The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Mariane Gravelle

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Avoiding death by PowerPoint

By Mariane Gravelle September 15, 2017 15 September 2017

Avoiding death by PowerPoint

 

So you’ve been asked to participate in a conference. You’ll be part of a panel discussion alongside other colleagues, or share your expertise on a particular topic. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other lawyers and build your reputation within the legal profession – if your presentation is done well.

But how sharp are your presentation skills? If you don’t have the chance to present in front of large groups on a regular basis, you might have trouble holding people’s attention. Most of us know how to prepare speaking notes and PowerPoint slides, but communicating effectively on stage is another matter.

This can make us feel less confident and lead to nervousness, notes Mila Naimark, president of Clockwork Talk, a Toronto-based company that focuses on helping professionals become more influential presenters. She has the following tips to help presenters communicate their message more effectively while retaining the attention of their audience.

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Omar Khadr civil suit settlement: Canadian experts weigh in

By Mariane Gravelle July 10, 2017 10 July 2017

It’s front page news: last week, the federal government reached a settlement with Omar Khadr in a civil suit (read about it here). Khadr and his team filed the suit against the government alleging a violation of his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by Canadian officials during his incarceration at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

As one can expect in such a polarized case, this settlement elicited a wide range of reactions from citizens, journalists and politicians alike.  Many decry the fact that a person they consider to be a former terrorist has now been made a millionaire at taxpayers’ expense. Vancouver radio host Charles Adler, cited by the Globe and Mail, sums up this opinion:

“This is not residential schools we’re apologizing for. We’re apologizing to an enemy combatant who betrayed his country and went overseas to build roadside bombs. […] Most [people on the street] think that when you turn your guns on your own country, you stop being a Canadian.”

Still, others believe that the settlement is justified.

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La contribution du juge LeBel à l’avancement du droit au Canada

By Mariane Gravelle July 10, 2017 10 July 2017

La contribution du juge LeBel à l’avancement du droit au Canada

 

Ayant occupé pendant près de quinze ans l’un des postes judiciaires les plus convoités, l’ancien juge de la Cour suprême du Canada Louis LeBel eut l’occasion de contribuer grandement à l’avancement du droit au pays. Les jugements qui portent son nom, empreints de ses antécédents au sein de la tradition civiliste, ont su mouler la société canadienne d’aujourd’hui.

Sa carrière distinguée fit l’objet d’une conférence organisée par l’ABC Québec en octobre 2015, à partir de laquelle sont issus les articles qui forment le nouveau numéro spécial de La Revue du Barreau canadien et qui sont cités ci-dessous. En cette occasion, lors d’un discours en l’honneur de son ancien collègue, la juge en chef Beverley McLachlin explique que

C’est sans doute à travers ses jugements que la plupart d’entre vous connaissez le juge LeBel. Son œuvre à la Cour d’appel du Québec et à la Cour suprême du Canada représente une contribution énorme à la vie du droit au Québec et au Canada. […] Presque tous les domaines du droit ont été touchés par la marque personnelle du juge LeBel.  (p. 477)

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Federal government settles civil suit launched by Omar Khadr

By Mariane Gravelle July 7, 2017 7 July 2017

In a midday press conference on Friday, the federal government publicly acknowledged that it had reached a settlement in a civil suit launched against it by former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr.

While details of this settlement remain confidential, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould stated that that it included a written apology that will soon be put on public record.

Mr. Goodale explained that neither the civil case nor the ensuing settlement were about Mr. Khadr’s actions in Afghanistan. Rather, this case examined the question of whether the behaviour of Canadian officials towards Mr. Khadr during his imprisonment violated his rights as a Canadian citizen.

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North Korea and the legality of nuclear tests

By Mariane Gravelle July 5, 2017 5 July 2017

North Korea and the legality of nuclear tests

A large number of sanctions imposed on their nation as a result of previous missile-launch tests does not seem to have deterred the North Korean government from engaging in yet another test of that nature. On July 4th, Pyongyang launched what they claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the waters bordering Japan. Especially concerning is the fact this latest missile – if fired on the right trajectory – could potentially reach Alaska.

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