Vavilov’s First Birthday, December 18

In association with the Centre for Public Law and the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue

Join some of Canada’s leading experts for a day-long conference analyzing the implications of the key decision of Vavilov for various areas of administrative decision-making. We will celebrate Vavilov’s first birthday on December 18.

The conference will be remote, on Zoom, and free to attend. The format will be a series of round-table discussions. Register here.

The conference will be in English only, and a Zoom link will be sent out to attendees before December 18, 2020.

Here is the agenda for the day:

Panel 1: Vavilov In Perspective (10.45-11.45 EST)

David Mullan, Emeritus Professor, Queen’s University; Panelist under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement

Mary Liston, Peter A. Allard School of Law

Lauren Wihak, McDougall Gauley LLP, Saskatchewan

Sheila Wildeman, Schulich School of Law

Audrey Boctor, IMK Advocates

Panel 2: Vavilov and Judicial Review (12.00-1.15 EST)

Cristie Ford, Peter A. Allard School of Law (Economic Regulation)

Stéphanie Roy, Université Laval (Environmental Law)

Jamie Liew, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (Common Law) (Immigration Law)

Steve Barrett, Goldblatt Partners, Toronto (Labour Law)

Panel 3: Vavilov and Decision-making (1.30-2.45 EST)

Jennifer Khurana, Vice-Chairperson Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (Human Rights Tribunals)

Angus Grant, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Process and Substance)

Jennifer Raso, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law (Front-Line Decision-making)

Justice Alexander Pless, Superior Court of Québec (Judicial Perspective)

Speaker Bios

Panel 1: Vavilov: In Perspective (10.45-11.45 EST)

David Mullan

Professor Mullan is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost scholars in administrative law. He lectured at the Victoria University of Wellington before joining the Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 1971. Apart from four years (1973–1977) at Dalhousie Law School, he remained at Queen’s until January 2004. His research interests include private and public law, but his major area of academic interest is administrative law.

Professor Mullan is co-author of Administrative Law: Cases, Text and Materials, now in its fourth edition, written in collaboration with faculty members at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto. He is also the author of the Administrative Law Title in the Canadian Encyclopedia Digest.

Professor Mullan is currently a panelist under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a part-time member of the Ontario Human Rights Code Board of Inquiry.

Professor Mullan has been a recipient of the Queen’s University Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Queen’s University Prize for Excellence in Research, and in 1996, the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Award for Academic Excellence. In July 2004, David Mullan was appointed Integrity Commissioner for the City of Toronto.


Audrey Boctor

Audrey Boctor is a lawyer IMK Advocates. She has a broad commercial and public law practice, including constitutional and human rights law and a range of administrative and regulatory matters. She also regularly advises on matters relating to private international law, including jurisdiction, state immunity, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards and the taking of evidence abroad.

Audrey Boctor’s educational background includes a LL.B. and B.C.L. from McGill University, and a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and French (Gold Medalist) from Western University.

In 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada appointed Audrey as amicus curiae in Bell, NFL and Vavilov, a landmark set of three administrative law appeals that reshaped the standard of review in Canadian administrative law.  In 2019, Audrey was lead counsel to Instrubel, N.V.  before the Supreme Court of Canada in a major private international law appeal.  She succeeded in having the appeal dismissed from the bench.

Audrey was the 2018-2019 President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division. A former law clerk to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, P.C., she previously practiced in the financial products and markets group at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York and taught at Columbia Law School.

Mary Liston

Mary Liston is an Associate Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. She teaches public law including administrative and constitutional law, legal theory, and law and literature. Her research focuses on public law, administrative law, and the intersection of constitutional law, legal theory, and democratic theory.

Mary Liston’s educational background includes an MA from York University, and an LLB and PhD from University of Toronto. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Ethics at the University of Toronto.

Mary Liston is a co-author of Public Law: Cases, Commentary and Analysis and a contributor to Administrative Law in Context. Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in several precedential public law cases.

Professor Liston takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research. Her recent research projects include an analysis of legal and moral import of the duty to consult and accommodate in administrative law and the function of apologies in Canadian public law.

