The Conference languages are French and English with simultaneous translations.
The general objective of the Conference is to take stock of the current status of Indigenous legal traditions in Canada since the 2010 publication of John Borrows’ seminal work Canada’s Indigenous Constitution, and to begin a dialogue on the relevance of Borrows’ work to the Québec context.
The John Borrows: Canada’s Indigenous Constitution Conference will be held using Zoom, and will have two main components:
- First, you will have an opportunity to listen to the original presentations prepared by the panellists in the form of videoclips. The videoclips will be available from March 26 (new date) in video and audio format (summaries will be posted alongside the videoclips for anyone who cannot view them directly).
- Second, the Conference proper will be held via Zoom on April 8 and 9 (see program): Each panel will feature a discussion between the panellists and with the audience, on the basis of the pre-recorded presentations (videoclips). To participate in the panel discussions, register here.
John Borrows is one of the foremost theorists in the field of Indigenous law in Canada. In his many publications, he has sought to show why, and on what conditions, the State, the courts, faculties of law and bar associations should recognize the possibility, and necessity, of including Indigenous legal traditions as genuine sources of law within the Canadian legal system. He believes that Canada’s present-day constitution can only be understood if the Indigenous legal orders are seen as acting both “against and alongside” the legal traditions of common law and civil law.
Borrows’ Canada’s Indigenous Constitution, translated into French by D. Leydet, G. Nootens and G. Motard and published by Les Presses de l’Université du Québec in 2020 as La constitution autochtone du Canada, is the first book by Borrows to be translated into French. As the author himself states in the preface to the French edition, the book focuses on the question of how, and why, we should continue to strengthen the Indigenous roots of the Canadian Constitution.