Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.


Queen’s Law clinic ensuring prisoners’ rights are upheld

Since Paul Quick (Law’09) began working as a staff lawyer with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic (QPLC) in October 2016, he’s been helping students gain more complex litigation experience. Those efforts in representing inmates are now paying off.

 Paul Quick, Law’09, Staff Lawyer with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic
Paul Quick (Law’09) is a staff lawyer with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic. (Photo by Nicole Clark)

The QPLC has a near perfect success rate in getting the Federal Court of Canada to quash decisions made by correctional decision-makers and adjudicators. 

“To achieve and maintain this track record, the clinic must be strategic in choosing the cases it pursues,” says Mr. Quick, who has submitted applications and appeared in court to present arguments along with previous QPLC director Sean Ellacott (Law’01).

Mr. Quick, Mr. Ellacott and new QPLC Director Kathy Ferreira (Law’01), have initially chosen to focus on applications for judicial review to Federal Court, where a record of evidence is already fully established and cases can be heard by the court within a few months. In pursuit of the clinic’s goal to advance prisoners’ rights test-case litigation, Mr. Quick says the judicial review process was a natural starting point for building its capacity and expertise.  

The QPLC’s litigation to date has focused on judicial reviews of Parole Board of Canada national policy and Institutional Disciplinary Court decision-making – both core to front-line services the clinic has always provided.   

Of the eight applications for reviews of Institutional Disciplinary Court decisions initiated by the QPLC, five matters were resolved successfully in the prisoner’s favour (with costs ordered to the clinic) without a hearing. The other three matters were heard by the Federal Court; two of these resulted in successful judgments and the third is now under appeal. 

However, the QPLC’s most significant litigation achievement over the past few months has been against the Parole Board of Canada in Dorsey v. Attorney General of Canada, a case challenging the lawfulness of the Parole Board’s national policy to stop conducting biennial parole reviews for persons serving indeterminate sentences. After receiving the clinic’s written arguments to the court, the Parole Board advised it did not intend to defend its policy in court, had changed its policy as sought by the clinic, and would start conducting such reviews in accordance with the law. 

“Our win in this case is significant, not only because parole is the only opportunity these prisoners have to regain their liberty, but also because the approach of a parole hearing is often the sole impetus for the Correctional Service of Canada to take steps to provide such prisoners with recommended programs and interventions,” Mr. Quick notes.

In the process leading up to the judicial review, QPLC students gain valuable experience conducting the initial hearing before the tribunal. This means students take part in setting the record eventually considered by the court and can see how their early strategic decisions, questions to witnesses, and arguments can end up playing an important role in the court’s assessment of the decision on review. During the judicial review process itself, students not only contribute by providing research support but also have the opportunity to observe the hearing in person (two of these Federal Court hearings have taken place at the law school).

“This opportunity to observe and participate in the full tip-to-tail experience of administrative law practice gives students a deeper and more impactful understanding of advocacy strategies and administrative law principles,” Mr. Quick says.

They’re going to be getting even more experience as the QPLC’s litigation practice continues to gain momentum. Looking ahead, the clinic plans to take on a wider variety of prisoners’ rights issues and to place a greater emphasis on human rights and constitutional issues and remedies. Additionally, the clinic aims to increase its collaboration with Queen’s faculty members who have expertise in prison law and public/administrative law matters.

“It is our goal this year to be in a position to apply to intervene as a friend of the court in appellate-level and Supreme Court-level prisoners’ rights cases on relatively short notice,” Mr. Quick says.

Clinic students will be helping to lay the groundwork for these projects through research into key substantive and procedural issues and development of precedent materials. To get started, all current QPLC students have been assigned “initiative files” related to potential litigation to be pursued throughout the winter term under the supervision of Ferreira and Quick.
“We recognize that successful litigation for prisoners’ rights in the long-term requires a front-loading of effort to strategically develop strong evidentiary records at the earliest stage,” Mr. Quick says. “Such carefully structured evidentiary records are required to create real opportunities for bringing precedent-setting judicial review and Charter applications to address systemic injustices in the prison system.

