Academic Calendar 2021-2022

Regulations and Policies

University Policies

The Faculty of Law is subject to academic policies approved by the University Senate. For a full listing of Senate Policies, see https://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/policies/student-policy-index

Tuition & Fees

The Board of Trustees reserves the right to make changes in the scale of fees if, in its opinion, circumstances so warrant.

Full details regarding tuition, ancillary, residence and administrative fees are here: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/financials/tuition-fees

Faculty of Law Policies and Regulations

Academic Integrity1

The full policy and procedures form part of this academic calendar. They are appended to the calendar and posted here: Academic Integrity Policy, Procedures and Forms. Questions may be directed to the Faculty of Law Academic Integrity Coordinator at lawacintegrity@queensu.ca.

Access and Privacy

Queen's University collects, maintains, uses, and discloses students’ personal information in accordance with the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. As secondary custodians of student personal information faculties, schools and departments are subject to the Office of the University Registrar's Policy available at: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/resources/policies/accessprivacy. Further information is available at: http://www.queensu.ca/accessandprivacy.

Assessment and Grading

Grading System

The grading system for the Faculty of Law is as follows:1

Letter Grade Grade Point Descriptor
A 4.0 Exceptional
A- 3.7 Excellent
B+ 3.3 Very Good
B 3.0 Good
B- 2.7 Satisfactory
C+ 2.3 Fair
C 2.0 Adequate
D2 1.0 Marginal
F 0.0 Failure
P Pass

Non-Evaluative Grades:

  • IN (Incomplete): assigned when outstanding work is not completed. The IN to lapse to F if the work is not completed by the end of the following term;
  • GD (Grade Deferred): similar to IN, but has no lapse rule;
  • NG (Not Graded): Courses that span multiple terms are assigned a notation of NG until the course is completed;
  • AU: audit; TR: transfer credit and
  • DR: course dropped.

Mandatory Grading Policy

The Faculty has approved the following grading policies:1

  • In lecture courses (i.e. courses other than seminars and small sections), B is the median grade, no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of A or A-, and no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of C+ or lower;
  • In first year small section courses and upper year seminar courses, B or B+ is the median grade, no more than 30% of students are awarded grades of A or A-, and no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of C+ or lower.

These policies are subject to the following terms:2

  1. The maximum percentages allowed for A/A- grades and C+ or lower are subject to a deviation of 5%;
  2. The median requirements are mandatory subject to the discretion to go above or below the median, provided this affects no more than 5% of the class; and
  3. The enforcement mechanism is as follows:
    1. Where instructors do not comply with the above requirements, they are required to identify the number of students involved and to rank those students;
    2. The matter will be referred to the Associate Dean (Academic), who will attempt an informal resolution; and
    3. If the matter is not resolved, the grades will be adjusted to comply with the guidelines. The adjustment will be in accordance with the instructor's ranking and will be reported to the Marks Committee. The instructor may appeal the adjustment to the Marks Committee, which may confirm the adjusted grades or the instructor's nonconforming marks.

Exception:3 Instructors are encouraged to comply with the mandatory grading policy, even in low enrolment courses. However, courses in which enrolment is less than ten may allow more grades of A and A minus, and a higher median.

Anonymous Grading Policy

In order to maintain anonymity in the evaluation of student work1:

  1. Whenever possible, students should be evaluated and graded on an anonymous basis;
  2. Written tests and examinations, assignments and journal work, for which anonymous grading is feasible, shall be graded and recorded by the instructor on an anonymous basis;
  3. If available, recommendations for course prizes will be made anonymously by submitting the student number of the student with the highest grade in the class;
  4. This policy will apply to all classes; and
  5. This policy is not to be interpreted or applied in a way that discourages the use of individualized assignments or the giving of individualized guidance to students in the preparation of essays or other assignments. 

Deadline for Submission of Course Work

Written course work is due on the last day of classes each term. Faculty members have discretion to extend the deadline for submission of such work until the last day of examinations for the term. All other extensions must be approved by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.

A student seeking an extension must, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, submit a request to the Committee prior to the applicable deadline. When a faculty member will not grant an extension within the period of discretion, a student may apply to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee for assistance. Information provided by faculty members will be relevant where a student seeks an extension. However, an agreement between a faculty member and a student will not bind the Committee in the exercise of discretion.

The Committee may grant an extension for the submission of written coursework beyond the last day of examinations for the term in which the written work was originally due if there are documented medical, personal or compassionate grounds supporting the request and the student made reasonable efforts to complete the work in a timely fashion. In the absence of documented medical, personal or compassionate grounds, if the Committee is satisfied that the student exercised reasonable diligence in attempting to complete the coursework in a timely fashion and there are no inequities that would arise as a consequence.

Failure to Complete Course Requirements

If a student fails to complete the requirements for any course within one year after the last day of classes for that course, no further extensions will be granted. The student will fail the course.

