Goodbye Osgoode Hall Law School | Gary Joseph

By Gary Joseph

Law360 Canada (October 17, 2023, 2:13 PM EDT) --
Gary Joseph
Gary Joseph
My readers know that I am a Jew and a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. I also have a masters of law from Osgoode in constitutional law. While at Osgoode in the early 1970s I was taught by a stellar roster of professors who ignited my love of the law. I was a proud graduate and wherever possible I participated in alumni events and gave my time to Osgoode continuing development programs. All of that has now come to an end. The unforgivable failure of Osgoode and its dean, Trevor Farrow, to speak up against undeniable atrocities on Oct. 7, 2023, in Israel has shattered my love and respect for the institution.

Forget politics, forget religious differences, the massacre of young people and the deliberate slaughter of hundreds of civilians cannot be justified in any world that I understand. Further, the indignities of the terrorists (yes CBC, that’s what they are) to the dead and dying discloses an element of inhumanity rarely witnessed. I wrote to dean Farrow expressing my hurt and anger that Osgoode, supposedly a beacon for the rule of law and human rights, failed to publish a condemnation of this event. He failed to express the view that massacre cannot be justified as resistance. He stayed silent while members of his teaching staff expressed disgusting views. He stayed silent while that entitled York student union celebrated the event.

Under the current leadership, Osgoode has lost its moral authority to teach our young lawyers. It has failed to assure Jewish students that it is a safe place to study the law. Unfortunately, it is not alone in the academic community. I had hoped for more from the law school that I once loved. The Jewish people will survive, and Israel will survive, but today the world is a darker place with echoes of the past rearing its ugly face.

For those who feel the need to celebrate the massacre, you will come to regret the loss of morality and humanity this event marks. I wish for peace and support a two-state solution where both the Palestinian people and the Jewish people can co-exist in harmony. I close with a borrowed phrase: to remain silent in the face of evil is a form of evil in itself.

Gary S. Joseph is counsel to the firm of MacDonald & Partners LLP. A certified specialist in family law, he has been reported in over 350 family law decisions at all court levels in Ontario and Alberta. He has also appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a past family law instructor for the Law Society Bar Admission Course and the winner of the 2021 OBA Award for Excellence in Family Law.

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