Lauren Wihak

Lauren J. Wihak is an associate at McDougall Gauley LLP in Regina, Saskatchewan. Her civil litigation practice places an emphasis on public and administrative law, appellate litigation, and constitutional litigation. She is also a sessional instructor at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law, teaching Appellate Advocacy and Principles.

Lauren Wihak’s educational background includes a degree from the University of Ottawa, and a Juris Doctor from Queen’s University. Prior to starting her career as a lawyer, Lauren clerked for the Honourable Mr. Justice Louis LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada (2009-2010) and the Honourable Madam Justice Georgina R. Jackson of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan (2008-2009). 

Lauren served on the Canadian Bar Association’s Supreme Court of Canada Bench and Bar Committee.  She has also served on the CBA’s Legislation and Law Reform Committee.  She served as the coach of the Thompson Rivers University Wilson Moot Team for five years. Lauren is currently on the Board of Directors of the RCMP Heritage Centre.

Lauren is the author of a legal blog entitled “The Admin Law Blog”, providing commentary and analysis of important and interesting administrative law decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada and other Canadian courts.

Sheila Wildeman

Sheila Wildeman is an Associate Professor at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law where she teaches administrative law and jurisprudence. Her research interests include administrative law, mental health law, jurisprudence, and human rights law.

Sheila Wildeman’s educational background includes an LLB from Dalhousie University, a MA from Columbia, and a BA and LLM from University of Toronto.

Sheila Wildeman is a member of the Health Law Institute and a Founding Fellow of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance. She also was on the Board of Directors in the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Sheila’s research in disability law has focused on medico-legal constructions of consent and capacity, with attention to international and domestic human rights as a source of entitlement to supports for the exercise of agency and choice. This work approaches freedom as a function of equal access to the social determinants of health and community living.

Panel 2: Vavilov and Judicial Review (12.00-1.15 EST)

Cristie Ford (Economic Regulation)

Dr. Chrisite Ford is a Professor and Associate Dean, Research and the Legal Profession at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. Dr. Ford’s research interests include regulatory governance, US and Canadian financial and securities regulation, and access to justice and governance issues related to the legal profession.

Dr. Ford’s educational background includes a BA from University of Alberta, a JD from University of Victoria, and an LLM and JSD from Columbia Law School. Prior to joining UBC, Professor Ford practiced law at Guild Yule LLP in Vancouver and Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP in New York.

Professor Ford edited Regulation & Governance and now sits on its Executive Board, among other editorial and advisory boards. She has served as a consultant to the Canadian Department of Finance, and her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in some of its leading cases. She has lectured across North America and in Europe, Australia, and Israel. She has been a Killam Faculty Research Fellow at UBC, a Plumer Research Fellow at St. Anne’s, Oxford University; and a Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellow at the European University Institute.

Stéphanie Roy (Environmental Law)

Stéphanie Roy is a doctoral candidate in administrative law at Université Laval. She is also a researcher and lawyer motivated by the desire to redress the current environmental crisis. Her research interests include the government’s obligations with regard to the environment. Her doctoral research examines the trusteeship theory, a form of governance that would allow greater responsibility for the environment to be attributed to the state.

Stéphanie’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Laws (international profile) at Université Laval, further studies at the École du Barreau du Québec, and a Master’s in environmental law at McGill University. Her Master’s thesis, on civil liability won the Michel-Robert Award from the Canadian Bar Association and was published by Éditions Yvon Blais. She has also worked as a litigation lawyer in a large firm.

Stéphanie’s desire to make a difference explains her engagement in various social and cultural causes during her academic and professional career. She has volunteered with the legal information bureau at Université Laval, the Club musical de Québec, and Pignon bleu. She is also on the board of directors of the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement. Her community involvement has been rewarded by a Québec Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal (2005).

Jamie Liew (Immigration Law)

Jamie Chai Yun Liew is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law Section). Her research interests include immigration, refugee and citizenship law, administrative law, and public law.

