2001-2002 Michael Levinson

Blessed with a wonderful executive and board, I presided over a successful and interesting year.

While I would like to believe that financially the Society was healthy, I cannot tell a lie. I was never able to get any concrete information from our perennial treasurer. He did assure me however, over and over again that we had lots of money! To the extent that the Society really was financially healthy, such health was in no small part due to the generosity of my firm, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, which sponsored not one, but two events, Phillips, Friedman, Kotler and Stikeman Elliott.

Our first program of the year, the Alan B. Gold lecture, featured a blue ribbon panel consisting of the Honourable Benjamin Greenberg, Mes Harvey Yarosky, Simon Potter and Sylvain Lussier discussing “The Lost Art of Cross-Examination.

The second program of the year was a very interesting expose by the Honourable Madame Justice Louise Otis of the Quebec court of Appeal of her pet and most successful project, “Conciliation in the Court of Appeal”. I believe that the project was in its infancy at the time, but I remember that the same day that she appeared at the Society, she had engineered a settlement in a very complex case that was of more than passing interest to a client of mine.

In the Autumn of 2001, the Society bestowed its Human Rights Award on the then Dean of the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Peter Leuprecht.  In August 2006, Mr. Leuprecht had been appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as his Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia. He addressed the Society with a most interesting discourse, appropriately titled “Cambodia, Human Rights and the Myth of Sisyphus”.

The Spring saw a most interesting panel discussion on “The Legal, Ethical and Religious Implications of Modern Reproductive Technology”. We were blessed to have as our panelists for the event, Professor Margaret A. Somerville, Me Sydney Cutler, Q.C. and Rabbi Reuben Poupko.

Our penultimate dinner featured the Honourable Mr. Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada who talked about “Law and Morality-Does the Law Protect Our Moral Environment?”

My term of office ended on a high note with Richard Pound, Q.C., O.C., O.Q., F.C.A. addressing the Society on “The Olympics-A Legal Perspective.”