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Marion Sandilands


At the convergence of law, policy and politics, Marion can be found advising, advocating and navigating. She provides timely, thoughtful, and on-point advice, and the highest quality advocacy in any forum.


Marion has acted for civil society organizations, legislative officers, industry associations, parliamentarians, businesses, and Indigenous clients. She serves clients in both English and French.

Working at the intersection of law, policy and politics, Marion is equally comfortable advocating for clients in the courtroom, conference room, or Parliamentary committee. She has appeared before the Federal Court, three provincial superior courts (Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick), the Quebec Court of Appeal, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. She has also appeared before committees of the House of Commons, Senate, and Quebec’s National Assembly.

Marion is knowledgeable in constitutional law, administrative law, and language rights. She publishes and frequently speaks on these topics. She currently teaches Canadian Federalism Law at the University of Ottawa, and has taught the Legislative Process at McGill’s Faculty of Law.

Marion takes on work such as:

  • Intervening at Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court on behalf of civil society organizations or industry associations
  • Advising clients on legislation and the Parliamentary process—including detailed bill analysis, political strategy, and appearances at legislative committees
  • Acting as agent at the Supreme Court of Canada, including strategic advice on written submissions
  • Advising and representing clients on appeals and judicial reviews

Marion joined Conway in 2019 after serving as Counsel to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court. She also previously served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court.

Prior to her career in law, Marion worked in the field of international development where she helped manage overseas projects ranging from rural livelihoods to economic research. This work took her to Kenya, Vietnam, Senegal, and Mexico.

When Marion isn’t wrestling with legal matters or with her two little children, she can be found teaching, mentoring, singing, and curling.


  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • National Association of Women and the Law
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Advocates Society

Professional Achievement and Community Involvement

  • 2023-Present | Board Member, International Commission of Jurists Canada
  • 2022-Present | Management Board Member, Belong Ottawa
  • 2020-2022 | Federal Courts Bench & Bar Liaison Committee, Canadian Bar Association
  • 2020-2022 | External Relations Committee, County of Carleton Law Association
  • 2020-2022 | Steering Committee Member, Access to Justice in English-Speaking Quebec Project
  • 2019-Present | Part-time Professor, Canadian Federalism Law, University of Ottawa
  • 2017-2021 | Board Member, Bytown Museum
  • 2018 | Maître de stage, French-language Law Practice Program


2023 (Forthcoming) “Quebec’s Bill 21 and 96: An Underwater Eruption”, in The Notwithstanding Clause and the Canadian Charter: Rights, Reforms and Disagreements, McGill-Queen’s University Press


The Charter’s Federal Spine: Why are Certain Charter Rights Immune from the Notwithstanding Clause? 43 National Journal of Constitutional Law 169, September 2022 (with Danielle Bennett)
2021 If We Do it Right, it Will Hurt: The Official Languages Act, Nation-building, and English-speaking Quebec, 17 Minorités Linguistiques et Société / Linguistic Minorities and Society 76
2020 Federal Court of Appeal Rules that Lobbying Commissioner has No Duty to Investigate Complaints from the Public, Canadian Bar Association, Administrative Law Section

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English | French

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