Grade Appeals Process

Access and Retention of Final Examination Papers and Written Course Work

  1. Instructors may informally review the final examination paper with a student who requests it and are encouraged to do so. However, access may not be granted before the final marks are released. Further, exams cannot be shared until all students have written the exam, including deferred exams.
  2. Instructors have an obligation to retain any original hardcopy of final exams for a period of 12 months. Exams written on a computer will be retained by the Student Services Office for the same period. Instructors should not give original hardcopy exams to students. Instructors may allow a student to review their own exam while meeting with the teacher or may provide the student with a photocopy or electronic copy of their own exam. Exam questions will only be shared with the student by request from the instructor and only if the exam has been not been marked confidential. Term papers or other assignments graded D or F that form a major portion of the final grade should be treated in the same way as final exams.
  3. Instructors may wish to show a student the exam or paper of another student, perhaps as an example of excellent work. The permission of the student should be obtained before the paper is circulated. All identifying information should be removed from the exam or paper. If the exam was written by hand then it should be typed before distribution.

Informal Review Process

Students are encouraged to meet with their teacher to discuss their performance on assignments and examinations. The goal of such discussion is to provide the student with feedback on performance and to provide the student with an explanation of the grading criteria and evaluation. Instructors may want to clarify that grade discussions are an opportunity to explain to students why they obtained a particular grade and to give advice and assistance on how to improve. It is unusual for a teacher to change a grade as a result of a grade discussion, except in unusual circumstances, such as a calculation error. An instructor who wishes to change a final course grade must first submit a grade change form to the Student Services Office.

Grade discussions may take place in person or by phone, email, or letter. If a student requests an opportunity to discuss a grade, the teacher should arrange to do so within a reasonable time. If a teacher will not be in Kingston at the relevant time, the teacher should provide contact information so that students may contact him or her with a request. An informal review must be sought within a reasonable time after the general release of grades for the term in which the grade was received.

Formal Grade Appeals Process

  1. A student may appeal a final grade of D or F on any examination or assignment worth 50% or more of the final grade in the course. Final grades in courses in which evaluation is based on skills-based exercises such as advocacy trials, moots, negotiation exercises or clinical placements are excluded from this appeal process because it is not be possible to replicate or reassess the exercise on which the evaluation was based.
  2. This appeal process is not intended for those students whose academic performance was adversely affected by documented medical, personal or compassionate grounds. Relief sought on this basis is described in the sections on Special Examination privileges and in the provisions for requesting extensions for submission of written coursework.
  3. Allegations of bias or discrimination may not form the basis of a grade appeal under this policy; such complaints should be made directly to the Queen’s Human Rights Office, under the Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedure at http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/policies/senateandtrustees/harassment.html.
  4. Students who wish to appeal a grade must notify the Assistant Dean of Students by filing a formal Grade Appeal Application within 2 months of the release of grades. Students are encouraged to seek an informal review with the instructor prior to launching a formal appeal. No formal grade appeal shall be initiated after the expiry of the 12-month period for retention of formal examination papers and major papers and assignments for the course in which an appeal of the final grade is sought.
  5. The Assistant Dean of JD and Graduate Studies will notify the Associate Dean (Academic) of the filing of the grade appeal. The Associate Dean (Academic) will then assign another faculty member with expertise in the relevant area to review the assignment or examination under appeal.
  6. The reviewer shall provide the Assistant Dean of Students with their assessment of the appropriate grade within 30 days. The grade assigned by the reviewer will govern and will replace the grade initially assigned by the instructor of the course. The reviewer may either raise or confirm the original grade.

Examinations and Assessment

University Examination Regulations

http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/exams/regulations

Academic Integrity

  1. Academic integrity is fundamental to all scholarly activities, including the examination process.
    Queen's University adheres to the definition articulated by the Centre for Academic Integrity, that academic integrity is made up of the five core values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. This overview is adopted from the Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. The Queen's University Policy on Academic Integrity is intended to supplement the policy on Academic Dishonesty presently found in University calendars and posted on the web at Academic Integrity @ Queen's.
  2. Breaches of academic integrity are considered entirely unacceptable within the University community and the student who commits such an offence runs the risk of a range of sanctions including a failure in the course or a requirement to withdraw from the University.
  3. The following are some examples of activities that are prohibited during an exam:
    • impersonating another student,
    • copying from another student,
    • making information available to another student,
    • communicating with another student, or
    • using unauthorized material.

      All breaches of academic integrity will be reported in writing by the Proctor on an examination incident report to the instructor of the course via the Exams Office. A breach of academic integrity in Faculty of Law computer examinations will be reported in an incident report. The Instructor will receive the incident report and a copy will be provided to the Associate Dean (Academic).
  4. The Faculty of Law Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures form part of this calendar of academic regulations and is appended as Appendix 1.

