There is one more week of classes. There is one more week of classes! There is one more week of classes!!!! It is hard to believe that the term is almost over. It seems like just yesterday that we were gearing up to teach online for the semester and Professors Kirkup, Levesque and Liew were preparing our virtual orientation to welcome the new 1Ls. I always like to tell 1Ls in December that once you complete exams you will be 1/6th through law school! For 2Ls, you will reach the half way point and for 3Ls . . . well, you know that you are only a semester away from graduation!
University of Ottawa Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion
Last week the President announced the creation of the University’s Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion. The Action Committee will deal with University-wide issues relating to anti-racism and inclusion. The President has issued a Call for Nominations to the Committee: “We invite members of our community to confidentially nominate themselves or other individuals to serve on the new Action Committee by submitting nominations to the Human Rights Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, December 11.” Members of the University of Ottawa community may nominate themselves or other University members, including students, faculty members, and staff members, to serve on the Action Committee. The criteria for selection, the mandate of the Committee, etc are all available here.
Update on the Faculty’s Anti-Racism Working Group
As a result of feedback received from students and from faculty, we have decided to obtain external advice on the structure and the composition of the Anti-Racism Working Group. Based on suggestions from faculty, we have retained Fay Faraday to provide this advice. Fay Faraday is a nationally recognized social justice lawyer, strategic adviser, policy consultant, and academic whose work focuses on constitutional law, human rights, and labour law. Ranked by Lexpert as a Leading Practitioner in workplace human rights, Fay has litigated many leading human rights and constitutional cases at the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario Court of Appeal. Fay has over two decades’ experience working collaboratively with community-based organizations and multi-stakeholder coalitions to develop strategic visions to advance human rights and social justice. She also provides training on human rights compliance, conducts workplace investigations and provides mediation/conciliation services on human rights issues. She is regularly sought out to prepare commissioned research, policy analysis and law reform reports for governments, task forces, and public, private and community-based organizations. Since 2017, Fay has served as Discrimination and Harassment Counsel for the Law Society of Ontario. Fay is also an Assistant Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where she has taught courses in ethical lawyering, human rights/anti-discrimination law, appellate advocacy and advanced labour law since 2010. Fay will begin her review now and will meet with students to get their input in January.
At the same time, our work continues. We have also retained Tomee Sojourner-Campbell to help us develop anti-racism resources. Tomee Elizabeth Sojourner-Campbell has over 20 years of professional experience in consulting, learning and professional development, human rights, diversity, inclusion, anti-Black racism, intersectionality, and organizational development. Currently, Tomee is a Visiting Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School for the 2020-21 academic year. She is designing, developing, and delivering a new module to all first-year law students on anti-Black racism using an intersectional approach that will include anti-oppression and critical race. The module is a mandatory requirement of the Ethical Lawyering in a Global Community course. Tomee is a globally recognized thought leader in equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, consumer racial profiling, anti-Black racism, corporate learning, and organizational development. In addition to working at Osgoode, Tomee has guest lectured at our law school and at others in Ontario.
We hope to benefit from the expertise of Professor Faraday and Professor Sojourner-Campbell.
Congratulations to Professor Allan Rock!
To students in the first year thematic International Humanitarian Law and the upper year seminar Armed Conflict in International Law he is known as Professor Rock. In his Wikipedia entry, you would learn that if you address a letter to him, you should write to The Honourable Allan Rock, PC, CM, OOnt, QC. Professor Rock, a 1971 graduate of our law school, has had an incredible career. He was one of Canada’s most respected lawyers at the bar; Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada; Minister of Health; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations; and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. You also might be interested to know that as a law student, Professor Rock was the President of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa and helped bring John Lennon (of the Beatles) to the University of Ottawa. He also played a critical role in the creation of the University of Ottawa Legal Clinic.
For all of his contributions to public life, Professor Rock was named to the Order of Canada last week. He joins four other members of our faculty in receiving our nation’s highest honour: Professor Constance Backhouse, Professor Nathalie Des Rosiers, Professor Vern Krishna, and Professor Emeritus Don McRae. I am particularly proud that we have the most members of the Order of Canada of any law school in the country!
Good luck with your last classes!
Dean Adam Dodek