January Term 2019: New Opportunities and New Perspectives to Start the New Year

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This January, the Common Law Section is welcoming an extraordinary group of visiting professors from within the community and around the world to take part in the law school’s annual January Term tradition. Students and professors alike will have the opportunity to explore timely topics like cannabis law, engage with international perspectives on subjects like the regulation of new technologies, and learn from an impressive roster of experts offering the latest insight on legal issues in fields ranging from military criminal law to sports law.

Joël DuBois

Michael Ewing-Chow

Established in 2004, the Common Law Section’s intensive three-week-long January Term allows students to enroll in just a single course for the duration of the session. Each course provides a rigorous experience requiring broader reading, more intense work, and greater individual initiative. 

Upper-year students select their January Term course from a vast range of options that vary each year. Debuting this January in the English Program is Common Law’s landmark course on Cannabis Law (CML4114JA), taught by Joël DuBois of Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP. The Common Law Section was the first law school in Canada to offer a course on the topic in the fall of 2018, with the course’s French Program debut, “La règlementation du cannabis”, taught by Diane Labelle of Health Canada Legal Services. As the subject continues to dominate headlines, debates and conversations across the country, Common Law is proud to play a leading role in teaching and learning about the legal issues connected to cannabis in Canada.

The January Term’s three-week schedule allows visiting professors and those who would not otherwise be able to teach a traditional semester to share their areas of expertise with students. This year, the roster of international visiting professors includes the 2019 Soloway Visiting Professor, Michael Ewing-Chow, from the National University of Singapore, whose visit is sponsored by the Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law. Professor Ewing-Chow will teach a course on “International Economic Law and the Regulation of New Technologies” (CML4108JA).  Additionally, he will deliver the annual Hyman Soloway Lecture, entitled “Trade Wars: Does WTO law matter?”, on the evening of January 14.

Konrad Osajda

Jan Wouters

Another international visitor is the 2019 McDougall Visiting Professor, Konrad Osajda, from Warsaw University, whose visit is sponsored by the Edward Barry McDougall Memorial Fund. Professor Osajda will bring his international perspective to a course on “Comparative Contract Law” (CML4106JA). Also visiting from Europe, Professor Jan Wouters of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) will teach a course in international law entitled “Global and Regional Perspectives” (CML4108JB).

In addition to the international visitors, many January Term courses are offered by outstanding Canadian visiting professors and experts from within the Nation’s Capital. This year’s Thomas Feeney Visiting Professor of Business Law, Stephanie Ben-Ishai of Osgoode Hall Law School, will offer a course on “Sovereign Debt & Financial Crises” (CML4114JD), and will deliver the annual Feeney Lecture on the evening of January 16, entitled “Will Consumer Debt be the Next Financial Crisis? An Issue of Social Justice”. Visiting Professors also come from the local legal community.  Local family law practitioner Julie I. Guindon will bring her considerable experience and expertise to the “Justice Heidi Levenson Polowin Course in Child Protection” (CML3374JA), which launched in 2018 to commemorate the late Justice Polowin – a Common Law graduate – in recognition of her leadership in the field of child protection.

Stephanie Ben-Ishai

Mark Létourneau

French Program students will have the chance to take a special course on military criminal law, “Droit pénal militaire” (CML4504JA), offered under the auspices of the Department of National Defence by Lieutenant-Commander Mark Létourneau, Legal Counsel at the Office of the Judge Advocate General. And returning this year is the ever-popular course on sports law, “Le droit du sport” (CML3740JA), offered by Visiting Professor Benoît Girardin, President LBB Strategies, who has negotiated and collaborated with a wide range of national and international federations on sport issues. The law school will also welcome back Professor Yacouba Cissé, a former Faculty of Law doctoral student now serving on the prestigious International Commission of the United Nations. Professor Cissé, who is also affiliated as an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty’s Civil Law Section, will teach a course on the law of the sea, “Droit de la mer” (CML4508JA).

The full list of January Term course offerings can be found by selecting “January” as the Term option in the Common Law Section’s 2018-2019 Course Search Engine.

While upper-year students explore the above options and more, first-year students spend January Term engaging in an intensive three-week study of dispute resolution, with the assistance of many experienced professionals from the community who volunteer their time and expertise. Through interactive teaching and role-playing, first-year students learn the practical skills of interviewing, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, as well as professional ethics.

Benoît Girardin

Yacouba Cissé

The intensive format of January Term encourages student-faculty contact and provides all involved with the opportunity to boldly invest themselves in one subject. We look forward to continuing this exceptional tradition throughout January 2019.


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