Conduct During Exams1

http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/exams/regulations

  1. If a student does not have a Queen's Student Photo ID Card at an official exam, the procedure in the following section will apply.
  2. Any candidate arriving at an exam hall after the beginning of the exam will receive only the remaining time in which to write the exam. The late candidate's paper will be marked only at the discretion of the Faculty.
  3. No candidate will be allowed to leave the exam hall within thirty minutes of the start time of the exam.
  4. No articles such as textbooks, notes, books of tables, data sheets, graphs, paper, written material, calculators, etc., may be taken into the exam hall unless authorized by the instructor in writing at least 3 days before the exam.
  5. A candidate shall not remove any material issued for the examination from the examination hall. Each candidate must submit all issued materials before leaving the exam hall.
  6. Food, drinks (except water - see 7. below), recording or playback devices, and other electronic communication devices such as cell phones and other mobile devices are not permitted in the exam hall. Likewise, handbags, purses, and book bags are not permitted in an exam hall. Students should bring only essential items to the exam. The University assumes no responsibility for personal property lost in or near any examination hall.
  7. Students may bring (transparent recommended) bottled water into the examination hall.
  8. Candidates who have not left their exam table prior to the final fifteen minutes of the exam will be required to remain at their exam table until dismissed by the Chief Proctor.
  9. Students must submit information about illness or other circumstances affecting their work to the relevant Faculty within twenty-four hours of the exam in the course concerned.

Failure to comply with the regulations listed above or with the instructions of an exam proctor may result in a written report by the Chief Proctor which will be distributed to the instructor of the course, the Dean of the relevant Faculty, and the Exams Office.

Missing Queen’s Student Photo ID

Students writing an exam without a Queen's Student Photo ID card will be assessed a fine of $50.00 per exam.

In April 2000, the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures, Sub-committee on Exams changed the procedure to identify students at exams. If a student does not have a Queen’s Student Photo ID Card at an exam, the following procedure will apply:

  1. The student’s attendance card will be stamped "No Queen's Photo ID".
  2. The student will be directed by a proctor to the Chief Proctor or Associate Proctor who will take a photograph of the student. The student will be asked to put their name, student number, course and number of the exam on a form. The personal information on the form is collected under the Royal Charter of 1841, as amended. The information collected will be used by the Office of the University Registrar to verify the identity of exam candidates who did not bring their Queen's Student Photo ID to a mid-year or final examination.
  3. The Exams Office will have the photo checked against the University's Photo Identification computer picture to verify that the student is actively registered in the course. If any discrepancies are found, the Exams Office will notify the professor of the course.
  4. A fine of $50.00 per exam will be charged and added as a debt the following working day after the exam(s) is written. The Senate Policy on Student Debtors applies.

Examination Accommodations and Extenuating Circumstances

Information may be obtained here: https://law.queensu.ca/programs/jd/student-support/education- equity/academic-consideration-academic-accommodation. Arrangements for examination accommodations should be made through Queen’s Student Accessibility Services. The deadlines for arrangements are 7 November for December examinations and 7 March for April examinations. Law students should contact the Manager of Education and Equity Services for assistance in ensuring that accommodations are arranged before the relevant deadlines. Students with short-term medical conditions or extenuating circumstances may contact the Manager of Education & Equity Services for assistance. Students will be required to provide medical documentation evidencing the need for accommodation.

Examination Disruptions: Cancellations or Evacuations

http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/exams/cancellations-evacuations

Evacuation

Students should not depart from the official examination hall; students should evacuate as ordered, but not depart from the designated site pending further direction from their instructor, the instructor's designate or Campus Security. It may be possible to resume the examination at the official site or an alternative site following an evacuation caused by a disruption.

Cancellation for Inclement Weather

If adverse weather conditions cause a closure of the University, then an announcement of the official decision to close will be posted on the University website at www.queensu.ca. A posted official announcement of the closure means that all examinations scheduled for that particular day (or part thereof) are also cancelled. If an examination is cancelled, the instructor of the course will have the authority to decide how to deal with the cancellation of the exam and its effect on the course. Information will be posted on the Faculty website as soon as possible after the cancellation.

Use of Calculators in Examinations

The Faculty of Law and the Exams Office have approved the CASIO 991 calculator for use, provided that the model does not allow for access to the internet nor has storage capabilities for unauthorized information.

Faculty of Law Assessment Policies

Supplemental Examination Privileges

(Faculty Policy)

When a first year student obtains a grade of F in not more than two courses, or a second or third year student obtains a grade of F in one course, and the balance of the student's grades are satisfactory, the Faculty Board, through the Academic Standing and Policies Committee (the Committee), may grant the student supplemental examination privileges. The minimum passing grade for a supplemental examination is C.