“Many injustices in Canada’s prison system are seen as intractable, and few prisoners have the resources to effectively hold correctional authorities accountable,” he adds. “In expanding the front-line work of the Prison Law Clinic into strategic test-case litigation, we plan to address such systemic problems head-on, and to give students the opportunity to make real change while upholding the rights of some of our society’s most vulnerable members.”

More information about all the Queen’s law clinics is available on the Faculty of Law’s website.

New director settles in at Queen’s Prison Law Clinic

Sixteen years ago, Kathy Ferreira (Law’01) won the course prize as the top student in Clinical Correctional Law at Queen’s. After graduation, she clerked at the Superior Court Central West, developed prison law research materials at Ontario’s Legal Aid Research Facility (now LAO Law), and then returned to Queen’s Correctional Law Project as a staff lawyer in 2003. In November, Ferreira was appointed director of the project, now known as the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic (QPLC). 

Kathy Ferreira
Kathy Ferreira (Law’01) was appointed to the position of director of the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic in November. (Photo by Nicole Clark)

“Kathy set a standard of excellence in her work instructing and supervising students and representing clients in parole hearings and in disciplinary court,” says Karla McGrath (LLM’13) Executive Director of the Queen’s Law Clinics. “The Prison Law Clinic, its students and clients will all be well-served under Kathy’s leadership.” 

The clinic that Ms. Ferreira now oversees is unique to Queen’s, enabling students to assist prisoners in one of six institutions with numerous legal issues for academic credit or in a paid summer position.

When and how did you develop your interest in prison law? 

I first developed an interest in prison law as a student in the Correctional Law Project. I took the Clinical Correctional Law course in 2000-01 to gain practical legal experience, including development of advocacy skills and an understanding of the solicitor-client relationship. Although it was demanding, I very much enjoyed working with the vulnerable client group and advocating for their rights against the Correctional Service and to the Parole Board of Canada. It was my best law school memory, and I have heard that same thought many times since from students who have been involved in the clinic.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic?

The clients. There is no other area of law I would prefer to do or can even imagine practising. Helping them succeed in small and significant ways is incredibly satisfying. They value the clinic, and our students especially, and I want to ensure we always strive to justify that confidence.

What are the biggest changes in prison law and the QPLC since you started as a staff lawyer in 2003? 

Significant changes in prison law include a very negative anti-prisoner conservative wave of legislative changes that included removal of early parole opportunities for non-violent first-time federal offenders, and a more recent positive liberal swing that has included more progressive Parole Board of Canada decisions favouring release in appropriate cases. Segregation remains a concern and although the government has recently committed to reducing segregation, this is an area where prisoners’ advocates must remain vigilant. The Correctional Service always prioritizes administrative concerns over prisoner rights. Significant changes in the clinic include funding for an articling student, inclusion and focus on litigation, and an overall expansion of the range of services we provide. We remain committed to a valuable student learning experience.

What are you doing in your role as QPLC director?

In my teaching role, I instruct the Prison Law Clinic course and look forward to developing a detailed syllabus for the 2018-19 year. I meet regularly with student caseworkers and supervise their work, as well as work by Pro Bono students assisting the clinic. Also, I oversee the development and implementation of our litigation strategy. For clients, I provide timely summary advice over the telephone and attend the institutions to speak to prisoners at the request of the Correctional Service or other inmate groups. I value the opportunity to talk with prisoners directly about their prison concerns and address parole questions, and do this as a regular guest speaker for John Howard Society Pre-Release groups. In my administrative capacity, I manage the QPLC’s employees, serve as the point person for all clinic inquiries, and report to the law school, our funder Legal Aid Ontario and our corporation board. I also explore making connections with and providing assistance to other groups doing related work, for example, groups assisting families of incarcerated persons.

