Category Archives: (New) in Print

NIP Carmela Murdocca: To Right Historical Wrongs: Race, Gender & Sentencing in Canada via UBC Press

York University Associate Professor Carmela Murdocca‘s (Sociology) book is just out from UBC Press in the Law and Society series. (Tell your librarian!)

In To Right Historical Wrongs, Carmela Murdocca brings together the paradigm of reparative justice and the study of incarceration in an examination of this disconnect between political motivations for amending historical injustices and the vastly disproportionate reality of the penal system — a troubling reality that is often ignored.

Drawing on detailed examination of legal cases, parliamentary debates, government reports, media commentary, and community sources, Murdocca presents a new perspective on discussions of culture-based sentencing in an age of both mass incarceration and historical amendment.

via Ubcpress.ca :: University of British Columbia Press.

 

Interested in some of Carmela Murdocca’s other work?  Some is listed in her faculty bio, of course, for instance: (2010), “There Is Something in That Water”: Race, Nationalism, and Legal Violence. Law & Social Inquiry, 35: 369–402. (not open access requires access to Wiley pubs) and  “From Incarceration to Restoration: National Responsibility, Gender and the Production of Difference,” Social and Legal Studies18, 1 (2009): 23-45. (not open access requires access to Sage Publications) and Murdocca, C., “Pursuing National Responsibility in a post-9/11 World: Seeking Asylum in Canada for Gender Persecution” Not Born A Refugee Woman: Contesting Identities, Rethinking Practices, Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Khanlou and Moussa, eds.  Berghahn Books and Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, 2008, 254-263.   Three papers are on SSRN here (open access).  Enjoy!

Prof. Aya Gruber defines "Neofeminism"

Interesting.   I have a lot of overlap for the positions that Gruber takes –  I look forward to the discussion this should generate!

Neofeminism by Aya Gruber 50 Houston Law Review 1325 (2013)  [open access]

Today it is prosaic to say that “feminism is dead.” Far from being moribund, feminist legal theory is breaking from its somewhat dogmatic past and forging ahead with new vigor. Many modern feminist legal scholars seek innovative ways to better the legal, social, and economic status of women while simultaneously questioning some of the more troubling moves of second-wave feminism, such as the tendency to essentialize the woman’s experience, the turn to authoritarian state policies, and the characterization of women as pure objects or agents. These “neofeminists” prioritize women’s issues but maintain a strong commitment to distributive justice and recognize that subordination exists on multiple axes. In defining “neofeminism,” this Article examines how the troubling nature of certain second-wave feminist principles engendered new schools of feminist thought. It then illustrates this process in the domestic violence law reform context. The Article concludes that recognizing a new and vibrant progressive feminism can counter exaggerated claims of feminism’s demise, the belief that feminism has been devastated by postmodern critique, and the appropriation of the feminist label by conservative women’s groups.

Some readers might be particularly interested in this bit of the conclusion:

“Neofeminism” is somewhat of a misnomer because the ideas and critiques it encompasses are not really brand new. Many of the ideas have been germinating since the late 1980s and some even before.330 For example, the racial critique of liberal feminism’s essentialist assumptions has been around for decades.331 Left feminists have also long been critical of dominance feminism’s down-playing of class and economic status.332 Even the critique of domestic violence criminal reform has existed for over twenty years, having been formulated in response to early discourse and efforts.333 In fact, neofeminism is quite similar to what Martha Minow identified in 1989 as “the third stage of feminism.”334

Professor Gruber is at University of Colorado Law School.  Here is her faculty page, and here is some of her other work (date ascending):

In order to build coalitions and advance a general strategy of antisubordination, one must, as Eric Yamamoto opines, envision oneself as both oppressed and oppressor

 

“One of the most celebrated successes of the feminist movement is its lasting impact on domestic violence criminal laws. …. I know all too well how far the pendulum has swung, having practiced as a public defender in the District of Columbia domestic violence system. Day after day, prosecutors proceeded with cases against the wishes of victims, resulting in the mass incarceration of young black men. Could this have been the result feminist law reformers hoped for when they began their movement of resistance against patriarchy that legitimized domestic violence?This Article answers the foregoing question with a resounding no. It demonstrates that domestic violence reform has become far removed from its progressive roots and now supports rather than supplants patriarchal ideology. The Article traces the history of domestic violence reform and explains how it transformed from a grassroots populist movement to a politically powerful lobby deeply allied with law enforcement. One of the reasons for this transformation was the influence of the powerful victims’ rights movement. This movement originated as a conservative counter to Warren Court civil liberties and employs essentialist discourse objectifying victims and characterizing defendants as purely autonomous agents to unmoor crime from its social roots. The Article argues that in recent times, victims’ rights reformers and the government have appropriated the domestic violence issue, not to change the patriarchal institutions that support battering, but rather to further a pro-criminalization agenda. In addition, feminists, whose original program was to vindicate women’s autonomy, have begun to adopt the essentialist discourse of objectifying battered women by characterizing abused women as helpless, scared, irrational, and sick. The Article suggests that feminists simply stop advocating criminal law reforms as the solution to the problem of domestic abuse and proposes some pedagogical methodologies for teaching domestic violence without characterizing abused women in an essentialist manner.”