Supplemental examination privileges are available only for courses in which the final examination is worth at least 50% of the final grade. Supplemental examinations are not available in courses in which there is no final examination option or in courses in which evaluation is based on skills-based exercises such as advocacy trials, moots, negotiation exercises or clinical placements.

Scheduling of Supplemental Examination Privileges

The Faculty Board has established designated time periods for writing supplemental examinations. For fall term courses, this period is the second week of February. For winter term courses this period is the last full week of July. If a student who has been granted supplemental examination privileges fails to write the examination without prior notice of inability to write on the scheduled date, a grade of F shall be recorded for the examination. No further supplemental examination privileges will be granted for that attempt of the course. If a student who is granted supplemental examination privileges provides notice of inability to write the examination on the scheduled date but the reason for the inability to write the examination is not adequate, no further deferral of the supplemental examination will be granted and a grade of F shall be recorded for that attempt of the course. The adequacy of the notice is a matter that can be decided by the Academic Standing & Policies Committee.

Transcript Notation When Supplemental Examination Privileges are Granted

The original grade of F assigned to the student by the instructor in the course remains on the student's official academic record. Once the supplemental examination is written and the final grade of the course is received taking into account the results of the supplemental examination, and this grade is approved by Faculty Board, the supplemental grade for the course replaces the F, with a supplemental exam ruler on the student's official academic record.

Special Examination Privileges

(Faculty Policy)

Special examination privileges are available only for courses in which the final examination is worth at least 50% of the final grade. Special examinations are not available in courses in which there is no final examination option or in courses in which evaluation is based on skills-based exercises such as advocacy trials, moots, negotiation exercises or clinical placements.

The Academic Standing and Policies Committee may grant special examination privileges on documented medical or documented personal or compassionate grounds in the following circumstances:

  1. Where the student's performance has been adversely affected on a required examination.
  2. Where the student was unable to write or complete a required examination.

Any student seeking such relief must submit an application for special examination privileges to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee within one week of the date of the examination for which special examination privileges will be sought. If the extent of the impairment of performance was not apparent until the grades for the term are released, then the student must submit an application for special examination privileges to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee within one week of the release of grades for the term in which the course for which the student intends to bring a request for special examination privileges was offered. These deadlines may be extended by the Committee in exceptional circumstances. The student should make submissions to the Committee through the Manager of Education and Equity Services, helen.connop@queensu.ca, tel. 533.6000 ext. 78147. Students must complete and submit the Application to Academic Standing and Policies Committee form which is available in room 200 and on-line on the Queen’s Law Portal under student forms.

The student must also provide documentation of the medical, personal or compassionate grounds supporting the request. The Committee also has discretion to grant special examination privileges in exceptional circumstances.

Notes:

  1. In considering requests for special examination privileges or other special consideration, the Committee requires supporting evidence of adverse medical or personal circumstances affecting performance. This information is kept confidential to the Committee. Applicants are strongly advised to document the claim as closely as possible to the date of the claimed special circumstances and with as specific information as possible. Such documentation should be issued by a doctor who was treating the student at the relevant time or other appropriate health professional from the Student Health, Counselling and Disability Services Office.
  2. "Compassionate grounds" for a special examination will generally arise only where a serious family crisis or illness would have a direct and foreseeable impact on the student's ability to write their examinations as scheduled. If a student misses an exam for reasons of personal exigency that do not meet this threshold for compassionate grounds, the student may be permitted to write a special examination with penalty, and the grade received will be lowered by one grade point, with or without academic penalty.

Scheduling of Special Examinations

The Faculty Board has established designated time periods for writing special examinations. For fall term courses, this period is the second week of February. For winter term courses this period is the last full week of July. If a student, who has been granted special examination privileges, fails to write the examination without adequate notice of inability to write on the scheduled date, a grade of F shall be recorded for the examination. No further deferral of special examination privileges will be granted in respect to that attempt of the course. The adequacy of the notice and of the reasons given for inability to write the exam are matters for the Committee to decide. If the failure to give adequate notice is justified by the underlying medical, personal or compassionate grounds that support the need for special examination privileges, then a further deferral of the special examination privileges would be granted by the Committee upon written request from the student. As a general rule, if the Committee grants a further deferral, such exams will be deferred to the next official or designated examination period. If the student fails to write special examination privileges after two deferrals, the student may be required by the Committee to withdraw from the course without academic penalty.

Examination Undertakings for Special Examinations 

Students who are granted special examination privileges by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee are required to complete and sign an examination undertaking. The examination undertaking expresses that the student has not, or will not discuss, or in any way attempt to ascertain the contents of the examination for which special privileges have been granted as it is possible that some of the questions may overlap with those on the special examination. Failure to comply with the conditions of a signed undertaking constitutes a breach of professional ethics, and is considered a form of academic dishonesty that is subject to disciplinary action.

