epiphany! epiphany!

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I was starting to panic (as I have been daily) about wtf I am going to write 15 more pages about in my paper, but my unproductiveness was probably a sign from my brain that I needed to rest.

During exams the law library closes at 11:45 pm, so I had to find somewhere else to work. (side note: regularly it closes at 9:15, or even 7:45 on weekends–something law students regularly complain about. how sad.) Went to one of the second cups by concordia, but since it was just a freaking zoo there, my friend J and I ended up at tim horton’s. And despite the fact that all day I only managed to write 2 measly pages, I just couldn’t face my laptop again–instead I commiserated and contemplated with J about exams, careers, summer business plans, political philosophies, and yes, even patent laws (which is what my paper is about, specifically about the access to medicines problem and TRIPS).

I guess I needed to shoot the shit for a couple of hours, because it was on the 10-minute bus ride home that epiphany hit, and I finally clued in to what was brewing in my paper! brilliant!

so apparently my paper-writing approach is like the (crappy) rodin-analogy they make about the common law: chipping away at the surface to discover the piece of art underneath…

and still I waste my time blogging at 4 am. I’d better get some serious sleep, because I would love to finish this 35-pager tomorrow.

canadians are allergic to controversy

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…a soundbite from a speech by Justice Abella that I just got back from.

all the bigwigs were out, including Justice Fish, bernard shapiro, dick pound, heather munroe-blum, and other hotshots in the mcgill community. Dean Kasirer as usual showed off his ever-bilingual canny speech-giving abilities.

at any rate, it was wonderful to meet justice abella afterwards and see how effervescently lovely she is–I’m so thrilled for R that he will be clerking with her in a couple of years. regardless of credentials, it’s working with a person that’s great to be with that makes all the difference.

well, back to work. I hope in the meantime I will stop being congested, or at the very least that I’ll get my hearing back.

rebellious lawyering

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so I’ve been meaning to write about the reblaw conference I went to a couple of weeks ago (don’t mind the horrible-looking website), because it gave me fresh inspiration to study law again, and reminded me why I quit my job to come to law school.

about a dozen of us headed down for the conference, which was held over two days at yale in new haven, connecticut. our first notable experience was being held up at the US border by the lovely department of homeland security. as the officer photographed and fingerprinted the spaniard of our group, he urged us to “be careful in new haven, it’s dangerous!”, a warning we would continue to hear when we arrived at the small city. and yes, it’s disconcerting to walk in the pristine new-england campus of yale, when actually 24.4% of people in new haven live below the poverty line. after 6 pm every day a shuttle service brings students straight to the door of their homes, a tribute to the crime arising from the disparity between über-elite university and Rest-of-City.

“Think globally and act locally!” was an oft-cited slogan at the first panel I went to on human rights (ironically human rights in Nigeria was discussed more than anywhere else). the panel was on the critique of international human rights as a failure to actually empower the marginalized in developing countries, a feeling I’ve espoused but been afraid to vocalize (ok, maybe not afraid, but people don’t take me seriously anyway when I say “I don’t believe in human rights”). ;) I continued to find nuggets of inspiration/ideas throughout the day as I participated in panels on standing in environmental litigation, the criminal justice system of new orleans pre & post-Katrina (I can tell you some pretty shocking stats), and civil rights protesting…

all in all, I really needed that weekend to feel normal again. as much as it was called ‘rebellious’, to me it was the type of law we’re supposed to be talking about anyway (I suspect the SPINlaw conference at osgoode is actually more radical, but modest Canadians would spurn the use of such overt rebel language). with a $30 registration fee and homestays with yale law students, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t send a large contingent of mcgillers every year–and maybe design our own such conference in the future as well.

moot suit

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everyone is freaking out at school (I mean, more than usual)–all because we have a factum to prepare for tuesday (the prof called it our ‘valentine’ for her, the humour of which was lost on us). Anyway we get to moot it in a few weeks, which should be fun. And what exactly do I get to research? …

Aujourd’hui, les Hell’s Angels sont présents dans 22 pays, comptent 184 chapitres et 2 000 membres. Au Canada, 30 chapitres et 430 membres répartis dans 7 provinces. Leurs principales sphères d’activités touchent : l’importation, trafic, culture et possession de stupéfiants ainsi que l’industrie du sexe (danseuses, prostitution et agences d’escortes).

Pour devenir membre en règle d’un chapitre des Hell’s Angels, l’individu doit franchir les étapes suivantes :

– Friend
– Hang around
– Prospect
– Membre en règle

Suite à l’obtention de ce dernier statut, le membre en règle devient parrain d’un club école. Il recrute et supervise les activités criminelles des nouveaux venus. Le club école possède sensiblement la même structure qu’un chapitre des Hell’s Angels. Avant de devenir membre en règle, il faut franchir les étapes de “friend”, “hang around”, “striker” et finalement, membre.

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