Semie Sama Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Semie Sama has received a limited term appointment as an Assistant Professor, effective July 1, 2020.

Semie Sama has been a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and the Environment, where she researched legal and policy solutions to climate change, natural resource curse, land-grabbing, deforestation, among other environmental issues.   She holds a Ph.D. in law (University of Ottawa, Canada); an LL.M. in global sustainability and environmental law (University of Ottawa, Canada); an M.Sc. in ecotechnology and sustainable development (Mid Sweden University, Sweden); an M.Sc. in environmental governance (Stockholm University, Sweden); and an LL.B. (University of Buea, Cameroon).

Before her postdoctoral work at McGill University, Semie was a UN Global Environment Outlook 6 Fellow (during which she contributed to the Sixth Global Environment Outlook GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People). She also worked for the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Sama has received numerous awards and honors, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Award, the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Scholarship, the University of Ottawa’s International Admission Scholarship and the Minister of Higher Education Honours Prize of the Government of Cameroon.

“Semie is a very welcome addition to our Faculty. The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law’s special mandate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law will get a wonderful boost from her teaching and research,” says Dean Jula Hughes. Welcome Dr. Sama!

Semie Sama

Congratulations to Professor Ryan Alford on the publication of his new book

Congratulations to Professor Ryan Alford on the publication of his new book entitled Seven Absolute Rights: Recovering the Foundations of Canada's Rule of Law. The book is his second peer-reviewed monograph and was published on May 21, 2020 by McGill-Queen's University Press, which also printed Professor Alford’s well-received "Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and Demise of the Rule of Law" in 2017.

Seven Absolute Rights makes a significant contribution to the constitutional law literature by telling the story of constitutional rights and substantive principles of the rule of law from their British historical roots to foundational moments of Canadian constitutional history. Set against a current context of proliferating emergency powers, the idea that some core rights have stood the test of time as essentials even through extreme circumstances is compelling and timely.

The publisher notes that "Ryan Alford provides a gripping narrative of constitutional history, beginning with the medieval and early modern context of Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, and the constitutional settlement of the Glorious Revolution. His reconstruction ends with a detailed examination of two pre-Confederation crises: the rebellions of 1837-38 and the riots of 1849, which, as he demonstrates, provide the missing constitutionalist context to the framing of the British North America Act. Through this accessible exploration of key events and legal precedents, Alford offers a distinct perspective on the substantive principles of the rule of law embedded in Canada's Constitution."

"I am proud and pleased to see Ryan’s book published. The present moment calls for a careful rethinking of the boundaries of proportionality and balancing approaches to constitutional rights that have dominated the jurisprudence. Ryan’s scholarship will be of interest to constitutional scholars as well as legal historians" says Dean Jula Hughes.



Seven Absolute Rights

Statement from Canadian Law Deans on anti-Black Racism

Members of the Council of Canadian Law Deans stand in solidarity with all who mourn and have denounced examples of systemic racism in Canadian and other societies, and, in particular, violence perpetrated against racialized people in Canada. We recognize and acknowledge the pain and anguish experienced by many of our racialized students, staff and faculty, and we are grateful for the leadership of BLSA chapters across the country. 

We know that law schools can play a critical role in dismantling systems of institutionalized racism in our society. As legal educators we can contribute productively to the ways in which these issues are addressed in the curriculum and in the legal system more generally. We want all our graduates to appreciate that racism has no place in a society governed by the rule of law, and that as members of the legal profession they must play a role in ameliorating the damage caused by racist practices in the Canadian legal system. This goal is vitally important because we know that law is not inherently neutral or progressive; we are regretfully aware that graduates of our faculties – many of whom have held positions of leadership in Canadian society – have played significant roles in the development and perpetuation of colonial and systemically racist policy and practices. This is a history we must work to correct. 

We commit to continuing the efforts in each of our law schools to focus on issues of racism, particularly anti-Black racism, and the role of law in maintaining those systems, as we teach and learn with our students and as we examine and develop our curricular offerings. We also commit to finding more opportunities to consider the ways in which law can be a force for change in unsettling embedded racism. We will seek to advance the goal of removing racism from the operation of the legal system through the clinical and extra-curricular opportunities we provide to our students, in our student recruiting and faculty hiring, in our support for the research communities examining these issues and in our engagement with the broader legal community. 

Joan Braun Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Joan Braun has been appointed as an Assistant Professor, effective August 1, 2020.

Joan Braun is a PhD candidate at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.  Her doctoral research has a socio-legal focus and examines the implementation of laws intended to protect vulnerable adults from harm. She holds two Masters’ degrees, one in law and one in social work. Her L.L.M. research focused on ethical issues in elder mediation and her M.S.W. research examined on strategies used by mediators when resolving child protection disputes. Prior to her doctoral studies Joan worked as a mediator in private practice and as a lawyer in the social justice sector. Her accomplishments include founding western Canada’s first legal aid clinic for older adults as senior counsel at the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support. Her recent teaching experience includes courses in public law at the University of Northern BC and in restorative justice at the University of the Fraser Valley.

“We are thrilled to have Joan join our faculty, “says Dean Jula Hughes. “Her research positions put her at the forefront of the emergent and growing field of Elder Law, a high need in a society with an aging population, and her practical, interdisciplinary expertise in ADR and clinical education will be of great benefit for our students.”


Joan Braun 

Tenille E. Brown Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Tenille E. Brown has been appointed as an Assistant Professor on tenure track, effective July 1, 2020.

Tenille Brown holds an LL.M. from the University of Ottawa. Her LL.M. focused on Aboriginal law and considered what was then the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her LL.B. (Scots law) (Honours) is from the University of Dundee, Scotland. Her doctoral research is in the area of legal geography examining the intersection between property, geography and the creation of place in Canada.

