Category Archives: News

students. what they are thinking/fighting about.

Students have more on their minds than just course material.

When I walked in to my workplace this morning, these posters (see slideshow above) were up all around the school, a new campaign courtesy of the Osgoode Feminist Collective (formerly known as the Osgoode Women’s Caucus, they changed their name a few years ago).  You can find the group on Facebook, here, and read a little more about the campaign there.

Other student activities in other places:

The Fredricton (NB) Youth Feminists, speaking out about sexualization at school via dress codes. Find them at @YouthFeminists.  Here is an article about this struggle (FYF were also engaged in the ongoing struggle for abortion access in NB):

Beirne explains why she believes the dress code is reflective of [slut shaming]: “The dress code says that we [the girls] can’t show our undergarments or our midriffs… Aside from that, the only other thing it says is that we have to dress modestly, and that is a problem, because ‘modesty’ can mean different things to different teachers.”

“Basically, this ambiguity allows the teachers to force their own ideas of ‘modesty’ on us even if our infraction isn’t in the dress code, and they can publicly humiliate you for it too.”

London, on the streets, protesting tuition fees, demanding free higher education.

signs at london protest

photo via the Guardian

At Yale Law School, students wrote an open letter responding to YLS prof Jed Rubenfeld’s piece in the NYTimes on campus rape.  The open letter is at HuffPo, here, but you have to scroll down to find it.


via Impact Ethics – Commentary by Rachael Johnstone: Privileging Infertility over Abortion in New Brunswick

whath/t Sanda Rodgers for this very interesting piece by Dr. Rachael Johnstone.

Privileging Infertility over Abortion in New Brunswick at Impact Ethics blog

If it were part of a larger commitment to create a spectrum of women’s reproductive health services, the infertility fund could be laudable. However, when contrasted with the government’s long held, paternalistic stance against the creation of substantive access to abortion, it suggests more alarming commitments. Validating the desires of women to have children by investing money in expensive (often unsuccessful) treatments, while simultaneously denying the rights of those facing unwanted pregnancies by failing to provide relatively minimal financial support, suggests deeply troubling views of women’s reproductive rights. If pregnancy is the only reproductive choice the government supports, what happens to women who do not want to reproduce, or are unable or unwilling to support a child? What do these policies say about the value of women’s contributions to the community? Moreover, without clear policy guidelines to protect the health of women who undergo infertility treatment, what message is the government sending about the importance of women’s health?


Advocacy Interest Groups [not the feminist ones]

h/t Amna Qureshi for posting this article:   Sun News [fair warning!] : Edmonton Transit faces lawsuit after cancelling anti-honour killing ads.

A Calgary-based legal defence group is coming to the aid of American human rights advocates whose ads have been stripped from Edmonton buses.


In a press release, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) announced a court action in support of the non-profit American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), whose ads encouraged Canadian Muslim women and girls to come to them for legal protection from so-called “honour killings.”

I had not realised that John Carpay had moved on from the Canadian Constitutional Foundation (which still appears to be a going concern) and was now the president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (est 2010) – i had not twigged to the fact that these are different organizations. Both are on twitter, @JCCFCanada @CDNConstFound and both are registered charities.  Both list the cases they are running on their sites


It will be interesting to see what approach these groups are taking to their litigation strategies and what issues they are pushing.  Paper topic, anyone?


Updated Again Hiring – and other choices

MAY updates highlighted in GREEN

April 15th Updates are in Bold & Highlighted (1 retirement, 2 hires and a bit of new information, one shamefaced correction)

U de M

Annick Provencher Le doyen Guy Lefebvre et l’ensemble de la Faculté sont heureux d’annoncer la nomination de Mme Annick Provencher au poste de professeure adjointe en droit fiscal.  L’expertise de la professeure Provencher en fiscalité prend appui sur plus d’une décennie de pratique en litige fiscal à la direction des Affaires fiscales du ministère de la Justice du Canada.  Elle termine actuellement des études doctorales en droit fiscal à l’Université d’Ottawa sur la construction du rôle de la femme dans le discours de politiques fiscales. Sa thèse s’intéresse à la friction possible entre les impératifs de neutralité des lois fiscales et l’introduction de mécanismes de redistribution de nature sociale dans ces lois. Se justifiant derrière des postulats de neutralité, le discours dominant attribue pourtant différents rôles aux femmes, tant dans l’élaboration des dispositions de la loi que dans l’interprétation judiciaire qui en découle. À la frontière du droit, de la fiscalité et de la sociologie, ses travaux impliquent une dimension interdisciplinaire importante. Par exemple, elle s’intéresse également à l’impact des changements sociaux sur les mécanismes de promotion au sein des grandes firmes de services professionnels et à leurs effets sur les femmes.  Ses différentes activités de recherche se sont traduites, entre autres, par des présentations lors de conférences universitaires, par des contributions à des ouvrages collectifs et par l’écriture d’articles soumis à des revues reconnues dans son domaine de compétence.

