THE LAW TODAY: Things to Know About
April 6: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Black:
The Ontario Legal System
How does our legal system actually work? What is its structure? Who does what? How well does it actually work? Is it quick enough, does it have the right tools? Is it affordable? This lecture explores the operation of the Ontario legal system, noting its strengths and weaknesses, and how it is changing.
Laurence M. Olivo, B.A., M.A., J.D., is a lawyer who is currently a Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court of the Superior Court of Justice. He practised law before becoming a professor in the School of Legal and Public Administration of Seneca College from 1980 – 2016. He has been an instructor at the Bar Admission Course, and has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous legal publications and texts.
April 13: Family Law – What Seniors Need to Know
This lecture will cover the following topics: Property rights of married and unmarried spouses. Things to consider when making a gift to your married or soon-to-be-married child. Property rights of a spouse on the death of the other spouse. Custody and access rights of grandparents. Spousal support in a long marriage.
JoAnn Kurtz, J.D. is a lawyer who practised family law for over ten years before moving to Seneca College where she is a professor and the coordinator of the Law Clerk diploma program. She is the author or co-author of ten books on legal topics including real estate, wills and estates, small business, legal research, advocacy and family law.
April 20: Estate Planning
This session will address estate planning topics, including key considerations in planning your will, probate fee minimization, and using a trust in your estate plan (e.g. alter ego and joint partner trusts). Also, family law issues and incapacity planning including continuing powers of attorney for property and powers of attorney for personal care. Cottage and vacation home planning will also be covered.
Margaret R. O’Sullivan, B.A., LL.B, TEP is a lawyer who practises in Toronto exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. She is a founding member and former Deputy Chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada). A frequent guest speaker, writer and conference chair person, she has received wide recognition as an expert in her field, including mention in “The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017”.
April 27: Alternative Dispute Resolution
Courts are expensive (very few people can afford the cost of a lawsuit) and seldom render decisions that solve the problem. Indeed, there is much truth to the saying that a lawsuit is a machine you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage. Is there a better way? This lecture will examine the sources of conflict and how these can turn into legal disputes. Also, the often cheaper, better and faster alternatives to court such as better negotiation, mediation, arbitration and circles are discussed.
Paul Emond, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. joined Osgoode Hall Law School in 1976 and became Professor Emeritus in 2015. Since 1994 he has been Director (currently Co-Director) of Osgoode’s Professional LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, the first program of its kind in North America. He speaks and trains in conflict management, dispute resolution and negotiations for clients ranging from law firms, to corporations and government.
May 4: Criminal Law – Consensual Crimes
This lecture will explore the historical and current legal approach to the regulation and prohibition of consensual crimes, including prostitution, pornography, drug offences and gambling. An examination of this issue will include a look at the contemporary shift in moral perspectives on sexuality and other hedonistic pursuits.
Alan N.Young, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. is Co-Founder and Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Innocence Project, a clinical program that guides law students through the process of investigating suspected cases of wrongful conviction and imprisonment. He also maintains a small criminal law practice devoted primarily to challenging state authority to criminalize consensual activity. He is the author of “Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers” and was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential” in the justice system and legal profession by Canadian Lawyer magazine.
May 11: Law and Religion
This talk will cover the recent complex and fascinating developments in Canada related to issues of law and religion. Controversies such as the so-called “Quebec Charter of Secularism”; debates on doctors’ conscientious objections to medically assisted dying; the status of Catholic schooling in Ontario; and Indigenous claims to freedom of religion under the Charter. All will be placed within our developing understanding of Canadian religious multiculturalism and the nature (and limits) of state neutrality in the matters of religion.
Benjamin L. Berger, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., J.S.D. is Associate Dean (Students) and Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and Associate Professor (status only) in the Dept. for the Study of Religion at U. of T. He was previously an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and held a cross appointment in the Dept. of Philosophy at the University of Victoria. He served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University. He has published broadly in his areas of research.
RELIGION, PEACE, AND CONFLICT IN THE 21ST CENTURY
This course shows how the study of religion can help us understand what is going on in the world today, from the amazing changes around women and religion to the rise of religious extremism.
January 12: The Pope, the Poor, and the Planet
In July 2015, Pope Francis 1 created an international stir with his encyclical on the ecological crisis, Laudato si. He connects the exploitation of the earth’s resources and ecological degradation to the global dominance of what he calls “the tyranny of money”, a culture that promotes violence against the poor and the planet. Is the pope a Marxist, a tree-hugger?
David Seljak is Professor (and former Chair) of Religious Studies at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo. He is the editor of a theological journal, The Ecumenist: A Journal of Theology, Culture and Society, published by Novalis. Back by popular demand, this is Prof. Seljak’s fourth series of thought-provoking lectures for GTLLI.
