The Top 25 Most Influential 2019 winner
Law Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax
Stephen Coughlan spearheaded the efforts of the entire criminal law academic community in advising the Department of Justice on changes that led to the passage of Bill C-51, which removed outdated offences, reverse onuses and non-Charter-compliant crimes. It also led to the drafting of Bill C-75 (currently before the Senate). He was invited to speak directly to the deputy minister of justice in Ottawa repeatedly during this process.
Coughlan’s efforts led directly to greater links between the Department of Justice and the criminal law academic community, which have already started to bear fruit such as the report on reforming the law of duress. He has been the co-author of the Annual Review of Criminal Law for the past 15 years. He is co-author of the NJI Criminal Law eLetter, to which more than 1,200 judges subscribe. Having a large portion of the Canadian judiciary as an audience means Coughlan is having an impact on the development of Canada’s criminal law justice system