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First Nations Youth Lead Radio Interview on Police Complaints

  First Nations students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty high school learned about how to file police complaints. They shared this information with the larger community by interviewing Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services Executive Director, Celina Reitberger, on the radio. The show was broadcast on Wawatay Radio and you can listen to a recording of it below! […]

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Inuit Youth Ask Trudeau for Help

In late November of last year, the Law Society of Nunavut (LSN), in partnership with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), ran a pilot program for a capacity-development initiative aimed at Inuit youth in the community of Hall Beach. Over three days, students from middle school to high school grappled with challenging ideas about citizenship […]

Matawa students talk Gladue on Wawatay Radio

OJEN was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to put together a Law and Radio Project with two pilots for First Nations students. The first pilot ran this October at Matawa Learning Centre in Thunder Bay.   In the project the students choose a legal topic and then spend four sessions learning about the topic, writing interview questions and practicing […]

Just North

“Reconciliation to me, means that we walk together on a path.” These were the words, spoken by an elder in Rat Portage First Nation, that have remained with me throughout my work in northwestern Ontario. I visited Rat Portage for an Elders Forum put on by a small grassroots initiative called Reconciliation Kenora. The words […]

Bringing the Law to Life in the Classroom

The classroom was like any classroom.  The desks had chairs attached.  There were a couple of loose papers on the floor.  Stacks of paper on the teacher’s desk. The students were quiet at the beginning but it quickly turned into chaos, that beautiful kind of chaos, where true learning happens. The students had moved the […]

Engagement Techniques when doing PLE with a Youth Audience

Presenting information to youth audiences can be exciting and dynamic. But, if I am being honest, it can also be a little intimidating. The students have many other things to think about and distractions abound. It can be tough to communicate a nuanced message on a legal issue without losing their interest. Talking at a […]

Justice Education as a Tool for Empowering Youth

Having worked with a few different youth groups, facilitating public legal education (PLE) workshops and presentations, one thing is quite evident: youth are eager to learn about the justice system and how they fit into it. “Where do I learn what my rights are?” Variations of this question are always asked by our youth, regardless […]

Beyond Rights Education: What Youth Want to Know About the Law

Volunteering with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), I recently began facilitating a family law mock trial at the Afghan Women’s Organization for newcomer youth. Its aims are to give Afghan youth the opportunity to work with lawyers involved in the justice system, and to develop their analytic thinking skills. As a first year law […]

How do you get convicted of attempting to murder the person you just killed? Here’s how.

It is possible to be convicted of attempting to murder the person you’ve just killed, even if you weren’t convicted of murdering them. That’s what just happened in the recently concluded trial of Constable James Forcillo. Toronto criminal defence laywer James Miglin explains for us in less than three minutes:

Justice Education at the Elementary School Level

It is not often that elementary classrooms are considered hot spots for justice education. Justice education is typically believed to be a topic reserved for older students, who are at least high school aged. At the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), we have made a concerted effort to change this ideology, by targeting elementary students […]

What Justice Sector Volunteers Learn from OJEN’s Justice Education Programs

Often, justice sector volunteers (including but not limited to law students, lawyers and judges) come to their first OJEN program excited to bestow their knowledge about the Canadian legal system upon interested youth.  Seldom do they approach their initial program thinking it will be an opportunity for professional development, beyond the law based preparation required.  […]