Transcript Notation When Special Examination Privileges are Granted

For all courses in which special examination privileges are granted and not lost by failure to write the examination on the scheduled date without notice or with notice, but without adequate reason for failure to write, the official transcript will reflect a grade deferred notation (GD) until such time as the final course grade is received and approved by Faculty Board.

Supplemental and Special Examinations and Failure to Complete Course Requirements (Faculty Policy)

If a student fails to complete the requirements for any course within one year after the last day of classes for that course, no further deferrals or special examination privileges will be granted and the student will be required to withdraw from the course.

Supplemental and Special Examinations and Failure to Satisfy Course Pre-requisites or Co-requisites (Faculty Policy)

If a student does not have a finalized grade in a course because of the grant of special or supplemental examination privileges, and this course is either a prerequisite or co-requisite to another course in which the student is pre-registered or obtained through the add/drop process, the student may be required to withdraw from registration in the course for which the prerequisite or co-requisite has not been satisfied. Similarly the student may be refused registration in a course for which the pre-requisite or co-requisite has not been satisfied. The student may apply to the Committee for permission to be exempted from this rule. The Committee may grant an exemption if the instructor waives the requirement, the Committee is satisfied that the student has sufficient background and/or experience in the subject matter and no other inequities arise by reason of such exemption.

Conflicts and Timing

Examination Conflicts

The Office of the University Registrar - Exams Office is responsible for all administrative matters regarding examinations under the policies and procedures of the University. The Faculty of Law administers all computer examinations and hand-written examinations. Accommodated examinations are administered by the Exams Office. Individual arrangements are made for each accommodated student. It is imperative that students notify the appropriate Faculty contacts as soon as they are aware of a conflict to allow time to make special arrangements.

If a conflict arises from the Faculty of Law Computer Exams schedule, arrangements to address such conflicts must be made by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.

The Faculty of Law adopts the University Policy concerning what constitutes an examination conflict. An Exam Conflict is defined by a student's exam timetable containing any of the following:

  • two (2) exams at the same time;
  • an exam at the same time as a religious observance; or,
  • an exam in three (3) consecutive exam slots within 24 hours.

Exam Timing1

There shall be no exams or tests worth more than 25% scheduled during the last week of classes, and no exams or tests shall be scheduled between the last week of classes and the beginning of the official exam period.

Take Home Examinations2

  1. Centrally scheduled official examinations and computer examinations administered by the Faculty of Law at the law school should be no longer than three hours in duration.
  2. An examination longer than three hours may be administered as a take-home examination.
  3. A take-home examination is an examination that students are permitted to write at a location of their choosing. A take-home examination is neither held nor supervised (proctored) at the law school.
  4. Take-home examinations should not exceed eight hours in length.
  5. Take-home examinations may be administered electronically to students at the discretion of the instructor. Instructors planning to hold a take-home examination should submit this information to the Director of Student Records and Enrolment for inclusion in the course information spreadsheet.
  6. Take-home examinations will be scheduled on the date assigned on the examination schedule for the course. Take-home examinations must be held within regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. An exception may be permitted to allow Saturday scheduling for examinations in short-credit courses that end part way through the term.

This policy does not apply to examinations that are privately administered by the instructor. Instructors who elect to administer their own examinations should take into consideration when setting such examinations the effects on the centrally administered examinations. As in the case of centrally administered examinations, instructors holding private examinations should include all relevant information regarding these examinations at the appropriate times.

Confidentiality, Reuse and Records Retention

Confidential Examinations

All final law examinations are classified “confidential”. Students will be required to submit their examination questions with their answer booklets before leaving the examination hall.

Reutilization of Examination Questions1

  • The reutilization of questions used on a previous law examination is strongly discouraged as it may cause unfairness or problems of academic integrity.
  • Once a final examination has been administered, its confidentiality can no longer be guaranteed. Each academic year, after a course is fully graded and provided that the instructor gives permission for this release, the final examination will be released to the Law Library examination bank to facilitate exam preparation by students.

Retention Period for Examination Question Papers in the Law Library Exam Bank2

Final examination question papers which have been authorized for release to the Law Library Exam Bank will be published online for a period of 10 years from the date of publication. Following the retention period, the electronic copy of the examination question paper will be removed from the Law Library Exam Bank.

If there is sufficient space in the Law Library, a hard copy version of each law examination will be retained by the Law Library. The Law Library holds examination question papers dating back to the establishment of the Faculty of Law in 1957.

Language-Based Requests for Additional Examination Time

All exchange students whose first language is not English and who will not be receiving a degree from Queen's University can apply to the Central Exams Office for an extra half hour of time in which to write final examinations and permission to bring one language translation dictionary to the examination room. The request form must be filed before November 7th for fall term exams and before March 7th for winter term examinations.