” This Article cautions feminists to weigh carefully any purported benefits of reform against the considerable philosophical and practical costs of criminalization strategies before considering making further investments of time, resources, and intellect in rape reform. In advancing this caution, the Article systematically catalogues the existing intra-feminist critiques of rape reform and discusses reasons why these critiques have proven relatively ineffective at reversing the punitive course of reform. The Article then crafts a separate philosophical critique of pro-prosecution approaches by exposing the tension between the basic tenets of feminism and those animating the modern American penal state. Finally, it discusses why purported cultural and utilitarian benefits from rape reform cannot outweigh the destructive effect criminalization efforts have on feminist discourse and the feminist message. The Article concludes that feminists should begin the complicated process of disentangling feminism’s important anti-sexual coercion stance from a criminal justice system currently reflective of hierarchy and unable to produce social justice.”

A “Neo-feminist” Assessment of Rape and Domestic Violence Law Reform, 15 J. RACE, GENDER & JUST. 583 (2012) (not open access)

“It seemed to me that feminist criminal law reform had become less about critiquing the state and society’s treatment of women3 and more about allying with police power to find newer and better ways of putting men, who themselves often occupy subordinate statuses, in jail. 4 These personal experiences informed my view of feminism when I later became a law professor. Concerned over feminists’ embrace of the penal state and prosecutorial interventions, I produced critiques of feminist interventions like domestic violence mandatory arrest and prosecution policies. 5 Because my scholarship is critical of some of the most “successful” feminist law reform interventions, some view it as antifeminist.  However, I never intended to reject or recede from feminism. Rather, I dub my analysis a “neo-feminist” critique.”

 

Miscarriages of Race and Gender Justice, 76 ALBANY L. REV. 1571 (2012-13)

There is, however, a set of cases in which the lenient treatment of criminal defendants engenders critique from progressive scholars—scholars whose sympathies otherwise lie  with defendants‘ rights.

IFLS talks on [video]tape: Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality and Democracy from our hairstyles to our shoes

Capture

Prof. Ruthann Robson

Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality and Democracy 

Watch the talk Ruthann Robson gave at Osgoode September 23, 2013, complete with Introduction by Osgoode’s Kate Sutherland.

Here is a link to the book Dressing Constitutionally and you can see Professor Robson’s blog on the subject of Dressing Constitutionally, here.  You can also follow @robsonconlaw on twitter, AND you can check out her writing outside legal scholarship via her website, here.

 

 

Need something to read? Twitter Roundup Part II

News-ish

@JillFilipovic 18 Sep  In the @munkdebate feminist universe, all the men are obsolete and all the women are white. http://www.munkdebates.com/debates/the-end-of-men  

@MacleansMag 19 Sep Canada rejects UN rights panel call for review of violence on aboriginal women http://ow.ly/p0U9S   #cdnpoli

Cases

UK Judge Rules Defendant Must Remove Niqab to Testify | Dressing Constitutionally for @robsonconlaw analysis & precis http://bit.ly/19ey8cY

Academic-ish

New in print [NIP] : Choudhury on #Governance #Feminism & #Afghan #Women http://flip.it/fVHJ9

‏Sep Fascinating and splendid. @PaulbernalUK mix of law, levity & analysis: Disney princesses, on-line identity & privacy http://paulbernal.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/online-privacy-and-identity-and-disney-princesses/  

Not so Academic 

@rgay 13 Sep Today at The Rumpus, Lizzy Acker writes about abortion in one of the most compelling ways I’ve seen; http://therumpus.net/2013/09/love-love-love/  

RT @Longreads: “Portrait of a Ten-year-old #Girl.”  http://flip.it/fWP7O   cc: #statisticsbroughttolife

