Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

Last updated
Bora Laskin Faculty of Law
Type Faculty (law school)
Affiliation Lakehead University
Dean David Barnett (interim) [1]
StudentsApproximately 180
Location, ,

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is the professional school of law of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, and Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Lakehead University is a public research university with campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Lakehead University, shortened to 'Lakehead U', or 'LU', is non-denominational and provincially supported. It has undergraduate programs, graduate programs, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, the only internationally accredited (AACSB) business school in northern Ontario, and is home to the western campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Thunder Bay City in Ontario, Canada

Thunder Bay is a city in, and the seat of, Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada. It is the most populous municipality in Northwestern Ontario with a population of 107,909 as of the Canada 2016 Census, and the second most populous in Northern Ontario after Greater Sudbury. Located on Lake Superior, the census metropolitan area of Thunder Bay has a population of 121,621, and consists of the city of Thunder Bay, the municipalities of Oliver Paipoonge and Neebing, the townships of Shuniah, Conmee, O'Connor, and Gillies, and the Fort William First Nation.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.



Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law officially opened in September 2013. Its founding dean was Lee Stuesser. [2] It was the first Canadian law program to integrate licensing into its curriculum, meaning its graduates are qualified to practice law without requiring an articling process. [3] The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is one of only two law schools in Canada that has a mandatory, full year course in Aboriginal Law, as recommended by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015. [4] Its founding was endorsed by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation of Northern Ontario, because of its support for studying Indigenous law. [5]

Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities across Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 areas of Northern Ontario, Canada. Re-organized to its present form in 1981, NAN's original objective was "to represent the social and economic aspirations of our people at all levels of government in Canada and Ontario until such time as real effective action is taken to remedy our problems."

In 2015, Lee Stuesser left the faculty as Founding Dean, [6] and was replaced by interim Dean Lisa Phillips of Osgoode Hall, while a permanent replacement Dean was sought. [7]

On January 12, 2016, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law announced Angelique EagleWoman, an Indigenous law scholar, as the new Dean of Law. [5] [8] Her tenure, which began in May 2016, made her the first Indigenous law dean in Canada. Her appointment welcomed by the Indigenous legal community, including the Indigenous Bar Association. In April 2018, EagleWoman decided to resign her position by June 2018, citing systemic racism in the law school. [5] [9]

Angelique EagleWoman ; born 1969 is a Dakota law professor and scholar of Indigenous law. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. EagleWoman was the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada from 2016 until she stepped down in June 2018, citing issues of systemic racism leading to constructive dismissal. She filed a civil suit against the university in November, 2018, claiming $2.67 million for lost wages, human rights violations as an Indigenous woman, and "harm to dignity". "In a statement of claim filed in Ottawa, EagleWoman alleges she experienced ongoing micro-management, a failure on the university to provide her with the resources and support needed to carry out the law school’s mandate, a lack of support with managing faculty and a hostile work environment." Further, "EagleWoman added that her abilities to lead the law school were continually undermined by the school's senior administration as they regularly made decisions about the law school without consulting her." During the 2017-2018 academic year, EagleWoman taught all of the first year students in two sections of the mandatory Indigenous Legal Traditions fall course and taught the entire second year class of students in the mandatory Aboriginal Legal Issues course to ensure that the courses were taught by an Indigenous legal academic.

On June 1, 2018, EagleWoman was succeeded on an interim basis by George P. Smith, a supernumerary judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice based in Thunder Bay who took leave from the bench. [10] [11] Smith, a seventeen year veteran on the bench, had served for three years on the Specific Claims Tribunal adjudicating Indigenous damage claims against the government and had authored two volumes meant to guide judges on Indigenous law. [11] In September 2018, Smith left as interim dean, two months before what had been planned. The same month, a conduct review was launched by the Canadian Judicial Council against Smith, to examine whether taking the role meant that Smith violated council guidelines by becoming involved in a situation likely to result in litigation and therefore reduce public confidence in the justice system. [12] [13] After a finding that Smith had engaged in misconduct, the council referred the matter to a council to determine a sanction, but Smith filed for judicial review with the Federal Court, arguing that the council had acted unreasonably. [11] Smith was replaced as interim dean by David Barnett, the university's acting provost and academic vice-president. [1]

A supernumerary judge or supernumerary magistrates is a judge who has retired from their full-time position on a court, but continues to work on a part-time basis. Generally, when a judge becomes supernumerary a vacancy is created, and the appropriate person or body may subsequently make a new appointment to that Court.