Jamie Liew’s educational background includes a BA and BCom from University of Calgary, an LLM from Columbia, a MA from Carleton University, and an LLB from University of Ottawa. After articling at a national full-service law firm in Toronto, Jamie clerked for Justice Douglas Campbell at the Federal Court, was a member of the Issa Sesay defence team at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and was Commission Counsel at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Jamie is currently a member of the litigation committee for the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR).

In 2007, Jamie opened a feminist legal practice with a colleague and practiced in a variety of areas including administrative law. She continues to practice immigration and refugee law today as a sole practitioner.

Jamie is the co-author (with Donald Galloway) of Immigration Law. She won the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section 2018-19 Public Engagement Award: Media Relations and is the winner of the 2018 Asian Canadian Writers Workshop (ACWW) Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writer Award.

Steve Barrett (Labour Law)

Steve Barrett is Managing Partner at Goldblatt Partners in Toronto. His areas of practice include labour and employment law, administrative and public law, and appellate practice.

Steve Barrett’s educational background includes a BA from University of Toronto and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Steven has been consistently named by his peers as a leading labour law practitioner in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and is named as a notable practitioner in Chambers CanadaBest Lawyers recognizes Steven as a leading practitioner in Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice, and Labour and Employment Law.

Steven is most widely known for his work advancing the freedom of association guarantee in s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  He has represented intervenors in Supreme Court of Canada appeals dealing with the interpretation of s. 2(d), including in cases where the Court extended the scope of s. 2(d) to protect collective bargaining and the right to strike. He has published a number of articles on that jurisprudence and discussed it at many legal conferences.

Panel 3: Vavilov and Decision-making (1.30-2.45 EST)

Jennifer Khurana (Human Rights Tribunals)

Ms. Khurana is an experienced decision-maker and lawyer with a background in social justice, human rights and international law developed in diverse multicultural and multilingual environments in Canada and abroad. She has broad leadership and adjudication experience in administrative law and judicial settings.

Jennifer Khurana’s educational background includes an LL.M. from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University in Sweden, a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa.

Ms. Khurana has served as a Vice-Chairperson at the Social Security Tribunal of Canada and also at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and as a Member of the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal.

Internationally, Ms. Khurana was the Director of International Humanitarian Law at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., and from 2003-2009 served as legal advisor in Chambers and as External Relations Advisor to the President of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Ms. Khurana was appointed Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal effective April 8, 2019 for a seven-year term.

Angus Grant (Process and Substance)

Angus Grant is a refugee lawyer with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Legal Aid Ontario, and in his own private practice. His areas of interest include immigration law, constitutional law, corporate law, competition law, and government.

Mr. Grant’s educational background includes a BA from Trent University, a JD from University of Toronto and a PhD in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Grant was awarded one of the 2016 dissertation prizes by York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies Awards Committee for his dissertation entitled Confronting (In) Security: Forging Legitimate Approaches to Security and Exclusion in Migration Law.

Jennifer Raso (Front-Line Decision-making)

Dr. Raso is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Her research interests include socio-legal Studies & Research Methods, Municipal Law, Legal Theory and Administrative Law.

Dr. Raso’s educational background includes a BA from Concordia University, an LLB from the University of Victoria, and an SJD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Before pursuing graduate studies, she litigated social welfare, administrative, and human rights matters with the City of Toronto’s Legal Services Division.

Dr. Raso’s research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the Endeavour Fellowships Program (Australia). Her research has been recognized by the Canadian Law and Society Association (best article prize, 2018) and the University of Cambridge (Richard Hart Prize, 2016).

Dr. Raso’s scholarship appears in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, the Journal of Law & Equality, and PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

The Honourable Alexander Pless (Judicial Perspective)

Alexander Pless was appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec in the Fall of 2020. He was previously Senior General Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada. His research interests include administrative and constitutional law. He is regularly invited to give lectures and has published several articles on various subjects of public law.

Justice Pless’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree, BCL, and LLB from McGill University, and a master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

With more than 17 years of experience at the Department of Justice Canada, Justice Pless had the opportunity to represent the Government of Canada several times before the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

This content has been updated on December 17, 2020 at 15:24.