Language-based requests for additional time in examinations by Queen's JD degree program students, including students in the Civil Law-Common Law combined program who are not fluent in English should be submitted to the Faculty's Academic Standing and Policies Committee as early as possible. The same deadlines apply to these requests. Such requests must be renewed each year.

First Year Examinations and Non-Examination Assessments

The Faculty of Law administers first-year practice examinations as computer examinations. Proctors are arranged by the Faculty of Law.

  1. Mid-Term Examinations for All First-year, Year Long Courses1: The Faculty of Law recognizes the importance of encouraging multiple opportunities for assessment and feedback to enhance student learning. All first year, year-long courses shall have an examination at the mid-point of the course that shall count for 10% of the student’s final grade. Instructors in these courses may choose to permit this examination to count for up to an additional 15% of the student’s final grade, the additional weight (above 10%) counting only if it would benefit the student.
  2. Non-Exam Assessment in First-year Small Section Courses2: Each small section shall offer students at least one mandatory non-examination assignment, and that assignment or those assignments shall be worth at least 25% of the final grade.
  3. Non-Exam Assessment in All Other First-year Courses: First-year courses other than those taught as small sections shall offer students at least one optional non-examination assignment, and that assignment or those assignments shall be worth at least 15% of the final grade. (Instructors may choose to make the assignments or assignments count toward the final grade only if it is better than the final examination).

The number and weight of assignments only apply to multi-term courses. Instructors in first-year courses in Public Law and Constitutional Law should be guided by these rules in setting assignments for the full year.

Academic Standing1

All students must obtain a grade of at least D in each course. Students must also achieve a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 determined at the end of the winter term on the basis of law course  registrations in the fall and winter terms. Students who have attended BISC will also have their grades included in the calculation.

Registration/Status Requirements

  1. Full- or Part-Time Registration Status: Determined at the point of admission by the Assistant Dean of Students in accordance with the admitted student’s approved offer at the time of admission or in accordance with an approved request for a change in status prior to registration. After registration, changes in registration status will be determined by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.
  2. Full-time Registration Requirement: Full-time students register in 14 to 17 units of credit per term to preserve eligibility for merit-based awards. Permission must be obtained for a course over-load or course-underload from the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.
  3. Part-Time Registration Requirement: Part-time students register in 7 to 13 units of credit per term to preserve eligibility for merit-based awards not requiring full-time status.

Academic Performance1

  1. Probationary Status
    1. Failure to achieve a grade point average of 2.0 at the end of any term will result in academic probation for the following term of registration and may result in conditions on progression in the program, including a requirement to withdraw. Conditions of academic probation will be set by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.
    2. Any student who is on academic probation is not eligible for exchange, letters of permission or overloads for the duration of the period on probation.
  2. Requirement to Withdraw
    1. A student who fails more than one course or fails to achieve a grade point average of 2.0 over the fall and winter terms, may be required to withdraw for a term or an academic year. At the expiry of the period of withdrawal, application for reinstatement must be made to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee.
    2. A decision requiring withdrawal would be made after any academic relief has been provided such as extensions for written coursework, supplementary examinations or special examinations. If the student refuses academic relief or has been unable to complete the coursework by the extended deadline or has not been able to sit the special or supplemental examinations granted are matters that will be taken into account in making a decision to require withdrawal.
    3. If the student contests the decision of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee to require withdrawal, then an appeal may be made to Faculty Board. The appeal would be listed on the Agenda as an individual student matter. Student and staff faculty board representatives would not participate in voting on such a matter unless the student appellant expressly consents.

Academic Honours

Dean’s Honour List

Each academic year, JD degree program students whose grade point average (GPA) in Queen’s law courses places them within the top 10 per cent of their class in each of the three years of study will be named to the Dean’s Honour List.

Grade point averages are calculated after the end of each academic year for all law courses taken by JD degree program students during that academic year at Queen’s University and the preceding summer term in the International Law Summer Program at Queen’s International Study Centre.

Letter grades are converted to the four-point GPA scale, and the GPA for each student is then calculated after accounting for credit weights assigned to each course.

Consideration for the Dean’s Honour List in an academic year is subject to the following conditions:

  • Full-time students in first year must have completed all of the seven compulsory courses for a total of 36 credits. Full-time students in each of the upper years must have completed a minimum total of 14 credits per term and 28 credits for the academic year.
  • Part-time students in first year must have completed four of the seven compulsory courses for a minimum total of 20 credits. Part-time students in each of the upper years must have completed a minimum total of 7 credits per term and 14 credits for the academic year.
  • Students who attend another university on an exchange or a letter of permission for one term will be considered on the basis of their GPA for law courses completed during the term at Queen’s University.
  • Students who attend another university on an exchange or a letter of permission for an academic year will not be considered for that academic year.
  • Students registered in a combined degree program will be considered for the Dean’s Honour List on the basis of grades for Law courses obtained in their respective year.
  • Students who are granted paper or examination deferrals by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee will be added to the Dean’s Honour List after receipt of all their final grades if their GPA is greater than or equal to that of the student with the lowest GPA who was named to the Dean’s Honour List at the end of the academic year.
  • Students who are placed on the Dean’s Honour List will receive a notation on their transcripts.