What are your plans for the clinic?

We have a really solid group with our incredibly capable administrative assistant, our lawyers and students. We continue to work closely with our co-located Queen’s Law Clinics. I look forward to continuing our core mandate of assistance at prison Disciplinary Court, Parole Board of Canada hearings and grievances/human rights complaints against the Correctional Service to help ensure prisoner rights and procedural fairness. Clients expect assistance in these areas (Legal Aid Certificates are rarely issued for Disciplinary Court so the QPLC’s assistance fills an essential service area) and they are essential to experiential learning, permitting student advocacy opportunities and development of the solicitor-client relationship. The clinic is expanding services at consent and capacity hearings for prisoners with mental health issues. The QPLC has been very successful establishing positive legal precedents for our clients and we are working on a test-case litigation strategy together with Legal Aid Ontario.

This article was first published in Queen’s Law Reports.

A degree of inspiration

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a hero, or share a world-changing leader’s insights with the Queen’s community, you may want to consider nominating someone for an honorary degree at Queen’s.

Honorary degrees are one of the most prestigious awards given by a university. Recipients are nominated by the university community based on their contribution to the university, the local community, Canadian society, and to the world.

Bill Flanagan, Dean of Law, recounts his recent experience nominating Douglas Cardinal, a prominent Indigenous architect, Order of Canada inductee, and leader in the Indigenous community.

Douglas Cardinal lectures in front of a packed room in Macdonald Hall during his visit to Queen's to receive his honorary degree in March, 2017.
Douglas Cardinal lectures in front of a packed room in Macdonald Hall during his visit to Queen's to receive his honorary degree in March, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Van Overbeke)

“Douglas has had a long and distinguished career, and he’s been a great friend of the school. He’s come to speak to our students about Indigenous legal matters, and gave two lectures while he was in Kingston for the convocation about Indigenous peoples and law in Canada. He has created award-winning and world-renowned buildings, such as the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and a church in Red Deer, Alberta – a famous building which I attended as a kid, and I was always terribly impressed by its beauty,” he says.

“Nominating honorary degree recipients is of great value, both to recognize their contributions and also as an opportunity to provide inspiration to our graduates,” says Dean Flanagan. “It’s important that these nominees are considered carefully, and be of a certain caliber, like Douglas Cardinal, who has been a tremendous leader in his field.”

The Senate Honorary Degree Committee approves nominees from the applications, and may award a Doctor of Divinity, Laws, or Science to the successful recipients.

Richard Reznick, Dean of Health Sciences, has nominated many honorary degree recipients over the years, and recounts one of his most memorable.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, honorary degree recipient, delivers a moving speech at the School of Medicine Class of 2011 convocation. (Photo: Jackie Duffin)
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, honorary degree recipient, delivers a moving speech at the School of Medicine Class of 2011 convocation. (Photo: Jackie Duffin)

“The very first recipient that I nominated was Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. He is a Canadian-Palestinian doctor who lived in Palestine but trained in Israel as an obstetrician, and had a lot of connections in the Israeli community. During one of the severe conflicts, where there were a lot of bombings, he had a tragedy that killed three of his children, his niece, and injured another child. He became world-famous for writing a book, I Shall Not Hate, which promoted using conflict and tragedy to foster understanding between sides on serious – in this case, thousands of years long – conflicts,” says Dr. Reznick. “When he gave his convocation speech, not only did he get a standing ovation, but he had everyone in tears.”

Both Deans would recommend the experience to anyone in the Queen’s community.

“I’ve made it a habit to nominate someone every year,” says Dr. Reznick. “It’s really about honouring the nominee, and inspiring our students, but it also gives Queen’s a chance to affiliate with these world-famous people, and create a connection.”

“Of course,” says Dean Flanagan. “For my nomination of Douglas, I wanted to both recognize and thank him for his contribution to our school, speaking to our students, participating in our Indigenous art project, and providing a voice for Indigenous people in the law school.”

