Professor Fannie Lafontaine, a full professor at the Faculty of Law of Université Laval, chair of the Canada Research Chair in International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Director of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice and Co-Director of the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, has been recognized by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in its prestigious annual Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.
Competing in the Government/Non-Profits/Associations category, she was named one of 25 lawyers and judges from across the country who have made a significant contribution to their profession and to Canadian society, a well-deserved honor.
Canadian Lawyer Magazine, which received 22,409 votes this year, reports a praise received on Professor Lafontaine: “Fannie Lafontaine’s analysis of genocide, as well as her impactful reports and interventions, are having huge impacts on the narrative surrounding the First Nations’ human rights violations in Canada”.
In recent years, Fannie Lafontaine has played an unprecedented role as an independent civilian observer of the police investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by police officers against Indigenous people across Quebec. Her expertise brought to light the existence of systemic racism in the police force towards Indigenous peoples in Quebec, contributing to the creation of the Viens Commission of Inquiry. In this role, rendered necessary by a serious social crisis, she helped develop principles for assessing the integrity and impartiality of police investigations against other police officers, particularly in an Indigenous context.
She was also the lead drafter of the Supplementary Report to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, “A Legal Analysis on Genocide.” The report sparked a discussion countrywide and received wide international coverage, including at the United Nations and the Organization of American States. The painful discoveries of missing children from former residential schools across Canada further validate the importance and relevant of her analysis .
Fannie Lafontaine’s recent contributions are at the heart of some of the most pressing legal and societal issues in Canada and have influenced how colonial violence and systemic racism against Indigenous peoples can be named, addressed and deconstructed.
Congratulations to Fannie Lafontaine!