maelstrom will happen. Looking ahead seems very bleak, …

FORMER OLYMPIAN GETS THIRTEEN YEARS

South African Court of Appeal Doubles Oscar Pistorius’ Prison Sentence Recently, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa increased Oscar Pistorius’ prison sentence to thirteen years and five months for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Known to many as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, Pistorius captured the hearts and …

Osgoode Health Law Association: Perspectives in Health

Canada’s Fight Against Fentanyl: Will 2018 bring an end in sight? Canada is currently facing an epidemic of opioid dependency, involving both prescribed and illegal forms of the narcotic substance that, in recent years, has led to an increase in fatal overdoses. This epidemic may ultimately stem from prescribing methods practiced by North American doctors …

Predatory Marriages: Hunt v Worrod

As the Canadian population continues to age, our country is confronting a myriad of legal and health care issues, including the alarming phenomenon of predatory marriages. A predatory marriage often describes a situation where a younger person takes advantage of an elderly or vulnerable person for their finances. Advocates note that our elderly population has …

On Free Speech and the Future of Obiter

Because Cowardice has No Place in Law or Journalism   I’ll get down to the brass tacks here. This issue of Obiter contains two articles that might be controversial. One article is about Jordan Peterson’s opinion on personal organization in the context of cleaning one’s room, and while none of the article’s content is controversial …

Clean Your Damn Room!

Jordan B. Peterson’s Edict for Starting the Adventure of Sorting Yourself Out Jordan B. Peterson, Clinical Psychologist, and Professor at the University of Toronto with over 120 heavily cited publications in Academic Psychology Journals,[1] a YouTube audience with over half a million subscribers and nearly 30 million views,[2] and a 100% ‘would re-take’ score on …

10 Months [an Unpaid Worker]: An Opinion About Unpaid Articling Positions

[Editor’s note: The author of this article informed me that they have recently landed a paid articling position, and has asked me to mention that holding out for paid positions is worth the effort.  Congrats to him/her, whoever he/she is. Editor’s note: Online title has been edited, for a variety of reasons.] Articling: a necessary …

An Uncomfortable Narrative: Mental health, the legal profession and racialized communities

Authored by Joanne D’Souza, Adrian Canagasuriam, and SALSA (Osgoode South Asian Law Students Association) You’re a young, racialized person. You come from an ethnic community where mental health issues are severely stigmatized, ignored, and silenced. You join the legal profession—which comes with long hours and high demands—and that takes a similarly neglectful approach to mental …

Paralegals may be Able to Represent Clients in Family Law Matters in the Future

The commitment to include paralegals is a response to a report from former Ontario court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo. Significantly, the report noted that 57% of Ontarians did not have legal representation in family law matters. This statistic should be shocking, but anyone who has paid limited attention to the world of family law should …

5 Things I Learned at the 2018 Law Games

Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Quebecois” There’s this yearly event called “The Law Games”, and while it’s framed as a sports tournament, it’s essentially a week-long drinking contest designed specifically to cull the herd. This year, it was held in Winnipeg, because sociopathic endurance trials aren’t sociopathic enough unless they’re …

Why Choose the Poverty Law Intensive at Parkdale Community Legal Services?

If you’re thinking about applying for an intensive or clinical program for next year, learn why alumni can’t say enough good things about their experience in the Poverty Law Intensive   If you’ve ever talked to alumni of the Poverty Law Intensive, you’ll have noticed that we are almost cultishly enthusiastic about our experience in …

The case that comes after Trinity Western

  The Supreme Court of Canada is currently penning the final chapter in Trinity Western University’s law school saga – a legal drama that has wound its way up to the top court from Ontario and B.C. over the past 4 years.   In their reasons, the justices are expected to deliver a landmark ruling …

Starry Decisis

To everyone in the new year, we will be bringing more predictions for 2018. Stay tuned.   Aries   You are rejuvenated and refreshed. Ready for another term of enduring torture. Get ready for winter sports, chilling reports, and assignments to make you shiver; but don’t worry about that too much yet. You’ve got a …

Perspectives in Health

Your Osgoode Health Law Association: Let us introduce ourselves… Hello from your Osgoode Health Law Association (HLA)! The HLA interrogates the area of health law, raises awareness of important health law issues, helps students explore the many career paths in health law, and fosters interdisciplinary collaborations and dialogue between students and health law professionals. We …

A Thirst for Life

INTRODUCTION   On July 28th, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the universal human right to clean drinking water and sanitation, which called upon governments and international organizations to provide funding and technology transfer to developing countries in order to realize this right. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon proclaimed that “…all people have the …

They’re Just Grades

(Editor’s Note: Normally, we wouldn’t publish such personal information, but the author was quite insistent that we attach the provided transcript, because the article wouldn’t make sense without it.  We try our best to respect the wishes of authors, especially then they are making a good point and are utterly right.) I was thinking one …

Don’t Feed the Troll

A Not Particularly Eloquent or Highbrow Analysis on Jordan Peterson’s Appeal   We should be grateful to people who use epithets like “social justice warrior” or “cuck.” Such people are essentially saying in a word or acronym, “I am an asshole; please disregard everything I have to say.” Once upon a time, you would have …