You don’t have to be a Dean to nominate someone for an honorary degree. Anyone from the Kingston or Queen’s community may nominate a person they believe has made remarkable contributions to the lives of others throughout the world, in academia, business, politics, scientific research, and the arts.

The committee invites nominations for honorary degrees to all who qualify, including women, Aboriginal persons, visible minorities/racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.

The selection process begins after all nominations are submitted, when the committee meets to review the nominations and make recommendations. The Senate then approves the recommendations in April, and invitations to candidates for both the fall and winter convocations are sent over the summer. In fall, the list of honorees are made public.

Applications are open through the University Secretariat to nominate an individual or group for an honorary degree for fall and winter of 2019. The deadline is March 1, 2018 to submit nomination forms.

A view from the bench

  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the first female and longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, answered questions from Bill Flanagan, Dean, Faculty of Law, during Monday's Principal's Forum.
    Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the first female and longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, answered questions from Bill Flanagan, Dean, Faculty of Law, during Monday's Principal's Forum.
  • Principal Daniel Woolf, left, introduces Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, at the beginning of Monday's Principal's Forum in Wallace Hall.
    Principal Daniel Woolf, left, introduces Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, at the beginning of Monday's Principal's Forum in Wallace Hall.
  • Wallace Hall was packed with students and faculty members on Monday for the Principal's Forum featuring Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15.
    Wallace Hall was packed with students and faculty members on Monday for the Principal's Forum featuring Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15.
  • Wallace Hall was packed with students and faculty members for Monday's Principal's Forum featuring Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15.
    Wallace Hall was packed with students and faculty members for Monday's Principal's Forum featuring Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the first female and longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, spoke to a packed Wallace Hall at Monday’s Principal’s Forum public lecture.

Chief Justice McLachlin – who will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15 – answered a series of questions from Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, touching upon her career and looking ahead for justice in Canada.

The Principal’s Forum is a public lecture series that enables the principal to invite distinguished visitors to campus to speak on issues of interest to the Queen’s community.

Gathering new insights

Queen’s researchers receive $3.56 million in Insight grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

A total of 27 Queen’s University researchers have received a combined $3.56 million in research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight program. The grants, which run between one and five years, serve to support research and research partnerships that will build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas.

“Queen’s researchers continue to push the envelope in the social sciences, arts, and humanities, pursuing projects that offer the potential for tremendous cultural, social, and economic benefits,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The success of our researchers in obtaining these grants demonstrates the success of Queen’s researchers in addressing the most complex issues facing our society today. I offer my most sincere congratulations, and look forward to witnessing first-hand the success of these initiatives.”

Successful recipients include:

Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine/Public Health Sciences)

Dr. Bartels proposes an in-depth study of the challenges and life courses of “peace babies” – children born as a result of intimate relations, both consensual and non-consensual, between local women and UN Peacekeepers during the MONUSCO mission in the Congo. Her research will examine the socioeconomic, cultural and security circumstances that lead to the unequal power relationships between peacekeepers and the local population, as well as the life experiences and challenges faced by peace babies and their mothers.

Yolande Chan (Smith School of Business)

Dr. Chan will examine Canadian university entrepreneurship incubators, as well as those in the U.S. and U.K. to determine how to strengthen innovation performance. Her research will look at how digital technology can be used to identify novel ideas or findings stemming from university research and assist incubators in nurturing start-ups with high potential.

Marc Epprecht (Global Development Studies)

Dr. Epprecht aims to reconstruct a social history of the South African municipality of Msunduzi from the late 1950’s through the end of apartheid and into the present day. Msunduzi presents an interesting location to study, as it faces some of the most difficult development challenges in all of South Africa, including high rates of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, crime and poverty. Dr. Epprecht will work in collaboration with leading social historians in the region to promote a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural factors at play.

