Law Matters | Summer 2020
Over the last few years, Law Matters has strived to keep up with changing tides. In this respect, our focus was often on content — that is, what topics we cover. But our focus must also consider medium — that is, how we cover those topics. We have loved gracing the desks of lawyers across Alberta for so many years. But, in this digital age, we simply cannot wait 3 months to engage with controversial issues. Further, fewer and fewer people are doing their reading in print. With both of these concerns in mind, this edition of Law Matters will be the last of our paper publications as we move the magazine to an entirely digital platform, which can be found at www.nationalmagazine.ca/lawmatters. This change has prompted reflection, for us, on how Law Matters has evolved over the years and how it has often been an advocate for social progress, a voice for influential legal analysis, and a way for the legal community to learn about and remember their colleagues and their accomplishments.
In celebrating what Law Matters has become, this “Farewell” edition is retrospective, looking back over the last 5 years and highlighting some of the critical conversations we have explored. Indeed, after going back through prior editions, one thing became immediately apparent: not only have we covered some crucial issues, but further, those issues persist as central controversies occupying the hearts and minds of people across Alberta — and the world.
From our summer 2015 edition — The Trinity Western University Debate — we include an article by Professor Jennifer Koshan and now Justice Alice Woolley entitled Trinity Western University Law School Equality Rights, Freedom of Religion and the Training of Canadian Lawyers. This detailed analysis took a controversy that divided many, and delicately framed the issues at stake.
From our summer 2016 edition — Sex Drugs and Assisted Dying: How free should we be? — we include Dr. Ummni Khan’s article entitled Hot for Kink, Bothered by the Law: BDSM and the Right to Autonomy. Dr. Khan’s insightful article informed not only our readers, but the Supreme Court of Canada! Indeed, in a Law Matters first, Dr. Khan’s piece was cited by the Court in R v Goldfinch, 2019 SCC 38 at para 185.
From our fall 2019 edition — #MeToo and the Law — we include Dr. Tuulia Law’s piece entitled Me Too: The Return of the Victim? which complicated the narratives we bring to our conversations about gender and sexual justice, during what remains an ongoing societal reckoning.
From our spring 2020 edition — Climate Change and Justice —we include Ricki-Lee Gerbrandt’s article entitled Alberta Court of Appeal makes Bold Changes to Constitutional Law Doctrine in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act Reference. Ms. Gerbrandt’s analysis laid out a clear framework for a complex case that is now destined for the Supreme Court.
Lastly, we include three articles on Indigenous justice to reflect not only Law Matters’ commitment to platforming these critical issues, but also, to illustrate how important it is to remain vigilant in advocating for Indigenous rights. Reaching 19 years back to our August 2001 edition of Law Matters, we include Fred Fenwick’s review of A Feather not a Gavel, working towards Aboriginal Justice by the Honourable A.C. Hamilton Q.C., LL.D. Then, from our fall 2017 edition — Truth and Reconciliation — we include Koren Lighting Earle’s article entitled Law Society of Alberta responds to Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, which provided an outline of the steps the Law Society of Alberta was taking to ensure that Indigenous lawyers know they have a place at the Law Society and as a part of the profession. Lastly, from our spring 2018 edition — Indigenous Victims and Criminal Justice — we include Professor Naiomi Metallic’s article, I am a Mi’Kmaq Lawyer, and I despair over Colten Boushie, a powerful essay exploring the persisting force of racism in our society.
Law Matters would never have developed into the publication that it is today without the dedicated work of so many volunteers over the years, including past editors, contributors, and CBA staff. With that in mind, we have also included remarks from past editors, who reflect on their time with Law Matters, and what its legacy means to them. And as a special treat, we also include one last “View from the Bench” by Justice Fradsham, in honour of his former column.
Finally — and now this is just Jessica writing — this is the last edition that will see Joshua Sealy Harrington at the helm as one of our Co-Editors in Chief. Josh has been heavily involved with Law Matters for the past five years as a guest editor and contributor, and was the sole Editor from 2017 until I joined him in 2019. Josh’s tireless energy, brilliant writing, and razor-sharp analytical skills is what allowed Law Matters to blossom into the publication it is now. From seeking out contributions from recognized scholars to comment on issues important to Albertans, to ensuring that the content of the magazine was always topical and meaningful, Josh shepherded Law Matters into this new digital age with enthusiasm, care, and skill. We are so grateful for his tremendous work and look forward to reading his future contributions as he continues to write on important issues facing the profession.
To everyone who has contributed to this magazine, thank you for your time, your words, and your ideas. You have elevated Law Matters into a recognized and trusted source of commentary in Alberta and beyond. And we look forward to continuing that commentary — indeed, expanding that commentary — on our new digital platform.