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.

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.