The Superior Court of Justice is a superior court in Ontario. The Court sits in 52 locations across the province, including 17 Family Court locations, and consists of over 300 federally appointed judges.

Canadian Judicial Council the regulating body for Canadian judges composed mostly of chief justices and associate chief justices

The Canadian Judicial Council is a federal body which oversees federal judges in Canada.


The Port Arthur Collegiate Institute PACI 2006 10 01 01.JPG
The Port Arthur Collegiate Institute

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is housed in Thunder Bay's historic Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, built in 1909. [14]

Port Arthur Collegiate Institute High school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Port Arthur Collegiate Institute was a collegiate institute operated by the Lakehead District School Board in Thunder Bay, Ontario from 1910 to 2007. The building was designated a historic building in 1984 and is located at the west end of Waverly Park. The school's teams were named "PACI Redmen". Its amenities included a gymnasium, a 200-seat theatre, a large library and a modern music room. The building was granted Historical Heritage Site status in 1983, and was transferred to Lakehead University in 2008. After extensive renovations, the building will become home to Lakehead's new Faculty of Law, welcoming its inaugural class in September 2013.


The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is one of only a few Canadian law schools, in addition to Windsor Law and Thompson Rivers Law School, that does not publish a profile on the entering class. The school chooses not to publish the average or median LSAT score or GPA (Grade Point Average) for the entering class. [15] [16]

On November 21, 2013, the Convocation of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) made an historic announcement that Lakehead University was successful in its innovative application to proceed with an Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) model of legal education. Students enrolled in the three year JD program at Lakehead will complete integrated practice training and do placements within their three-year degree. Upon completion of their JD degree Lakehead graduates will not need to article or complete any other course of study. [17]

Law Journal

In December 2015, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law published its inaugural issue of the Lakehead Law Journal (LLJ), featuring articles by Hadley Friedland and Val Napoleon, as well as Canadian constitutional law scholar Peter W. Hogg, co-written by Daniel Styler. [18]

The Lakehead Law Journal is a refereed open access journal that publishes articles, case comments, book reviews, and book notes on legal issues in Canada. It is run by both Bora Laskin Faculty of Law students, as well as co-edited by Professors Karen Drake [19] and Dr. Mariette Brennan [20] as co-Editors in Chief, and focusses particularly on Aboriginal legal issues, rural, northern, and small firm practice, as well as natural resources and environmental law.


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EleanorJoan 'Dusty' Miller, was a Canadian politician who served as the first female mayor of Thunder Bay, Ontario from 1978 until the end of 1980 when she was defeated. Miller was married to Lakehead University history professor Tom Miller. The couple was very active in the University community, and they along with other community members pushed for the school to offer degrees. Before her political activity, she was active in community theater. She is a member of the Order of Ontario. She died on February 14, 2012.

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  1. 1 2 Prokopchuk, Matt (September 14, 2018). "Lakehead University's interim law dean recalled to the bench, school says". CBC News . Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  2. About the Faculty | Lakehead University Faculty of Law Lakehead University
  3. The new faces of law school in Canada.
  4. Law schools across Canada debate how to enact TRC recommendations
  5. 1 2 3 Yang, Jennifer (April 11, 2018). "Celebrated Indigenous law school dean resigns claiming systemic racism". Toronto Star . Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  6. Lee Stuesser resigns as dean at Thunder Bay law school
  7. Angelique EagleWoman named new faculty of law dean for LU
  8. "Lakehead University 'acknowledges' law school dean's resignation | CBC News". CBC News . April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  9. "Justice Patrick Smith named interim dean of Lakehead law school". CBC News . May 3, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  10. 1 2 3 Fine, Sean (September 26, 2018). "Ontario judge seeks halt to CJC process that would remove him from bench". The Globe and Mail . Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  11. Prokopchuk, Matt (September 27, 2018). "Former interim dean of LU law school facing conduct review over taking on the role". CBC News . Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  12. "Interim Dean (Academic)". Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. Lakehead University. Archived from the original on August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  13. Brown, Louise (September 4, 2013). "New law and architecture schools open in northern Ontario". Toronto Star . Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2015-12-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) / Lakehead University
  17. Vol 1, No 1 (2015) Lakehead Law Journal
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2015-12-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)