January 19: Being Muslim Today: Facing Fear, Betrayal, and Discrimination
Today Islam faces challenges from outsiders and insiders. In the midst of fear, hatred, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, discrimination and betrayal, Muslims believe that their faith is as relevant today as ever. This lecture discusses the challenges that Islam faces and how Muslims are responding to them.
Timothy Gianotti is Associate Professor in the Studies in Islam program at Renison University College, Waterloo. He served as Director of Islamic Studies at the American Islamic College in Chicago. He is the Founder & Principal Teacher of the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation in Toronto and the author of two books.
January 26: Canadian Jihadis
This lecture will examine why some Canadian Muslim youth travel abroad to join violent organizations, such as ISIS. Also discussed will be the Canadian government’s attempts to understand what is happening and to stop the migration of new fighters.
Amarnath Amarasingam is a Senior Research Fellow at the UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, and he co-directs a University of Waterloo-based study of Western foreign fighters. He has written extensively on radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, and post-war reconstruction.
February 2: The Globalization of Addiction as Spiritual Crisis
Canadian psychologist Bruce Alexander defined the globalization of addiction as a result of widespread ‘poverty of the spirit’. Meanwhile, Pope Francis defines the despair and unhappiness of modern society as a spiritual crisis. This lecture will outline how each sees the suffering created by conditions in the modern world as a spiritual crisis.
David Seljak (see above)
February 9: What are They Saying about Jesus Today?
What is the latest research telling us about the historical Jesus? What have we learned from recent discoveries in archaeology and developments in anthropology? How do new ways of understanding Jesus help us to respond to questions of injustice today?
Alicia Batten, PhD, is an associate professor of Religious Studies and Theology at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the New Testament and the social history of early Christianity. She is also interested in the changing ways in which the Bible is interpreted through the centuries.
February 16: Women and the World’s Religions
What does gender mean for our experience of religion, and what does religion mean for our ideas about gender? We will focus on both historical and contemporary issues within a number of the world’s religious traditions, such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. These will include notions of inclusion and exclusion in rituals, leadership, and identity.
Doris Jakobsh is Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo. She has published a number of books as author (e.g. Sikhism and Women) and edited a two-volume textbook on Eastern and Western Religions from a Canadian Perspective. She teaches extensively on wider issues surrounding religion and gender.
INSIDE ARCHAEOLOGY: Tracing our Complex Past
October 13: The Birth of Humanity
What is the current thinking about our evolution? This lecture explores where we stand in 2017 and what the latest discoveries tell us. We’ll consider what defines being “human” and then go back about 14 million years ago to trace our complex past.
October 20: Who Discovered the Americas?
The Americas were the last continent where people established permanent populations. Just when that happened, and under what circumstances, is debatable. We’ll explore sites from South America to Canada and consider where the native Americans came from and how and when they made this hemisphere their home.
October 27: Origins of Art
Symbolic art is a crucial aspect of what makes us human. Archaeologists trace this talent to a creative explosion about 35,000 years ago. Why at that time and what triggered this explosion? What forms did our first art take and why? We’ll explore what we know from sites in Africa through Europe.
November 3: The Jomon of Japan: The Most Successful Culture in History?
The Jomon culture began over 15,000 years ago and continued until about 1500 years ago. Very few, if any, recent cultures can match this success. We’ll explore the material culture of the Jomon that includes the most fascinating pottery assemblages ever found. They also domesticated plants such as soybean and adzuki bean yet Jomon people never became farmers. What lies behind their success and why did they ultimately fail?
November 10: Dawn of Farming in Ancient China
Some of the most important crops in the world are from China, and include rice and peaches. Many cultures around the world turned to agriculture, an activity that American scientist Jared Diamond called “the worst mistake in the history of the human race.” Using China as an example we’ll explore what he meant, and how humanity in China diverged from its hunting and gathering past to become early biotechnologists who gifted us with so many foods, medicines and beverages.
November 17: Origin of Maize Farming in Ontario
Until about AD 500, the native peoples of southern Ontario, like their earlier Chinese counterparts, were hunter-gatherers. At that time, maize (corn) started to be grown here. This triggered the development of Iroquoian culture (e.g. the Huron or Wendat). We’ll explore the origins of maize in Mexico and trace its path to Ontario. Then, we’ll examine the archaeology of the Grand River Valley where archaeologists (particularly Prof. Crawford and his team) have found the earliest evidence of the first farmers in the province.
GARY CRAWFORD, FRSC, is a Professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at U.of T., Mississauga. His archaeological research has taken him throughout eastern North American, China and Japan. He is co-author of Human Evolution and Prehistory, and he hosted and co-authored a TVO series: Archaeology from the Ground Up.
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Health and Health Care in Canada
Dr. Kamran Khan's lecture From Avian Flu to Zika, originally scheduled for Nov. 18 has been rescheduled to Nov. 25.
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