Souper Français 2021

Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Recipient of the prize and the Honorable Judge

Congratulations to the organizers of the annual Souper Français which was held on January 8, 2021. It was a huge success with over 220 students, lawyers, judges and professors in attendance. The guest of honour was the Honourable Justice Andromache Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada who gave a beautiful speech.

Maître Gérard Lévesque received the Prix Bastarache-Charron. This prize is awarded each year at the Souper Français to recognize a member of the Francophone legal community for their work in defence of Francophone linguistic rights in a minority context. It is named after former Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada the Honourable Michel Bastarache and the Honourable Louise Charron, both of whom were graduates of the Common Law Section and taught in the Programme de common law en français at the Faculty.

In awarding the prize to Me Gérard Lévesque, the Regroupement étudiant de common law en français (RÉCLEF) chose to highlight his illustrious legal career and recognize his many contributions to the advancement of the rights of Canada’s French-speaking communities. Me Lévesque has been a lawyer and notary since 1988. He is currently a legal columnist for the Toronto weekly L'Express.

This annual event organised by l'AÉCLSS, and one of the most prominent in the Faculty of Law, would not have been possible without the organization of RÉCLEF and the Programme de common law en français (PCLF). It is intended to celebrate the vitality of Canada's French-speaking legal community. Judges, lawyers, parliamentarians, faculty members, students, graduates of the PCLF and the Canadian Law Program (CLE) gather each year to demonstrate their firm commitment to access to justice in French in Ontario and across the country.

A few kudos from the participants:

Congratulations to the entire Souper Français team! A lovely evening that was a complete success!

Former Supreme Court Justice Louise Charron 

Thank you for an evening which, at least in my opinion, surpassed expectations! This is entirely to your credit. Bravo!

Professor Louise Bélanger-Hardy

I wanted to thank you for organizing the Souper Français. Even though it was held online, it was really a lovely evening and you should be proud of all your work. I know that it’s not easy to organize events while studying, but you did an excellent job!

Ellen May-Melin, University of Saskatchewan student enrolled in their Programme de common law en français

The online version of the Souper Français was a brilliant demonstration of the vitality of the Francophone legal community. This gathering of over 230 individuals from several regions of Canada was impressive. As a student, I’m always looking for mentors, so I was very grateful for this opportunity to network in small groups. It’s always encouraging to meet Francophone lawyers who a thriving in a minority language setting.

Camille Slaght, a third-year student in the Programme de common law en français

I am very happy to have attended the Souper Français this year. As a first-year student, what I miss most is social interaction. The Souper Français was a fun opportunity to see and meet our classmates, professors, and legal professionals in a relaxed setting. I really enjoyed the speeches by judges and lawyers, and the opportunities to network. And it also felt really good to get dressed up in something other than loungewear!

Maggie Sainty, a first-year student in the Programme de common law en français

As a student in my final year of studies at the Faculty of Law, I was very happy to hear from two inspiring and accomplished legal professionals at the Souper Français. Minister Caroline Mulroney and Judge Karakatsanis are role models for all the young women (and young men) who, like me, are about to enter the job market and the “real” legal world. The inspiring speech by Judge Karakatsanis was an ode to Canadian bilingualism and the Francophonie. “Whether French is our mother tongue or a second language, it’s important to promote its use at work and in our lives.”

Léa Desjardins, VP Français of the Common Law Students Society and third-year student in the Programme de common law en français

The first online edition of the Souper Français was a complete success! COVID-19 may have physically separated us, but the dynamic energy of the evening really generated a sense of unity among the participants. This event clearly demonstrated how dedicated the attendees were to the Francophone legal community. Many thanks to the organizing committee!

Melanie Laframboise, president of the Regroupement étudiant de common law en français (RÉCLEF)



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