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Jan Advocate 2017

94 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE in-chief of reluctant or recanting complainants in domestic violence cases. The term program also tackled current criminal law issues being addressed in the media. That included discussion of issues surrounding the prosecution and defence of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi in Ontario, as well as the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” dealing with the controversial conviction of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for murder in Wisconsin. CLT students capped off their term program by completing major research papers on issues of interest to them and of significance to the profession. Topics ranged from the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentences to the controversies of Mr. Big sting operations. Students presented the results of that research at a continuing legal education event hosted at the law school in March with 35 to 40 members of the bench and bar in attendance. Law Society President David Crossin, Q.C., opened the event with an uplifting keynote speech that addressed the important role of the criminal defence lawyer in the criminal justice system. Judge Carmen Rogers, John Labossiere (class of ’90), Paul Pearson (class of ’98), Michelle Lawrence (class of ’98) and Simon Owen (class of ’05) provided comments on the papers, challenging students and those present to consider the potential impacts of the research on the everyday practice of criminal law. According to Kirsty Broadhead, a third-year law student and past president of the Indigenous Law Students Association: The Criminal Law Term was an experience in understanding, holistically, how the criminal law system works and its flaws. It gave us an opportunity to think about what we could do to fix those flaws. The externship component placed some students with defence lawyers and others with judges, which made us privy to the actual experience of criminal law in practice. We were allowed and encouraged to explore what is new in the criminal law world, like First Nations courts, innocence projects, and inquiries. Learning from the best, it was challenging both academically and mentally, but it was an experience that has shaped my future aspirations and one that I would never take back. Sarah Chaster is also a third-year law student and is currently doing a term in the UVic Law Centre. She spent the summer working at Peck and Company, a top criminal law firm in Vancouver, and saw the CLT as a foundation for her future career: The criminal law term was a phenomenal, immersive learning experience. While I’ve enjoyed law school overall, I found that often the various classes were hard to connect and felt somewhat siloed. The criminal law term departed from this by immersing students in classes which had purely criminal focuses and allowed us to study similar issues from slightly different angles (from the perspective of sentencing, criminal procedure, fundamentals of criminal law, and always engaging very practical components). From a methodological perspective, I felt like I was


Jan Advocate 2017
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