News & Events

2017 - 18

2018 Social Justice Law Conference: ­ The Role of the Legal Community in Supporting Social Movements

Saturday March 3, 2018
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St.

The 2018 Social Justice Law Conference builds on the commitments made at previous Social Justice conferences to develop and support access to justice in BC and to enhance the specialized skills that lawyers, legal advocates and law students need for practicing in social justice fields of law. This day long conference provides an excellent opportunity for networking, professional development, and discussing current issues.  Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond will give the keynote speaker (by video). Laura Johnston (CLAS) will give a talk on BC’s Mental Health Act Detention System and Irina Ceric (Law Union of BC) will lead an interactive workshop on Movement Lawyering for Social Justice. Panel topics include: housing justice, migration justice, criminal justice responses to the fentanyl crisis, and Indigenous children’s rights and children’s care. Author Kate Bird will be on hand to promote her new book City On Edge: A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots, and Strikes. Allard Law’s Franklin Lew Innovation Fund and the Law Foundation of British Columbia have provided the funding to make this conference possible.

You can find more information and and the agenda here at the Conference website: .

The Law Society of BC has approved 6 CPD credit hours for conference attendance.

Event Poster

Film screening: The Stairs

Law Students for Decriminalization and Harm Reduction present a screening of "The Stairs." Hugh Gibson's award-winning documentary follows the lives of three community health workers and drug users in Toronto's Regent Park. The film gives a humanizing portrayal of living with addiction, poverty, and homelessness. Join us for popcorn and a movie, followed by a panel discussion with the director and harm reduction advocates from Vancouver. Panelists include director Hugh Gibson, joined by Shelda Kastor (Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society), Guy Felicella (DTES Connections), and Jordan Westfall (Canadian Drug Policy Coalition)

Friday, March 2, 2018
Snacks and mingling starting at 3:45
Film at 4:00
Panel Discussion from 5:30

Movie trailer:

Dick Gathercole Annual Public Interest Lecture – Islamophobia: Challenges and Strategies 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Room 122, Allard Hall
Lunch will be provided, please rsvp here: .

Ayesha Chaudhry (Canada Research Chair in Religion, Law and Social Justice; Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender studies, UBC) and Sarah Khan (BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre) will discuss the rise of Islamophobia and various strategies that are being developed to address it, including tools developed by the social justice legal community in BC.

Marlee Kline Annual Lecture in Social Justice 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm followed by a reception
Room 104 (DLA Piper Hall)
In order to ensure a seat, please rsvp to:

Join Allard Law's Centre for Feminist Legal Studies for the Annual Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice featuring Jacinta Ruru (Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Otago and Co-Director, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s) speaking on "Honouring Our Ancestors in Law: Legal Personality and Indigenous Governance of Lands and Waters."

Presented By: Social Justice Program, Indigenous Legal Studies Program, and the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies.

Debate on Trinity Western University Law School Accreditation

Tuesday October 31, 12:30-2pm
Room 105, Allard Hall

In June of 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that Trinity Western University (TWU)’s Community Covenant was “deeply discriminatory”, siding with the Law Society of Upper Canada in their decision not to accredit future TWU law school graduates. The Community Covenant forbids sexual intimacy except between married heterosexual couples. In November of the same year, the BC Court of Appeal held that the Law Society’s decision not to approve TWU’s law school was unreasonable because the decision disproportionately limited the school’s religious freedom. As a result of these conflicting decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to both appeals, which are scheduled to be heard by the Court from November 30th – December 1st of this year. 

In light of the difficult legal issues raised in these two cases, the Allard Runnymede Society has organized a panel debate on the topic. We are excited to be joined by Earl Philips and Elin Sigurdson to discuss the case. Earl Philips is the Executive Director of the TWU School of Law and will present the pro-accreditation side. Elin Sigurdson, a lawyer with Mandell Pinder LLP, represents a coalition of LGBTQ groups and will present the opposing side. Allard Law’s own Professor Mary Liston will be facilitating the discussion. 

Social Justice Week and the Social Justice Forum

Thursday, October 5, 2017
6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Law Courts Inn, 800 Smithe Street

For more information and to rsvp please go here: 

The Social Justice Forum is an annual event that brings together social and environmental justice lawyers and representatives from 28 of British Columbia's premier public interest organizations. This is a unique opportunity for you to meet these organizations under one roof, learn more about the work they do, and talk with lawyers and advocates practising in this area.  Delicious food will be served and cash bar available.

Immediately following the Forum, SJAN is hosting a Social Justice Mixer for students and public interest lawyers at the Morrissey Pub (1277 Granville Street). 

Sisters in Spirit Vigil 

Wednesday, October 4 beginning at 12:30 pm in the Franklin Lew Forum 

This yearly vigil honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women,  provides support to affected families and communities, and acts as a forum for advocacy for continued action and redress.