Mohamed Khimji (Law)

Professor Khimji’s research aims to provide a thorough analysis of shareholder democracy – defined as efforts to promote shareholder participation in corporate governance – in publically-traded Canadian corporations. This project will address the lack of quantitative data on shareholder activism in publicly traded companies in recent decades – examining the extent and effectiveness of activism as a tool in corporate governance.

For more information about the Insight program, visit the website.

Insight Grant Recipients
Stephen Baron (Sociology) $137,471
Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine/Public Health Sciences) $316,743
Yolande Chan (Smith School of Business) $194,398
Fabio Colivicchi (Classics) $100,000
Christopher Cotton (Economics) $116,924
Peter Dacin (Smith School of Business) $195,980
Evan Dudley (Smith School of Business) $84,971
Marc Epprecht (Global Development Studies) $329,298
Christopher Essert (Law) $85,240
Mohamed Khimji (Law) $155,305
Jean-Baptiste Litrico (Smith School of Business) $124,760
Jeff Masuda (Kinesiology and Health Studies) $236,767
David McDonald (Global Development Studies) $181,909
Allison Morehead (Art History and Art Conservation) $159,344
Morten Nielsen (Economics) $123,805
Susanne Soederberg (Political Studies) $98,460
Wei Wang (Smith School of Business) $70,070

Insight Development Grant Recipients
J. Andrew Grant (Political Studies) $31,547
Gail Henderson (Law) $67,114
Norma Möllers (Sociology) $57,391
Jennifer Tomasone (Kinesiology and Health) $70,267
Benjamin Bolden (Education) $59,972
Theresa Davies (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) $66,000
Sumon Majumdar (Economics) $30,730
Trisha Parsons (Rehabilitation Therapy) $66,383

Partnership Development Grant Recipients
Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine/Public Health Sciences) $199,930
Christopher DeLuca (Education) $199,950

A true legal trailblazer

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the first female and longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will speak about her career and legacy at Principal's Forum public lecture.

Beverley McLachlin Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin will speak at the Principal's Forum on Monday, Nov. 20, 1-2 pm, in Wallace Hall.

Throughout her 27 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, including 17 as the first female chief justice, Beverley McLachlin has weighed in on the most controversial and influential issues of our time, from hate speech to medical assistance in dying to senate reform.

As she nears the conclusion of her career – she will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15 – Chief Justice McLachlin will visit Queen’s University for a Principal’s Forum public lecture.

During her 38 years on the bench, Chief Justice McLachlin has acted as an agent of change and, through her talk, will provide a first-hand look at her path to becoming the first female and longest-serving chief justice in Canadian history.

“Over the course of Chief Justice McLachlin’s illustrious career, the Supreme Court of Canada has weighed in on many of the most pressing and often contentious issues of our time,” Principal Daniel Woolf says. “It is, no doubt, a testament to the impact of her time on the court that the announcement of her pending retirement was met from all corners with praise for her leadership and judicial accomplishments.”

The Principal’s Forum is a public lecture series that enables the principal to invite distinguished visitors to campus to speak on issues of interest to the Queen’s community

Chief Justice McLachlin’s judicial career began in April 1981 when she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. Six months later she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and then elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in December 1985. She would then become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in September 1988.

In April 1989 she was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and on Jan. 7, 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada.

Chief Justice McLachlin’s public talk will take place in Wallace Hall, John Deutsch University Centre, 1 to 2 pm on Monday, Nov. 20. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Learning about Indigenous law

Students, faculty, and staff in the Faculty of Law visited the only court “for Indigenous People and by Indigenous People” in Canada to broaden their perspective.

Students, faculty, and staff in the Faculty of Law recently visited Akwesasne Mohawk Territory to learn more about the reserve’s unique court system and gain a broader perspective on how the law works in Indigenous communities.

