Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Snack for the Justice

"Just when you thought she only wrote dissents, here is Madame Justice L'Heureux-Dubé writing for the majority."
-- My Admin Law Professor last year introducing Knight v. Indian Head School Division no. 19, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 653, the case in which Madame Justice L'Heureux-Dubé set out the test for determining whether a duty of fairness to an individual exists in an administrative decision affecting that individual’s rights.
I was at school today by the 3rd-floor snackbar, the Alibi, when I ran into a friend. "Going to class?" she asked. "Nope, I’m going to see L'Heureux-Dubé," I said.

Click here to see what she really looks like

She grabbed her mouth. "Oh, my God, that is her. She’s here." She pointed behind her and there sitting at one of the little fast food restaurant tables was a small woman in a red blazer by herself with a cranberry juice and picking at a muffin. "That’s weird that she’s by herself ten minutes before she’s supposed to give a lecture," I said, "And paying," said my friend, "shouldn’t she be getting free food?" A few minutes later I was downstairs talking to another friend. I noticed that while students had started filing into the lecture hall, the dean and all the profs were standing around looking alert. The dean seemed concerned and a woman he’d been talking to seemed particularly agitated. As she walked past me toward the street, I said, "Excuse me, are you looking for Madam Justice L'Heureux-Dubé?" "Yes," she said. "I think she’s upstairs at the Alibi having a snack." It seems the former Supreme Court Justice is now active in Quebec City promoting access to justice for people who couldn’t afford it otherwise. (Which generally seems to be most of us, but I'm not ready to get into that now.)

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