Enter for a chance to meet Justice L’Heureux-Dubé and Spend an Evening at the Supreme Court of Canada!

Amna Qureshi, Diversity Coordinating Co-Chair

(French message to follow)

In a world of black letter law, Justice L’Heureux-Dubé’s judgments were refreshing and deeply meaningful. She took strong stances at times when there was great resistance. In Mossop v. Canada (Attorney General), [1993] 1 SCR 554, she delivered one of her most famous dissents, arguing that the meaning of “family” is not static but evolving and should include same-sex couples.

One of the most significant cases for me was R. v. Ewanchuk, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 330, where Justice L’Heureux-Dubé delivered a concurring judgment outlining the many myths and stereotypes of sexual assault. She shone a spotlight on this stereotyping such as the way female complainants are dressed and the lack of responsibility attributed to men, a judgment which is relevant even today.

As a law student with a psychology background I have admired Justice L’Heureux-Dubé’s use of social science research in her judgments in illustrating the larger context in which all cases are situated.

On September 8, 2012 the Honourable Claire L’Heureux-Dubé will celebrate her 85th birthday. The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program, the Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession, and the Public Law Group are organizing and co-sponsoring two events in celebration of Justice L’Heureux-Dubé`s birthday and to mark the 10th anniversary of her retirement from the Supreme Court of Canada. The two events are as follows:

  • A free public lecture on September 25, 2012 at the University of Ottawa with Justice L’Heureux-Dubé in conversation with Professor Constance Backhouse.
  • An evening invitation only reception at the Supreme Court of Canada on September 24, 2012. The evening will feature a toast to Justice L’Heureux-Dubé by Chief Justice Beverely McLachlin.

Your Chance to Attend the Supreme Court of Canada Reception on September 24, 2012.

Justice L’Heureux-Dubé has been an inspiration to many and especially to the women who form the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program (WLMP).

The WLMP is honoured to be one of the co-sponsors and we wish to give all WLMP participants enrolled in our program for the 2012-2013 academic year a chance to be a part of the September 24, 2012 celebration by submitting their own Justice L’Heureux-Dubé story for a chance to win entrance.

Contest Guidelines and Submission Rules


  • This contest is only open to participants of WLMP enrolled in the program’s Peer Mentorship program for the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • If you are not yet a WLMP participant but would like to be,  please email WLMP Peer Mentorship Coordinating Chair, Catherine Deutsch, at peermentorship.wlmp@ gmail.com  to become a mentee or a peer mentor for the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • You must be currently enrolled as a student in the University of Faculty of Common Law and attending classes at the Faculty of Common Law. If you are in a joint MBA/JD or NPSIA/JD or LLB/JD program, and you are enrolled as a student in your joint program year (i.e. you are enrolled at Carelton University for your NPSIA course year), then you cannot be enrolled in the WLMP and cannot submit an entry for this contest.
  • Only one entry per person will be permitted.
  • In order to be eligible for the contest you must also consent in advance to having your submission published on the WLMP blog with your name, year of program and name of program.

Submission Guidelines:
A select number of the best entries will be invited to the event and will also have their submission featured on the WLMP blog. The submissions will be judged by a panel pulled from the WLMP’s Strategic Coordinating Committee.

  • Submissions are strictly limited to 250 words maximum and can be in French or English.
  • All submissions must be original work.
  • Submissions can include your opinions on a judgment or judgments delivered by Justice L’Heureux-Dubé, or any other topic related to feminism and the law.

In judging the submissions the primary considerations will be: choice of subject matter, as measured by its significance, creativity and relevance and the writing quality.

The format of your e-mail submission should be as follows:
1. Your Full Name
2. Your Phone Number
3. Name of Program: i.e. English Common Law or French Common Law
4. Year of Program: i.e. First Year
5. Your 250 word submission
6. One sentence stating that you “consent to allowing your 250 word submission to be published on the WLMP website along with your full name, name of program and year of program.”
7. Your e-mail entry’s subject line must state: L’Heureux-Dubé Writing Contest. Submissions without this subject line will not be accepted.

Deadline for submissions is: Friday, September 14th, 2012 by 4:00pm (EST). Late entries will NOT be considered.

How to Enter the Contest:
Please submit your 250 word essay using the format above by e-mailing it to Amna Qureshi, WLMP Diversity Co-Chair, at: diversity.wlmp@gmail.com

Notice of Winning
Winners of this contest will be informed by e-mail no later than Tuesday September 18th, 2012 4:00 (EST) at which time they will have until Wednesday September 19th, 4:00 (EST) to confirm their attendance by e-mail.

If attendance cannot be confirmed then their spot will be offered to the next winner.

Good luck and remember:
“Be clear, so the audience will understand. Be interesting, so the audience will listen. Be persuasive, so the audience will agree.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you have any questions about this contest please e-mail Amna Qureshi at ‘diversity.wlmp@gmail.com’


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