Writing the Bar

What Third Years Need to Know About Taking the Bar Exams   In a word, nothing. Seriously. There isn’t a lot of talk about the bar exam during law school, which seems strange, because isn’t that what it’s all about? To be a lawyer, you have to pass the bar, and you go to law …

Trouble in Paradise

Paradise Papers Shed New Light on Offshore Tax Havens   Recently, a massive cache of over thirteen million financial documents was leaked to several European newspapers. Referred to as the Paradise Papers, this collection of documents shed new light on the financial practices of the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations. More specifically, they provided insight …

You’re Not Alone 3

So, it’s about time for someone to indulge the honoured Obiter Dicta tradition of an editor addressing mental health issues in law school. That’s right, we’re about more than social commentary, student clubs and activities, being functionally owned by Davies LLP, and articles on how to annihilate your liver. Occasionally, we touch on the difficulties …

The “Motherisk” Class Action: Faulty Science & Family Tragedy

(Author’s note:  “This article was written before Justice Perell’s ruling on November 1, 2017 dismissing the certification motion. The decision can be accessed here“) In 2009, Tamara Broomfield was criminally convicted for a drug-related offence. This conviction was partially due to hair-strand testing conducted by the Motherisk Drug Testing Lab at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In …

Presenting the New Alumni Support Program

The Osgoode Peer Support Centre (OPSC) sat down with Darryl Singer (’91), creator of the Alumni Support Program, to discuss this initiative which seeks to connect students facing wellness crises with legal professionals who have gone through similar experiences. This program was inspired by the Member Assistance Program and is a collaborative effort between the …

The Kurdistan Quagmire: Consequences of Kurdish Independence

The reality of a future Kexit (Kurdish separation from Iraq) seemed all but certain when, on September 25, residents of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Iraq. More than 92% answered ‘yes’ to the question: Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the …

Small Claims Court Judges to Receive Training On Illegal Interest Rates

Desperate borrowers were paying 59.99% interest to local lender, but actuaries found the “true” interest rate in high risk lending can often be much higher   After a Toronto Star investigation last October into a series of judgements against people in debt to private lenders, it was announced today that judges of the Small Claims Courts of Ontario will receive …

Perspectives in Health: The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act

What is happening with Vanessa’s Law? On 6 December 2013, Conservative Member of Parliament for Oakville, Terence Young, introduced the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa’s Law) in order to provide Canadians with a more stringent drug-monitoring system. Without dissent from any of Canada’s federal political parties, Vanessa’s Law received Royal Assent and became …

Public Terrorism

Reporting Terror in the Social Media Age   The international community experienced a series of tragic attacks over the holiday break, striking fear and paranoia during a time of celebration. On December 19, Anis Amri crashed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market, killing twelve and injuring fifty-six people. Also on December 19, Mevlut Mert …

The Torturous Conditions in Canadian Prisons

The Overuse of Segregation and the Interplay Between Mental Health and Segregation   1,560. That is how many days 23-year-old Ontario inmate, Adam Capay, spent in continuous segregation, without trial, in a small, Plexiglas-lined cell.[i] The UN Commission on Human Rights defines prolonged segregation as anything greater than fifteen days. If the segregation exceeds fifteen …

Sanitizing Sterilization

Examining India’s Changing Reproductive Health Policies   In 1952, India launched the world first national program emphasizing family planning to the extent necessary for reducing birth rates “to stabilize the population at a level consistent with the requirement of national economy”. Since then, the family planning program has evolved and the program is currently being repositioned to …

Don’t Cut Ties with People Over Politics

You’re bound to disagree with someone on something     I wish to address a growing trend in social and political discourse that’s troubling, if not disturbing. I should begin by noting that the internet’s good for a great number of things: news, research, sports scores, cute animal photos, discrete hook-ups, and humourous videos of …

Historicizing Barack Obama

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Barack Obama and Dwight D. Eisenhower   In 2015, the P5+1 powers (the UN Security Council and Germany) negotiated a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons-making capabilities. American President Barack Obama considered the JCPOA one of the major triumphs of his administration. Opponents of the agreement argued that it established a dangerous diplomatic and historical precedent and/or that the JCPOA …

Responding to President Duterte’s Violent War on Drugs

A call for sympathy   The Philippines is under international scrutiny due to President Duterte’s violent and illegal anti-drug policies. Since becoming President on 30 May 2016, Duterte has encouraged the extrajudicial killing of drug offenders from both police departments and vigilante groups, stating in his inaugural speech at Davao City to “[d]o it yourselves if you have guns, you have my support.” The numbers alone are shocking: 1,466 killed …

OCI Special Edition

The Obiter’s review of Osgoode’s penultimate hiring experience. Today’s publication marks the penultimate edition of the 2015/2016 Obiter Dicta. As we approach the end of  another year, this issue also fittingly serves as our first foray into one of Osgoode’s most exciting, and notorious, opportunities: On-Campus Interviews. OCI’s mark for many of us the last …