Full-time students in first, second and third year who obtain the top three GPAs in their classes will be recognized with awards as follows:

  • Dean’s Gold Scholar Award: A plaque is awarded annually to the students obtaining the highest average in first, second and third year of the JD degree program.
  • Dean’s Silver Scholar Award: A plaque is awarded annually to the students obtaining the second highest average in first, second and third year of the JD degree program.
  • Dean’s Bronze Scholar Award: A plaque is awarded annually to the students obtaining the third highest average in first, second and third year of the JD degree program.

Any tie in students’ GPAs for a Dean’s Scholar Award at the end of the academic year will be dealt with by the Faculty’s Awards Committee at its discretion. Students who are granted paper or examination deferrals by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee will be awarded a Dean’s Scholar Award after receipt of all their final grades if their GPA is equal to that of the student who received that Dean’s Scholar Award at the end of the academic year.

Medal List

Each year, the graduating students obtaining the top three cumulative GPAs will be awarded medals as follows:

  1. Medal in Law: Awarded to the candidate graduating with the highest cumulative average in the JD program.
  2. Medal in Law-Second Highest Standing: Awarded to the candidate graduating with the second- highest cumulative average in the JD program.
  3. Medal in Law-Third Highest Standing: Awarded to the candidate graduating with the third-highest cumulative average in the JD program in the Faculty of Law.

In addition to the conditions for the Dean’s Honour List, to be considered for a graduation medal, students must have completed 36 first year credits and a minimum of 42 upper year credits in law courses at Queen’s University.

Students who will not be graduating until the Fall Convocation in any year will be considered for medals awarded for the subsequent academic year in competition with students graduating in the Summer Convocation of that year.

Note: GPA calculations are used for the purposes of determining students named to the Dean’s Honour List, and recipients of the Dean’s Scholar Awards and medals only. Queen’s Faculty of Law does not otherwise rank its students.

Bader International Study Centre (BISC) Global Law Program

  1.    
    1. The International Business Law program is open to law students enrolled in JD or LLB programs at accredited Canadian or American universities, and to international law students enrolled at universities with which Queen's is an exchange partner. Admission is restricted to students who will have completed the first year of the JD/LLB program by the commencement of the BISC program, or upper-year students. If available, transcripts of first-year grades from the fall term are to be provided. Upper-year applicants from Canadian law schools, including Queen's Law, should provide a transcript of their JD/LLB coursework showing good academic performance. International law students must provide transcripts of their coursework in law showing good academic performance and an academic letter of reference. The language of instruction is English and proof of fluency may be required.
    2. The Public International Law program is open to students who satisfy the requirements in point 1a. Admission may also be possible for qualified applicants who have an academic or professional background in an area related to public international law.
  2. Students may enroll in the International Business Law program or the Public International Law program. Due to conflicts in field trip and class times, students are not permitted to take a combination of courses from different programs.
  3. Each program is worth nine credits towards the Queen's University JD.
  4. Students at Queen's Faculty of Law may not use the course-work completed at the BISC to reduce status in the Queen's Law program from full-time to part-time, but students may use the credits obtained to reduce registration to fewer than the usual four terms necessary to complete the minimum upper-year course credits in the Queen's JD degree program at full-time status.
  5. The JD Academic Calendar and Regulations apply to Global Law Programs at the BISC.

Letters of Permission

Domestic Letter of Permission

A limited number of students are permitted to study at another law school in Canada for one term or academic year in their second or third year of law. A Queen's JD student may apply for a letter of permission to study at another Canadian law faculty subject to the condition that the student has or will complete first-year law together with a minimum of 28 upper-year credits in residence at Queen's Faculty of Law. Personal and academic factors provided by the applicant are weighed in determining whether they will be granted a letter of permission. The student granted a letter of permission must ensure that they complete all other Queen's JD degree requirements. A letter of permission from Queen's Faculty of Law serves as official recognition that upon conditions set forth in the letter, courses successfully completed in the specified Canadian law school will be accepted for credit towards the Queen's JD degree. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Mandatory Course Requirement (LAW 225 Civil Procedure), the Practice Skills Requirement and the Advocacy Requirement at Queen's. Any student wishing to complete a degree requirement while on a letter of permission must seek the approval of the Assistant Dean of Students.