“We wanted to ensure that the Queen’s community is fully engaged and, as responsible citizens, doing what we can to learn about both Indigenous law and culture,” says Heather Cole (Artsci’91, Law’96, MPA’00), event founder and Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Law. “I think everyone involved learned a great deal. We will continue to work with our Indigenous partners and hope to make this workshop an annual event.”

The day-long workshop began with an opening thanksgiving address, and an orientation to the community. Following the introduction, a number of speakers shone a light on how dispute resolution is handled in the territory, gave an overview of the history of the court, spoke about treaties and the drafting of laws, and took questions.

“Akwesasne is not representative of every First Nations community but, as students at law and as law educators, it is important for us all to understand that there are functioning legal systems in Canada outside of the mainstream Western paradigm,” says Kayla Stephenson (Law’18), another event organizer.

The group from the Faculty of Law, on location in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. (Supplied Photo)
The group from the Faculty of Law, on location in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. On the far right is Kayla Stephenson (Law'18). (Supplied Photo)

Akwesasne Mohawk Territory was selected as the location for this workshop for a few reasons. The community is in close proximity to Queen’s, and the region straddles modern-day New York, Ontario, and Québec which adds to its complexity as a legal jurisdiction. Among First Nations communities, Akwesasne also stands out, according to Ms. Stephenson, because of its “intricate and long-standing” legal system – a system she became familiar with both because of her personal interest, and because of her summer spent working in the community for the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Akwesasne is the first and only Indigenous community in Canada to have established a court “for Indigenous people and by Indigenous people.” The court enforces 32 civil laws, while criminal matters remain the jurisdiction of the province or the federal government.

The event wasn’t about teaching the group how to practise law in the Akwesasne reserve, but rather to educate them about Indigenous legal principles which are expected to become more important to Canada’s legal landscape in the future. “The participants were humbled to see how intricate the system is and how long the legal structure has been upheld. They were blown away at how it functions independent of any outside support,” says Ms. Stephenson.

The workshop is one of several steps the Faculty of Law is taking to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into their work, aligning with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Final Report. The Faculty is also exploring different projects with other neighbouring Indigenous communities aimed at both fostering understanding and supporting the communities.

“Our law school is committed to creating an inclusive community that is supportive of all students, and Indigenous students are an integral part of our community,” says Ms. Cole.

To learn more about Indigenous initiatives within the Queen’s Faculty of Law, please visit the Faculty’s website.

Keeping up The Conversation

It’s a simple, but powerful, formula. Take one part leading academic research, add a dash of journalistic flair, and mix in a robust digital presence. It is this winning recipe that has earned The Conversation, an academic journalism website, the participation of thousands of researchers worldwide, and captured the attention of millions of citizens interested in news with a healthy dose of academic rigour.

The Conversation
Queen's is a founding member of the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation and, since its launch earlier this year, 33 articles by Queen's experts have been published.   

After a successful soft launch this summer, the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation is running at full steam, having published hundreds of researchers’ articles, including a number from Queen’s. The university is a founding member of the national news platform.

“Our participation in The Conversation relays the importance and impact of disseminating and promoting the leading-edge research and scholarship happening at Queen’s University,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement and is already bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile.”

Over the course of the summer, over two dozen Queen’s academics contributed to The Conversation, sparking dialogue about the business of marijuana, how to improve the skills of tomorrow’s doctors, , recruiting more women to join the military, how to prevent irregular heartbeats, the meaning of The Tragically Hip’s lyrics, and more. These faculty and graduate students suggested topics, wrote columns, and submitted them to The Conversation. From there, professional journalists helped edit the articles to ensure consistency and clarity.

The Conversation’s unique model puts the researchers in the driver’s seat when sharing their expertise,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is increasingly important that we convey the impact of our research and ideas beyond the academy, and we believe tools such as The Conversation are filling that gap in a powerful way.”


The 33 articles published to date by Queen’s experts have garnered a combined 167,000 reads and 166 comments on The Conversation’s website. One of the most popular, and possibly most controversial, pieces was an article by David Maslove, Clinician Scientist with the Department of Medicine and Critical Care Program, about the need to regulate journalism in the same way his profession is regulated.

