Common Law wins Boréal Prize for French language education in English-speaking universities in Western Canada

Caroline Magnan
The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law has been recognized for contributing to strengthening the national legal community in both official languages, particularly for providing students from predominantly English-speaking communities in Western Canada an opportunity to pursue a legal education in French.

Caroline Magnan, Director of the Certification of Common Law in French (CCLF) program, will be presented with the 2022 Boréal Prize (“Rapprochement” Category) at a ceremony on Thursday.

Created by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada, the award recognizes an individual or group’s role in strengthening the ties between Francophone communities across Canada.

Thanks to funding from the Canadian Department of Justice, the CCLF provides law students at UCalgary and USaskatchewan, respectively, the opportunity to complete approximately one third of their Juris Doctor in French. A first of its kind in Canada, the program allows selected students the opportunity to gain valuable skills in French legal writing and advocacy as well as a deep understanding of the important issues surrounding language rights in Canada. Through its unique training program and activities, the CCLF provides more bilingual Canadian students with opportunities to enter positions of national influence through, among others, prestigious court placements, such as clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Without cooperation from the law faculties of the Universities of Saskatchewan and Calgary and associations like the Associations des juristes d’expression française, it would be impossible to provide legal studies in French in the Prairies, which ensures a greater number of bilingual Canadians can work in the justice system in both official languages. This improves access to justice in both official languages,” says Magnan, a Fulbright Canada scholar and Harvard graduate who also teaches at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Calgary and Saskatchewan.

“I cannot emphasize enough the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program as the ideal entity to lead the implementation of the CCLF.”

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