International Letter of Permission

Law students may apply to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee for a Letter of Permission for International Study to study for one term at a law school with which Queen's Law does not have an official exchange agreement. A letter of permission from Queen's Faculty of Law serves as official recognition that upon conditions set forth in the letter, courses successfully completed in the specified Canadian law school will be accepted for credit towards the Queen's JD degree. The student must satisfy the Faculty of Law's Residency Requirement: a minimum of 28 upper-year credits must be taken in residence at Queen's Law. The student must complete the Substantial Term Paper and the Practice Skills and Advocacy Requirements and the course in Civil Procedure at Queen's Law.

Registration in Courses at Queen's Outside the Faculty of Law

In recognition of the nexus between law and other disciplines, especially the social sciences, the Faculty of Law may allow upper-year students to enroll for credit in final-year honours and graduate courses in other non-law Faculties. Students may normally enroll in outside courses for a maximum total of 12 credits in their upper years of law studies as long as such courses are taken as part of a registered JD term. The amount of credit for each course will be determined by the Academic Standing and Policies Committee. In order to enroll in an outside course, interested students should first seek the permission of the instructor concerned, and then apply to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee for permission to take the course. In considering such applications, the Committee may take into account among other things,

  1. whether the course is likely to improve the student's legal education, and
  2. whether the course overlaps excessively with work which the student has done previously. 

No credit will be given for courses offered by other non-law Faculties taken in summer and summer terms.

Faculty of Law Commitment to Equality

The Faculty of Law recognizes the right of all persons to equality and the fact that the fundamental principles of equality are not well enough served by a legal community which remains disproportionately male and white. The Faculty has demonstrated a commitment to ameliorating the historic and current inequalities between women and men. It has also demonstrated a similar commitment to rectifying the inequities faced by various minorities in our society, particularly visible minorities. The members of the Faculty of Law will continue to expand their efforts in this direction.

Academic Standing & Policies Committee

Academic Issues

The Academic Standing and Policies Committee is responsible for dealing with issues of academic standing and progress, and problems with academic work. Applications from students are presented to the Committee for consideration and decisions of the Committee are issued in writing. Decisions on applications to the Committee are emailed to the appropriate persons.

Typically, the Academic Standing and Policies Committee deals with the following sorts of issues:

  • Requests for special examination privileges where performance on an exam was affected adversely by documented medical or compassionate grounds.
  • Requests for supplemental examination privileges for a course in which the student has failed the course.
  • Requests for language-based examination accommodations.
  • Requests for extensions for the late submission of coursework such as papers.
  • Requests for late add or late drop of courses after the designated period has expired.
  • Requests to change status from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time.
  • Requests to take a course overload in a term.
  • Requests for approval of an international study abroad program on a letter of permission when transfer credits are sought to the Queen's JD degree.

To make a request, please submit the appropriate application form to the Academic Standing and Policies Committee. Applicants can request that the student members of the Committee participate in the hearing of the matter or that the matter be heard without the student members present.

Appeals from Decisions of the ASPC

If a student is not satisfied with a decision of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee, the student may appeal to Faculty Board. The student is advised to initially seek an interview with the Assistant Dean, the Chair of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee or the Associate Dean to attempt an informal resolution. If the student does not wish to seek such an interview or is not satisfied with the result of such an interview, the student may appeal to Faculty Board. The appeal should be submitted in writing to the Chair of Faculty Board within three weeks of receiving the decision of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee. The Chair of Faculty Board shall advise the student to consult a Faculty Advisor and of the right to seek other counsel. Prior to the hearing of the appeal, the Chair of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee shall provide to the Chair of Faculty Board a written document that includes information on the nature of the initial request by the student, supporting documentation submitted by the student, any other material used by the Committee in reaching its decision, and the reasons for turning down the request by the student. The Chair of Faculty Board will provide a copy of this document to the student and to the student's Advisor or counsel. The Chair of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee and the student or the student's Advisor or counsel may meet informally to reach a negotiated resolution. At the hearing of the appeal, the Chair of Faculty Board may request that the Chair of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee outline for Faculty Board the nature of the initial request by the student, the supporting documentation submitted by the student, any other material used by the Committee in reaching its decision, and the reasons for turning down the request by the student, and respond to questions. The Chair of Faculty Board may request the student's Advisor or counsel to present the appeal of the student. The Chair of Faculty Board shall grant permission to the student to appear in person before Faculty Board on the appeal where the student requests such permission. After the presentation of the appeal and prior to the deliberations of Faculty Board, all members of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee, the student and the student's Advisor or counsel shall withdraw. No member of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee shall participate in the deliberations of Faculty Board or vote. If the Associate Dean has been involved in informal attempts at negotiation or mediation, he or she should not participate in the deliberations of Faculty Board or vote. Student appeals from decisions of the Academic Standing and Policies Committee are to be de novo hearings, with the Board having the discretion to substitute its judgment for that of the committee. The decision of Faculty Board shall be final, except that any matters not pertaining to the academic substance of the decision of Faculty Board may be appealed to the Grievance Board.