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Concordia’s Jurist-in-Residence program wraps up another busy and successful year

Led by Morton Minc, the initiative provides students with mentorship and immersive court experiences that bridge academia with the legal world
May 21, 2024

A group of diverse people standing on the steps outside Pascale Sicotte (back row, far left), Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Judge Morton S. Minc (centre), Concordia's jurist-in-residence, with students (mentored by judges) in front of the Court of Quebec.

For the past seven years, Concordia’s Jurist-in-Residence program has been offering invaluable hands-on experiences to its students.

Morton Minc, former chief justice of the Municipal Court of Montreal and the program’s founder, is the university’s jurist-in-residence. He has developed initiatives that allow students to learn more about the law and understand the profound impact it has on society.

Open to students from all faculties and areas of study, the law mentorship program connects eager learners with seasoned legal professionals across various fields of law. These include civil, criminal, commercial, immigration, notarial, intellectual property, crown prosecution and human rights.

In December 2023, students had a rare chance to delve into the heart of the justice system. Led by criminal lawyer Charles Benmouyal, a cohort of students explored the Palais de justice de Montréal, where they rubbed shoulders with judges and observed live judicial proceedings.

Court observer program

In another endeavour, Minc and Eric Reiter, professor of history, arranged a visit to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa in October 2023. This was a first for Concordia students, who got an immersive look into the workings of Canada’s highest court.

They witnessed a live trial and engaged in a discussion with the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. “The highlight of the visit was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to have a discussion with the Honourable Chief Justice Wagner,” reports Vivien Horvath, a political science and history student.

“Interacting with such a prominent figure in Canadian law was an invaluable experience. Chief Justice Wagner’s insights into, and passion for, the role of the Supreme Court in shaping Canadian jurisprudence left a profound impression on me.”

Court of Quebec program

Concordia’s partnership with the Court of Quebec has been running for five years. The program immerses students in the realities of Quebec’s bustling court system and focuses on the theme of access to justice.

Students gain knowledge and insight that complement their academic learning through judge mentorship, readings and behind-the-scenes access to court proceedings.

“It was an incredible opportunity that allowed me to engage with legal professionals, which has equipped me with valuable insights and knowledge that extend beyond anything we have learned in the classroom,” explains 2023-24 Court of Quebec program participant Amani Souha El Amraoui.

Jurist-in-residence conference series

The Jurist-in-Residence program also hosts an array of distinguished speakers through its conference series. This year, Quebec’s chief innovation officer Luc Sirois shared insights on innovation’s role in shaping the future of the province. Former Quebec premier Jean Charest explored Canada’s position as a middle power.

To round out the year, the Honourable Nicole Duval Hesler, the first female chief justice of Quebec, shared her journey and expertise with students. And the program welcomed the Honourable Nicholas Kasirer, justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who joined Minc to reflect on his experiences on the Supreme Court.

Concordia's Jurist-in-Residence program.


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