“Working with The Conversation’s editorial team was great, with turnaround times between drafts that were much faster than what I’m used to in traditional academic publishing,” says Dr. Maslove. “It was really gratifying to see the piece we created reach a wider audience and stimulate debate.”

Another notable Queen’s submission included Sarita Srivastava’s (Sociology) “I wanna be white!’ Can we change race? – a piece analyzing a recent controversy on transracialism. Dr. Srivastava’s piece led to an invitation for her to speak during a symposium on the matter held at the University of Alberta.

Sarita Srivastava
Sarita Srivastava

“Writing for The Conversation has been a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience and to comment on current events as they are happening,” says Dr. Srivastava. “Their editor was extremely skilled in working with me to write in a more journalistic style, while maintaining scholarly content. Within days of my article’s publication, I was invited to speak at an upcoming symposium on the same topic.”

Once the articles are posted to The Conversation’s website, they are shared with a large network of Canadian and international media organizations through a “Republish” feature and posting via The Canadian Press Wire service. The work of Queen’s academics has gone on to be featured in major North American newspapers such as The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News and The National Post, magazines like Scientific American, and national dailies as far away as Australia, where The Conversation was originally founded.

“In our first three months of publication, content from The Conversation Canada has been viewed almost two million times. Combining academic expertise with journalistic storytelling means we are reaching a wide audience across Canada and around the world at a time when the public is thirsting for reliable, fact-based information,” says Scott White, editor-in-chief of The Conversation Canada. “We're very pleased that Queen's has been with us from the very beginning, including a Day One story, as well as important articles on the country's health care system and the beauty of song lyrics, to name just a few.”

The Conversation is regularly seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca

Investing in research

QROF supports cancer research 
Last year, 20 Queen’s faculty members received QROF grants, including Parvin Mousavi (School of Computing) whose project is advancing multi-parametric imaging for augmenting the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. A recipient of the International Fund, Dr. Mousavi is working within the Advanced Multimodal Image-guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School.
According to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies, 262,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually and these numbers are expected to double by 2025 when the baby boomer generation reaches the age of peak prevalence. Dr. Mousavi’s research will contribute to better diagnoses and risk stratification of prostate cancer, and help decrease its mortality and morbidity.

Letters of intent are being requested for two funding competitions open to researchers and scholars at Queen’s University – the 2017-2018 Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds (QROF) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant (SIG) competitions.

The QROF provides researchers and scholars financial support to accelerate their programs and research goals, and offers opportunities to leverage external funding to build on areas of institutional research strength. Through a federal government block grant provided to Queen’s by SSHRC, the recently-redesigned SIG competition supports social sciences and humanities researchers with funding for research project development, pilot study work, or to attend or run knowledge-mobilization activities like workshops, seminars or scholarly conferences.

“Championing research and scholarly excellence is a cornerstone of our mission at Queen’s University,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The QROF competition allows us to make our largest internal investment in research, scholarship and innovation by supporting researchers striving to take their work to the next level. With SSHRC's recent redesign of the allotment of funding from the SIG, we are poised to reinvigorate research in the social sciences and humanities, further strengthening scholarship in the SSHRC disciplines."

The QROF competition consists of four funds:

  • The Research Leaders’ Fund – for strategic institutional commitments to aspirational research in support of the university’s research strengths and priorities
  • The International Fund – to assist in augmenting the university’s international reputation through increased global engagement
  • The Arts Fund – designed to support artists and their contributions to the scholarly community and to advancing Queen’s University
  • The Post-Doctoral Fund – to both attract outstanding post-doctoral fellows to Queen’s and to support their contributions to research and to the university

The SIG competition provides funding through two granting programs:

  • SSHRC Explore Grants – support social sciences and humanities researchers at any career stage with funds to allow for small-scale research project development or pilot work, or to allow for participation of students in research projects
  • SSHRC Exchange Grants – support the organization of small-scale knowledge mobilization activities in order to encourage collaboration and dissemination of research results both within and beyond the academic community, as well as allow researchers to attend or present research at scholarly conferences and other venues to advance their careers and promote the exchange of ideas

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has issued calls for letters of intent, and successful candidates will be invited to submit a full application. Information on each of the funds and the application processes can be found on the on the website of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). For more information, email ferrism@queensu.ca.

