Written by Talia Ralph, 3L at McGill Law and 2018-2019 FLSN Projects Chair

From February 18 to the 22, McGill’s Faculty of Law will be shining the spotlight on food law and policy—and 20 students will be getting course credit for it.

The initiative, Food for Law Week, is one of the classes on offer during McGill Law’s recently introduced Focus Week, a weeklong period in February where students can take 1-credit intensives on a range of topics, from labour negotiation to international environmental politics to, yes, food. However, the week also includes panels and cocktails that are open to the public, in addition to being mandatory for enrolled students.

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP), The McGill Food Law Society, and Lallemand, a global corporation which develops and produces yeasts, bacterias, and specialty ingredients. Three years after the McGill Food Law Society was founded, it has expanded to include over 80 members, and now runs the Food and Agriculture Law Clinic, Canada’s only food law clinic which offers students hands-on opportunities to do law and policy work for food-focused non-profits. This year’s Food Law Focus Week is the latest indication that food law and policy have become a vibrant part of the McGill Law learning experience.

“It’s critical that young Canadian jurists learn about the implications of food law and policy in this country and beyond,” says Jessica Cytryn, co-founder of the McGill Food Law Society. “I’m thrilled that the McGill Food Law Society has teamed with CIPP and Lallemand to bring such a dynamic workshop to McGill Law students, and hope that McGill can continue to be a food law pioneer for years to come.”

The weeklong seminar will feature talks by some of the foremost international thought leaders and experts on food and agriculture law and policy, including:

The topics covered run the gamut from food security to cannabis law to contract farming, and are designed to give students and guests a well-rounded understanding of the various facets of food law at the local, national, and international levels.

“One event where a particularly high turn out is expected is our panel on cannabis law,” says Hannah Dean, the President of the McGill Food Law Society and one of the organizers of Food for Law Week. “The national legalization of cannabis has been a major shift in the Canadian legal landscape. We have assembled a panel of experts working in a diverse range of areas to discuss the challenges and opportunities that legalization poses for privacy, marketing, protecting innovation, and the well being of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in Canada.”

We hope to see more food-law-focused courses and events across the Food Law Student Network this year and beyond!

For more information about Food for Law Week, contact Hannah Dean at hannah.dean@mail.mcgill.ca. To view the schedule and more details about the speakers and schedule, visit the Food for Law website here.

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