She is deeply interested in the role of law and institutions in ensuring government accountability and respect for human rights.
Jennifer’s constitutional interests include Charter rights, Aboriginal law, and the federal/provincial division of powers. She advises on complex constitutional and administrative law questions, and on the compliance of institutional structures, policies, and practices with public law norms. Her keen interest in official language rights is informed by her personal experience splitting her education between French-language minority schooling in Fredericton, NB, and English-language minority schooling in Montreal, QC.
Jennifer is experienced at preparing and presenting appellate submissions, particularly before the Supreme Court of Canada. Her appellate advocacy work includes consultation services to tailor appellate submissions for the Supreme Court of Canada in all areas of law.
Before joining Power Law, Jennifer worked for three years in the public law and appellate advocacy practice group of a national firm. Prior to entering the legal practice, she clerked for the former Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Jennifer has also undertaken numerous pro bono projects. She has represented Amnesty International in a number of appellate and Supreme Court of Canada cases, is the Chair of the Legal Issues Committee of the Egale Human Rights Trust, and has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Pro Bono Project.
Jennifer is an adjunct professor at UBC’s Allard School of Law, where she teaches Women, Law and Social Change. Jennifer practices in English and French.
Presentation: “Accomodements raisonnables Questions émergentes et outils concrets pour les éducateurs”, CAPSLE (April 30, 2018)
“Modernizing Judicial Review of the Exercise of Prerogative Powers in Canada” (2017) Alta L Rev
Presentation: “The Future of a Forgotten Fundamental Freedom: Towards a Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Jurisprudence”, The Charter and Emerging Issues in Constitutional Rights and Freedoms: From 1982 to 2032 (9 March 2017) (with Marc-André Roy)
Presentation: “Panel – Human Rights in Education, Successes and Challenges”, CAPSLE (3rd April 2017) (with Charlie Russo and Siobhan O’Brien)
Presentation: “Teaching Culture and Religion: How Education can Foster Understanding of Diversity without imposing Ideologies”, CAPSLE (3rd April 2017) (with Maxine Vincelette)
Presentation: “How to Accommodate in the School Context? Concrete Tools for Decision Makers”, Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education, 3 May 2016 (with Mark Power)
“Fostering Legitimacy: Justice Rothstein’s Principled Resolve and Restraint in Charter Adjudication” in Lisa M. Kelly and Ivo Entchev, eds, Judicious Restraint: The Life and Law of Justice Marshall E. Rothstein (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2016)
“Courting Controversy: Substantive Equality and the New Court Challenges Program”, online: <Slaw.ca> (25 April 2016) (with Kyle Kirkup)
“The Supreme Court Ruling on the Senate Was Good for Minorities” Montreal Gazette (29 April 2014)
“Le droit à la prestation des services publics dans les langues officielles” in Michel Bastarache et al, eds., Les droits linguistiques au Canada, 3rd ed. (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 2014) (with Perri Ravon, Justin Dubois and Jean-Pierre Hachey)
“Reasonableness Review: Conceptualizing a Single Contextual Standard from Divergent Approaches in Dunsmuir and Khosa” (2011) 24 Can J of Admin Law and Practice 41
“Recognizing Socio-Economic Refugees in South Africa: a Principled and Rights-Based Approach to Section 3(b) of the Refugees Act” (2009) 21 Int J Refugee Law 653
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia, et al. SCC 38332 (Charter right to official language education – existence, nature and quality of schools across the province, scope of permissible s. 1 justifications, Charter damages)
A.B. v. C.D., 2019 BCCA 297 (family law and healthcare law; capacity of mature transgender minor to provide informed consent to gender-affirming treatment including hormone therapy; availability of protection orders under BC’s family law legislation to stop misgendering, deadnaming, and coercion of transgender minor; scope of freedom of expression and parental liberty rights of parent opposed to the medical treatment and protection order)
Nevsun Resources Ltd. v Gize Yebeyo Araya, et al. 37919 (international law and tort law; liability of Canadian multinational corporations for serious human rights abuses in another country; the applicability and expansion of the act of state doctrine to immunize conduct of non-state actors, expansion of common law torts to include violations of customary international law including torture and slavery)
Bessette v British Columbia (Attorney General) 2019 SCC 31 (language of trial, judicial review in criminal matters, statutory interpretation)
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique et al v. British Columbia(Education), 2018 BCCA 305 (equivalency challenge to ministerial decisions as they relate to school funding)
Bessette v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2018 BCCA 59 (application for stay of proceedings)
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique et al v. British Columbia (Education), 2018 BCCA 42 (costs of proceedings)
R. v. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15
Bessette v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2018 BCCA 59
Bessette v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2017 BCCA 264 (Judicial review in criminal matters, statutory interpretation, language of trial)
Garcia v Tahoe Resources Inc., 2017 BCCA 39 (private international law, international human rights law)
Reference re the Final Report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, 2017 NSCA 10 (protected electoral constituencies for minorities)
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique et al v British Columbia (Education), 2016 BCSC 1764 (equivalency challenge to ministerial decisions as they relate to school funding)
Garcia v Tahoe Resources Inc., 2016 BCCA 320 (private international law, international human rights law)
Morin v Allison, 2016 BCSC (Vancouver Registry Docket: S165484) (statutory interpretation, by-elections)
Canada (Attorney General) v Igloo Vikski Inc., 2016 SCC 38 (customs tariff classification, administrative law, sport law)
Sliwinski v Sliwinski, 2016 BCCA (Vancouver Registry, File No CA43769) (procedure)
Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 SCC 68 (exclusions from refugee status under the Refugee Convention)
Projet de loi fédéral relatif au Sénat (Re), 2013 QCCA 1807 (Senate reform, constitutional amending formula)
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique et al v Colombie-Britannique, 2013 SCC 42 (language of evidence, inherent jurisdiction of superior courts)
Construction Labour Relations v Driver Iron Inc, 2012 SCC 65 (administrative law, labour law)
Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32 (Senate reform, constitutional amending formula)
During her legal studies in McGill University’s combined civil and common law program, Jennifer received several awards for high academic achievement including the James McGill Entrance Scholarship (2006), the Lord Reading Law Society Prize (2007, highest standing in first year), the Henry Benson Prize (2008, highest standing in required courses of first two years), and the Daniel Mettarlin Scholarship (2009, distinction in civil law and public interest advocacy). Jennifer was also awarded the Aimé Geoffrion Medal (2010) for graduating second in her class.
Jennifer also completed an LL.M. at the University of Cambridge with first class honours, as a recipient of the Right Honourable Paul Martin Sr. Scholarship.
Chair of the Legal Issues Committee of the EGALE Human Rights Trust
Association des juristes d’expression française de la Colombie-Britannique
Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario
Canadian Bar Association
Ontario Bar Association