Gerard Kennedy

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Dissertation Title: Balancing Certainty and Substantive Justice in Achieving Access to Justice: A Civil Procedure Journey Through the 2010s

Dissertation Topic:

Access to civil justice has been described as one of the least admirable aspects of Canada’s justice system, and a serious threat to the rule of law. In response, Ontario amended its Rules of Civil Procedure effective January 1, 2010. In its seminal 2014 decision Hryniak v Mauldin, the Supreme Court held that the 2010 Amendments should be interpreted generously to achieve access to justice. Perhaps even more importantly, the Court held that a “culture shift” was required in terms of how civil litigation is conducted. Is the spirit of Hryniak is being heeded outside the summary judgment context (which was the specific context of Hryniak)? Answering this question is the goal of my project.

As such, I am analyzing three elements of Ontario’s procedural law: first, jurisdiction motions; second, dismissals without a hearing; and, third, interlocutory appeals, to discover whether there have been changes in how procedural law has been applied post-Hryniak. None of these rules was amended in 2010. Thus, the 2010 Amendments and the holding of Hryniak are not directly applicable to them – in other words, they provide some evidence of whether a “culture shift” is occurring outside the specific areas addressed by Hryniak and the 2010 Amendments. All three rules have clear access to justice implications and all are in a state of uncertainty. Analyzing them therefore opens an additional, interesting line of inquiry – the effects of uncertainty in the law on access to justice. I then intend to explore a fourth line of inquiry, based upon interviews with players in the justice system. My goal is to discover what the primarily quantitative analysis of the rules may have “missed”, and come to a holistic qualitative understanding of the effects of Hryniak through individuals’ lived experiences. In other words, is the “culture shift” occurring?


  • Master of Laws (LLM) - Harvard University
  • Juris Doctor (JD) - Queens University
  • Honors Bachelor of Arts - University of Toronto

Teaching Experience

  • Fall 2017: Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Administrative Law
  • 2016-2017: Teaching Fellow, Osgoode Hall Law School, State & Citizen
  • 2013-Present: Sessional Instructor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, International Law

Professional Experience

  • 2017: Report Writer, Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission
  • 2012-2016: Associate (Litigation), Osler, Hoskin & Hacourt LLP
  • 2011-2012: Research Assistant, Harvard Law School
  • 2010-2011: Law Clerk & Student-at-Law, Ontario Superior Court of Justice
  • 2009: Legal Intern, Trial Chamber II, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
  • 2008-2010: Research Assistant, Faculty of Law, Queen's University


  • "Pragmatic and Logical: The Supreme Court of Canada’s White Burgess Decision” (May 2016) 5(2) CALR 23
  • “Glen Grove: Distinguishing Agency and Privity as Bases to Hold Non-Parties Liable to Contracts” (April 2016) Toronto LJ (with Mary Paterson)
  • “Tanudjaja v. Canada (Attorney General): Distinguishing Injusticiability and Deference on Motions to Strike” (2015) 44 Adv Q 391 (with Mary Angela Rowe)
  • “Ontario Court of Appeal Divided on Permissibility of Hearings Outside Ontario in Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions” (August 2015) 4 CALR 33 (with Christopher P. Naudie)
  • “R. v. P.C.: Accused Does Not Have Right to State-Funded Counsel for a First Appeal – Necessarily” (October 2014) Toronto LJ
  • “Substance Over Convenience” (August 2014) Canadian Underwriter (with Mark A. Gelowitz)
  • “Dilollo (Re): Ontario Court of Appeal Holds that Limitation Period for Preference Motion Is Not Suspended Pending Appeal of Bankruptcy Order” (2014) 29 NCDR 28 (with Mark A. Gelowitz)
  • “Persisting Uncertainties in Appellate Jurisdiction at the Supreme Court” (2013) 100 CR (6th) 96
  • “Recent Developments in Courtroom Lawfare” (2013) Harvard NSJ (online) (with Innokenty Pyetranker and Manik Suri)


  • 2016 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship (Ph.D.)
  • 2016 Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship (Ph.D.)
  • Willard Z. Estey Teaching Fellowship in Law (Ph.D.)
  • Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship (LL.M.)
  • Dean's Scholar Prize for Highest Standing in Prosecution Strategies and Policy at the International Criminal Court (LL.M.)
  • Dean's Key (J.D.)
  • Cassels, Brock & Blackwell Award for Highest Standing in Constitutional Law & Human Rights courses (J.D.)
  • Bayne Sellar Boxall Award for Highest Standing in Criminal Law courses (J.D.)
  • Susan J. Serena Scholarship (J.D.)
  • McCarthy Tétrault Leadership Award (J.D.)
  • Course Prizes for Highest Standing: Criminal Law, Torts, Appellate Advocacy (J.D.)


  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Summer Institute, May 8, 2017, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Access to Justice
  • Co-Organizer, Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act: A Decade of Progress, October 21, 2016, Toronto, Ontario
  • “International Law and the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014: The Legal and the Political”, University of Toronto Association of Political Science Students Speakers Series, March 27, 2015, Toronto, Ontario
  • “Allies (In)justice: Canada, the United States, and Omar Khadr”, University of Toronto Association of Political Science Students Speakers Series, March 21, 2014, Toronto, Ontario
  • Keynote address, Canadian Finals of Philip C. Jessup International Law moot, March 9, 2013, Kingston, Ontario