If you're wondering what the rule of law means and why it matters, this is the podcast for you.

The Rule of Law Matters podcast introduces listeners to the concept of the rule of law and how it protects our rights and freedoms in a free and democratic society.

Tune in every month for a new episode that discussions on the rule of law that draw from real-life, current events. 

Find and subscribe to the Rule of Law Matters podcast on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts. If you like our discussions, leave us a review, wherever you get your podcasts. We’ve also set up an email to receive your feedback. If you have suggestions or comments, send us an email at podcast@lsbc.org 

Continuing Professional Development credits: Please note that not all episodes are eligible for CPD credits. Credits are approved on an episode-by-episode basis. Check member portal or this CPD page to confirm which episodes are eligible.

 

Season 1, episode 9, Authoritarianism, closer to home

We invite the Honourable Irwin Cotler back to  speak about the impacts of authoritarianism, closer to home.

Professor Cotler talked about recent events in the US, the mob attack on the Capitol building, and the rule of law implications. He also spoke about his time as special advisor to former Attorney General John Turner during the October Crisis in Canada in 1970, and the rationale for enacting the War Measures Act at the time. We then contrasted this Canadian historical event to what is happening right now in China, where Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are currently detained. He warned against foreign influences that are infiltrating right here, close to home.  Lastly, Professor Cotler outlined specific steps we can take as a country to combat authoritarianism. To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, episode 8, Privacy and the Rule of Law

On International Data Privacy Day on January 28, we bring you this special episode, featuring remarks from lawyer Richard Peck, QC at our previous Rule of Law Lecture. He highlighted modern technology’s invasion into our privacy, how it compromises our freedoms, and how it all relates to the rule of law.

We’re also bringing him back for a short follow up interview. We ask him how things have changed over the past year, whether things are better or worse, and whether controlling the spread of COVID-19 is a good reason to compromise our privacy. To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, episode 7, COVID-19 and the rule of law, Part 2

In this episode, Edmonton health lawyer Tracey Bailey and host Jon Festinger examine our rights and freedoms in the midst of a pandemic. Tracey walked us through some of the differences in legislation in BC and Alberta as it relates to emergency powers and explained the relationship between the medical officer and government officials. They also touched on some hot topics, like the orders that limit gatherings in our private homes, rules around mask wearing, and what fair vaccine distribution might look like. To read the full text of this episode, click here.

Tracey Bailey has worked in the area of health law, policy and ethics for almost 30 years. She practices law as counsel with Miller Thomson where she advises public and private health system and health professional clients, focusing on regulatory, strategic and risk management advice and government relations.

 

 

Season 1, episode 6, COVID-19 and the rule of law, Part 1

Earlier this year, BC ombudsperson Jay Chalke and his office found that two orders the BC government made in response to the pandemic were unlawful.  In this episode, Jay explains the role of the ombudsperson in upholding the rule of law, how it helps people who have a concern with a government body, and why the public should care about how laws are made, enacted and implemented, even during a state of emergency. To read the full text of this episode, click here.

To read the ombudsperson's investigative report and to find out more, visit the BC Ombudsperson's website.

 

 

Season 1, Episode 5, The rise of authoritarianism and assaults on the rule of law, part 2

We welcome back renowned international human rights lawyer the Honourable Irwin Cotler to discuss several examples of what authoritarianism looks like in countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He touched on the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighurs and the need for Canada and other countries to name it as genocide to oblige us to combat and prevent it. He also talked about the current dire situation of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, as well as blogger Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abulkhair in Saudi Arabia. Professor Cotler urged Canada and other democracies to act, or else their silence would embolden authoritarianism. In the end, he believes justice can and will prevail.

To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, Episode 4: The rise of authoritarianism and assaults on the rule of law, part 1

In this episode, renowned international human rights lawyer Professor Irwin Cotler warns against the rise of authoritarianism in countries around the world, naming indicators such as erosion of the free press, criminalization of basic rights like free speech, and the imprisonment of lawyers. Adding to those dire circumstances, he noted that democratic nations are backsliding, becoming increasingly divided and polarized. He also walks us through his early influences and how those experiences shaped his values and ultimately, his career and his human rights work.

Professor Cotler is the Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University. He is a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and a Member of Parliament from 1999 to 2015.  As an international human rights lawyer, he has worked for many years to free political prisoners and advocates for democracy around the world. Maclean’s has referred to him as “counsel for the oppressed” and the Oslo Freedom Forum has described him as “Freedom’s Counsel.” 

To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, Episode 3: Lawyer independence and the rule of law

President Craig Ferris, QC and Jon Festinger discuss what it means for lawyers to be independent, why lawyers must represent their clients’ interests, even when they have done something wrong, and what could happen if lawyers are threatened for just doing their jobs.To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, Episode 2: What is the rule of law vs. rule by law?

What is the difference between the rule of law versus rule by law? Dr. Catherine Dauvergne talks to us about why the rule of law is a difficult concept to teach, a "thin version" and a "thick version" of the rule of law, different interpretations of the rule of law between countries and the need to hold countries accountable when their version of the rule of law is clearly flawed. From 9/11 and Donald Trump to Brexit, Dr. Dauvergne brings the rule of law lens to real-life events.

Dr. Catherine Dauvergne served as the eighth dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia from 2015 to 2020. Professor Dauvergne has been working in the area of refugee, immigration, and citizenship law over the past quarter of a century. This episode is hosted by Jon Festinger, QC and was recorded in September 2020. To read the full text of this episode, click here.

 

 

Season 1, Episode 1: Introduction to the Rule of Law

Craig Ferris, QC, president of the Law Society, and host Jon Festinger, QC kick off the series by explaining why the Law Society is launching this podcast, the basic pillars of the rule of law, and why people should care about the rule of law more than ever in our increasingly polarized society. To read the full text of this episode, click here.