[h/t Paul Daly]

Osgoode (Finally!)

two new hires (+ one lateral, not listed here, but see here

Amar Bhatia ’05 is a Catalyst Fellow and Visiting Professor at Osgoode for the 2013-14 academic year. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English and postcolonial literature (Queen’s; Sussex) and an LLB from Osgoode. He articled and worked in union-side labour and employment law in Toronto before returning to graduate school. He subsequently obtained an LLM from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he received the Howland Prize for most outstanding performance in the program. Amar was awarded a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship to pursue his SJD at U of T, and is currently in the final stage of his candidacy. His dissertation looks at issues of status and authority of migrant workers and Indigenous peoples under Canadian immigration law, Aboriginal law, treaty relations, and Indigenous legal traditions.
Margaret Boittin comes to us from Stanford University where she has been a Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law since 2012. She has a JD from Stanford, and is completing her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, she holds an MA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a BA from Yale University. Her PhD dissertation is on the regulation of prostitution in China. She is also conducting research on human trafficking in Nepal, and criminal law policy and local enforcement in the United States. Bilingual in French and English, Margaret is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and proficient in Russian and Spanish. Her primary teaching interests are property law, international law, criminal law, state and local government law, Chinese law, comparative law, and empirical methods.


It is time to congratulate Susan Boyd, holder of UBC Law’s Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and PAST [corrected – with apologies to Susan and Janine Benedet, the Current Director!] Director of UBC Law’s Centre for Feminist Legal Studies on completing her “last class”, as astonishing as that might seem.  Those who do not know Susan still have the chance as she is not retiring just yet, and of course, you can get to know Susan through her work (ssrn here), and through the many legal scholars and lawyers who benefited from her mentorship.
It really is the last year for UBC Professor Claire Young, who will retire on June 30 2014. A few words from her retirement announcement will give you a flavour of all her contributions over the years: 

Claire has combined a strong commitment to excellence in teaching with an active and dynamic research agenda throughout her career. She was twice awarded the Killam Teaching Prize during her time at UBC (and was nominated a total of 6 years); she was also awarded a Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Western Ontario in 1988. She has been a leading voice in Canada, in academic and legal settings and in engagement with the media, in addressing critical issues at the intersection of tax law and social policy, including gender and same-sex equality. In 2003 she was awarded the Therese Casgrain prize in recognition of her work on women and economic issues.

In addition to numerous publications and presentations over the years, she has held visiting appointments at the National Taiwan University, the University of Sydney, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and at UBC’s Centre for Research in Women¹s Studies and Gender Relations. Claire has also taken up leadership roles in several legal professional and non-profit organizations, including the Canadian Law and Society Association, the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Lesbian and Gay Rights Law Section, the National Association of Women and the Law, and the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She also volunteered her legal expertise on a number of occasions in signal Canadian court cases in the area of taxation which had important implications for gender and same-sex equality. She has also consulted with the Department of Finance, Canada and worked in the international arena with the tax authorities of several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong on questions of tax policy and gender. 

h/t for that update – Susan Boyd, of course. 


And, it is time to welcome to the academy [note that I’m only listing NEW hires or lateral hires from outside the Cdn legal academy here, not laterals within Canada, and only where I can find official announcements – i will try to update as these come in]

To UBC Law: Efrat Arbel (constitutional law, refugee law, Aboriginal law, and prison law) announcement here. @earbel

To Windsor Law, Pascale Chapdelaine (Copyright Law, International Intellectual Property law, Property Law, Consumer Law and the Regulation of the Legal Profession), Noel Semple (Windsor) (legal services regulation, professionalism, and access to justice) @NoelSemple  Sara Wharton (international criminal law, the law of armed conflict, transnational criminal law, and public international law)

To U of T Law, Profs. Satterthwaite (tax)  Su (international human rights, constitutional law, and comparative law, religion & law, @riceysu) and Stacey (comparative constitutional, international human rights, and administrative law) (announcement here)

To U of Ottawa Law Amy Salyzyn (legal ethics, gender and the law, law and technology and civil justice reform, @AmySalyzyn) Michael Pal ( law of democracy, administrative law, comparative constitutional law, municipal law, immigration law, empirical legal studies and restitution, @mikepalcanada) and Yan Campagnolo (constitutional law, administrative law, and access to information, property law) (announcement here)
To UVIC Law: Patricia Cochran (law and political theory. common sense in legal judgement, feminism @PACochran) and Carol Liao (domestic and international corporate law and governance issues, corporate social responsibility, social innovation, law and economics, and the global emergence of hybrid corporate structures that are blending for-profit and non-profit legal characteristics in their design. @carolmliao, and see her profile hereh/t Efrat Arbel

A UdeM: Julie Biron (droit des affaires   l’actionnariat et la gouvernance des sociétés par actions,  l’investissement sur les marchés financiers)  h/t @KarineMyrgianie


Got new colleagues? Please let me know by email! Are they feminists? Then please let them know about the IFLS.  Please let me know about feminists retiring too, naturally, or announcing their plans to do so.