@balkissoon 19 Sep By me, in the Globe: stop bossing pregnant women around. Right now. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/a-few-drinks-while-pregnant-isnt-bad-but-the-new-maternal-puritanism-is/article14406909/?service=mobile  

Life and Law

#Lawstudents don’t disqualify yourselves! why not read: The #Habits Of Supremely #Happy People http://flip.it/1jgyr

“Busy” Is Not a Badge of Honor via @lifehacker: We need to work smarter, not harder http://flip.it/apQ6U  

Roundup of Stories from Twitter (jobs, calls, the new Charter of Values etc) for Non Twitter people: Part I

Higher Education: Smaller/Bigger?lego bird on lego horse, with lasso

‏@OsgoodeIFLS 18 Sep  Queen’s plans to expand law school enrolment http://bit.ly/19cyGjr   a revenue move, not an A2J move. “options” for #public #lawschools

Ryan Dunch ‏@DunchinYEG 16h  Impact of Alberta post-secondary cuts felt across the province http://www.cautbulletin.ca/en_article.asp?ArticleID=3690#.UkDFHpUb-bI.twitter  … #abpse #ableg #highered

Calls for…

RT @PHughesLCO: About the forthcoming Call for Project Proposal: Law Commission of Ontario http://www.lco-cdo.org/en#.UjdZFhOEKTM.twitter  …

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law: call for submissions http://www.slsa.ac.uk/news#CJWL

Jobs

@UBCLaw is hiring two (2!) tenure track positions. Home of @FemLegalStudies . #law Details: http://www.law.ubc.ca/files/pdf/faculty/jobs/2013/Law_Gen_Fac_Search_2013_FINAL.pdf

work with loads of fab people. home of @feministsatlaw RT @SLSA_UK: Four posts at Kent Law School http://www.slsa.ac.uk/news#Kent

There’s an App for That: new conlaw nerd tool

Thanks to these folks http://comparativeconstitutionsproject.org/   we get this https://www.constituteproject.org   Compare #constitutions. Form & Function seem top notch.

Try searching “Equality regardless of gender”. #nerdgames #comparative #constitutions https://www.constituteproject.org/#/search   h/t @hargreaves_s

but … the #Canadian #Constitution isn’t there! Did they forget to add it to this #toolfordesigninggovernments ? Hmmm. #googleconstitute

Academics Attacked

‏@OsgoodeIFLS 17 Sep @Yorku prof detained in #Egypt along with Dr. / Latest via @justinpodur Tarek and John on hunger strike http://bit.ly/198TTMu You may remember that Prof.  John Greyson was at Osgoode last year for the IFLS/SALSA presentation of his codirected film Rex v. Singh.

@OsgoodeIFLS 16 Sep Men’s Rights Edmntn helps create Calg chapter, releases truly awful on many levels poster campaign. Forza, @lisegot http://bit.ly/1eIXZ4Z

[Silver lining ]Lise Gotell ‏@LiseGot 16 Sep Personal attacks can have positive consequences. I’ve had so many messages of support today. I am humbled! #consent #equality.

Quebec Charter of Values

‏@OsgoodeIFLS 10 Sep  I thought infographic circulating this AM was a joke. Joke’s on me. #whatnottowear #valeursQC @BDrainvillePQ http://www.nosvaleurs.gouv.qc.ca/en/propositions/3  …

Hugo Cyr ‏@ProfCyr 11 Sep U don’t agree with #PQ s #charte des #valeursQc? Good time to reinstate the Charter challenge prog that U slashed Mr #Harper? #cdnpoli #NDP

Really interesting RT @ADodek: Quebec charter pitch exposes deep split within feminist ranks http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-charter-proposal-proves-divisive-for-provinces-feminists/article14440417/?service=mobile#!/  … #Qcpoli #women #feminism

Visual Religious Symbols & Law Alison Dundes Reteln h/t JF Gaudreault-DesBiens http://bit.ly/18moo3c   perception of threat #charterofvalues

….and Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, surprising a few (but not me)

But not surprising RT @EmmMacfarlane Frmr SCC Justice L’Heureux-Dube supports QC #valuescharter Mighty disappointing http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/21/amnesty-international-warns-quebec-values-charter-would-violate-fundamental-rights/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter  …

Now you need a laugh.

RT @GalldinRoberts: Judge to me 2day: the law is like pantyhose that fits nobody. Me: thats why I don’t wear pantyhose your honour #lawyers

Jen Otis-Fensom ‏@JenFensom 10 Sep I 100% disagree with the Charter of Quebec values. I do agree that the 70s-style open collar is a bad look, though.