How Ideology Perverts the Teaching of Law

In 1990, the year my book The Trouble With Canada was published and, to my surprise, became a best seller, I was invited by the Queen’s University Grad Students’ Law Society to participate in a public debate with Professor Sheila MacIntyre, then a prominent radical feminist law professor.

Whether or not Professor MacIntyre is “teaching” at Queen’s is an open question; because you cannot say someone is really teaching if she advances only her own preferences and biases in the readings and lectures she provides to her students.

When I was teaching at York University in the 1970s, some of the courses I taught included segments on ideological topics such as Marxism, Existentialism, Psychology, and so on. I always tried to present all sides of each question. But some of the students would protest, and on whatever the issue of the day may have been, would ask plaintively: “But Sir … What do you think?”

I always answered: “I am not telling you until after the course has ended. It’s my job to explain all sides as best I can. It is your job to think deeply about these things and then make up your own mind as to the best answer(s) to these questions.” This response always upset them a little. But by the end of the course, they could see why it was the best for their own intellectual development.

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