She is a member of the Ontario bar and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. Her work at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, Canada’s leading public interest technology law clinic, contributed to interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada in the area of privacy law. Before starting her academic work, Tenille worked in the Kingdom of Eswatini (at that time known as the Kingdom of Swaziland), Southern Africa, as a legal officer in a feminist organization. Tenille comes to us from an adjunct professor position in the Common Law and Civil Law Sections of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.

“Tenille is a great addition to our Faculty. Her expertise in Aboriginal law is an excellent fit with our mandate area of Aboriginal and Indigenous Law and her innovative research will contribute significantly to our growing research profile,” says Dean Jula Hughes.

Pictured: Tenille Brown

Limited Term Faculty Positions

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay campus, invites applications for up to two (2) Limited Term Faculty positions each for a term of 10 months to three years, dependent on qualifications and experience. The appointment(s) will commence August 1, 2017 at an academic rank commensurate with the qualifications of the successful candidate. 

For more information please go to:

Lakehead University Community Legal Services (Student Legal Aid Clinic) Admin Assistant (Part-Time/Casual limited term)

Admin Assistant (Part-Time/Casual limited term) $17.50/hour (July – September 2017)


Lakehead University Community Legal Services is a legal clinic within the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law that provides legal services to low income clients, as well as an experience based educational program for Lakehead Law students.  Our work includes individual case files, teaching, community outreach and public legal education.


We are seeking a highly organized, detail oriented, Lakehead Law Student to provide some part-time / casual assistance to our Administrative team.  This position will assist the clinic with summer projects that generate extra administrative duties and will serve as backfill for the full-time Admin position during occasional vacation days.

Reporting to the Clinic Director, this position:

  • Providing administrative assistance to the Director as needed;
  • Acting as Reception / Screening and referring calls;
  • File management (opening, closing, storing, destruction);
  • Tracking court appearances and limitation dates;
  • Scanning and uploading documents to the file management software;
  • Compiling packages for ID clinics
  • Such other administrative duties as determined by the Director.



This position requires someone with excellent administrative and computer skills as well as knowledge of the legal system:

  • Currently enrolled in the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, entering second or third year.
  • Excellent computer skills including a high level of proficiency with all Microsoft Office software (Outlook, Word, and Excel) as well as Google Mail, Google Documents and Google Calendar;  experience with website editing/maintenance preferred; 
  • Exceptional attention to detail;
  • A proven ability to balance multiple and competing priorities in a fast paced environment;
  • An ability to work independently and as a part of a team;
  • A demonstrated ability in serving low-income clients and persons with disabilities in a respectful and sensitive manner; 
  • Demonstrated cultural competencies / experience serving Aboriginal persons / familiarity with Aboriginal communities in Northern Ontario;
  • Diplomacy and discretion when dealing with sensitive and confidential matters;


If you are interested in applying, please submit your curriculum vitae and cover letter outlining your experience to:

Director Kimberley Gagan

Lakehead University Community Legal Clinic


The Foundation for Legal Research awards Professor Miriam Cohen

The Foundation for Legal Research has awarded Professor Miriam Cohen a research grant for a new project on “investment migration and constructions of Canadian citizenship” for $4,800. Professor Cohen will pursue this project in the Summer and will be assisted by a research student from the Law School.

Graduation of the Class of 2017 – The Second Set of Law Graduates from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

On June 1 and 2, 2017 Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University proudly hosted graduation ceremonies for the 59 graduates in the Class of 2017! Graduates had the opportunity to participate in a Blanket Ceremony, Law Ceremony, Convocation Ceremony, and Graduation Reception.

The Blanket Ceremony, held on June 1, honoured graduates achievements and dedication and was an opportunity for graduates to thank those who supported them during their educational journey. The Blanket Ceremony was run by Elders Isabel Mercier and Gene Nowegejick; students were honoured to have ceremonial music provided by women drummers from the Red Rock Indian Band and Fort William First Nations. Events of the Blanket Ceremony included smudging, prayer, sharing, honouring individual graduates, and feasting together on traditional food. Six students chose to participate in the Blanket Ceremony and several community members, staff and faculty attended to support the graduates, including the Law Ceremony Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Bob Rae and his wife, Arlene.

On June 2nd, 48 of the 59 graduates, along with their families, friends, supporters and Thunder Bay community members, attended the Law Ceremony at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law,  The Law Ceremony opened with Dean Angelique EagleWoman providing a welcoming and words of advice for the new graduates entering the legal profession. To congratulate the graduates on their remarkable achievements, remarks were also brought by several members of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and Thunder Bay community, including: Rene Larson (President of the Thunder Bay Law Association), Celina Reitberger (Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and Fort William First Nation), Karen Drake (Metis Nation of Ontario and Assistant Professor of Law); Dr. Frances Chapman (Associate Professor of Law), and Leslie De Muelles (Class of 2017 Valedictorian).  Keynote speaker, Hon. Bob Rae inspired graduates to continue pursuing law careers with a sense of responsibility, integrity and passion. He spoke of the braid of three legal traditions in Canada – federal, provincial and Indigenous – as important for the coming years.  He also shared the many challenges faced by Chief Justice Bora Laskin throughout his legal career and encouraged the law graduates to persevere.  The Canadian Bar Insurance Association graciously sponsored the lunch for graduates and their supporters.

At the close of the celebrations, graduates and their supporters, staff, and faculty were invited to attend a Graduation Reception in the auditorium at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. The reception was co-hosted by the Law Students Society and the Faculty of Law. Those in attendance congratulated each other through heartfelt toasts and sharing memories of their time at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!