Faculty of Law marks six decades of leadership

The year 1957 marked a time of great change and growth for Queen’s University. The university was expanding under the leadership of Principal William Mackintosh, with his plan to add one thousand students during his 10-year principalship well underway. The home of what would become the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery had just been donated to Queen’s. And in a brick house on University Avenue, the Faculty of Law opened its doors to an initial class of 11 students: modest beginnings for what Queen's Law has become today, with a nationally leading Juris Doctor program, a full graduate program, and more recently undergraduate offerings.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Faculty of Law is hosting a special homecoming weekend which begins tonight with a welcome back reception at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. At this event, 13 Queen’s Law alumni from the class of 1967 will be inducted into the Tricolour Guard and presented with special medals by Dean Bill Flanagan.

  • From The Queen's Journal, dated February 2, 1957. "A New Law Faculty at Queen's?"
    From The Queen's Journal, dated February 2, 1957. "A New Law Faculty at Queen's?"
  • Later that same month, on February 19, 1957. "Queen's Law School Becomes Possibility"
    Later that same month, on February 19, 1957. "Queen's Law School Becomes Possibility"
  • Then finally, in October of 1957, "A Faculty Is Born. [Professor J.A. Corry is] Acting Dean"
    Then finally, in October of 1957, "A Faculty Is Born. [Professor J.A. Corry is] Acting Dean"

“Queen’s Faculty of Law has been training leaders in the Canadian legal system for six decades, and this weekend will be an excellent opportunity for us to reflect and celebrate with our alumni,” says Dean Flanagan. “At the same time, it will be an opportunity to talk about the next generation of law talent, how we attract them to Queen’s, and how we support them in attaining a high-quality legal education.”

On Saturday, alumni will have the opportunity to tour the Queen’s Law Clinics in downtown Kingston, attend a symposium honouring recently retired Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell (Law'76), and participate in an anniversary gala cocktail reception and dinner at Ban Righ Hall. Some 260 alumni will be taking part in the weekend festivities. Among the notable attendees, in addition to Mr. Cromwell: John McClatchy (Law’67) who established the MacLatchy Environmental Law Internship Fund and is celebrating his 50th reunion; Geraldine Tipper (Law'60), one of only two women from the first graduating class and a practicing lawyer to this day; prominent U.K. lawyer James Dorr (Law’87), who has recently joined the Dean’s Council and is travelling to celebrate his 30th reunion; Deborah Orida (Law’92), Managing Director and Head of Private Equity in Asia for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, who will be travelling from Hong Kong to celebrate her 25th reunion; and The Honourable J. David Wake (Law ’72), Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner and a former Ontario Court Justice.

Saturday will also mark the start of the QLAW60 fundraising campaign in support of student bursaries. The campaign will help students pursuing their JD offset the rising cost of post-secondary education.

“If students have the talent and the skills to succeed, we want to make sure that Queen’s doors are open to them,” adds Dean Flanagan. “We thank the many generous donors who contribute to our academic mission and the success of our learners.”

The QLAW60 campaign is already off to a good start. A graduate from the class of 1987 has pledged to match donations from his classmates up to $30,000. The full results of the campaign will be announced in May at the annual Celebrate Queen’s Law event in Toronto.

Learn more about the Queen’s Law Homecoming weekend.

The first Faculty of Law graduating class ('60), and the faculty. (Supplied Photo)



Subscribe to RSS - Law