Category Archives: What we’re thinking/reading/doing (IFLS blog)

What’s interesting these days?

This Friday: Emma Cunliffe at SLST Series: Women and Wrongful Convictions: Learning from 'difference'


The Socio-Legal Studies 2013-2014 Speaker Series 

Friday, November 22, 2013  2:30 – 4:00pm

Ross South 701 

Dr. Emma Cunliffe

Faculty of Law University of British Columbia

Women and Wrongful Convictions:  Learning from Difference

E. Cunliffe

Dr. Emma Cunliffe is an Associate Professor in the UBC Faculty of Law.  Dr. Cunliffe’s research focuses on medical, scientific and behavioural evidence in criminal trials; and more generally considers the interplay between expert knowledges, common sense and legal reasoning. She is the author of Murder, Medicine and Motherhood (Hart Publishing, 2011) which examines the case of Kathleen Folbigg, a mother who was convicted of murdering her children based on misleading medical evidence. Her book demonstrates how legal process, medical knowledge and expectations of motherhood work together when a mother is charged with killing infants who have died in mysterious circumstances. With funding from SSHRC, she is working with Professor Christine Boyle on a project examining child homicide cases in Canada. Dr Cunliffe is a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Evidence & Proof.  At UBC, she teaches criminal law, evidence and a graduate seminar in research methodologies and has won the Killam Award for Teaching Excellence and the George Curtis Memorial Award for Teaching.

 Co-Sponsored by: Criminology and the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies

 

 

brief followup on Talking Back to Toronto Life on Race/Space/SexualAssault

Toronto Life published our letter, friends.  November 2013

[for the background to this issue, see this post from late September  (which includes the full text of the letter we sent).

They didn’t publish the whole thing.   Inter alia,  they left out this line:

 It relies on racist tropes about the dangers of Jane and Finch, sexist ignorance of the true nature of women’s vulnerability to sexual assault and elitist disregard for everything outside the zones of the 1%.

Toronto Life is still under threat of action by York, though, so who knows what the strategy could be (note the number of letters and the direction of all the comments).

Sorry that I do not have an e-version, but here is a PDF which might be slightly more accessible. I did ask them to publish a link to access the full list of signatories….but they did not respond.

Toronto Life November 2013_Page_1

Osgoode Catalyst Fellowship: enhancing the diversity of the profession. Deadline December 13

Please circulate to likely candidates and appropriate list serves.  Osgoode has had the privilege of hosting two great Fellows in the early years of this Fellowship (Amar Bhatia, Pooja Parmar) and we look forward to many more.

 

Osgoode Catalyst Fellowship 

[link at http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty/osgoode-catalyst-fellowship-application-process ]

The Osgoode Catalyst Fellowship program will serve as a bridge to a legal academic career for one or more scholars each academic year.

The Osgoode Catalyst Fellowships are designed to bring to Osgoode emerging scholars who have a demonstrated interest in a career in law teaching, and to support and mentor scholars who will enhance the diversity of the profession. Fellows will be given the opportunity to present a faculty seminar with the aim of preparing a major article for publication, to pursue an active affiliation with one of our research centers, and to teach a course at the Law School.

Promising candidates should commit to being in residence at the Law School for a full academic year. Fellowships may also be awarded for a semester. Fellows will receive approximately $50,000 in funding for a full academic year.

Fellows should not be degree candidates at Osgoode Hall Law School or any other school during the term of the fellowship.

Osgoode Hall Law School is committed to equality and diversity. We especially welcome applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBT candidates. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, and we encourage candidates to self-identify in their initial applications.

Interested individuals should send an application that includes a curriculum vitae, copies of law and graduate transcripts, a detailed statement of a research project, and three signed confidential letters of academic reference to be received as soon as possible, and in any event no later than, Friday December 13, 2013 to:

Nicole Salama
Secretary of the Faculty Recruitment Committee
Osgoode Hall Law School
York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3
e-mail: facultyrecruitment@osgoode.yorku.ca
tel: (416) 650-8283

Please note that electronic applications are strongly preferred, and hard copies will not be returned.

Women, the Constitution & the Senate: via LEAF

embattled conservative senator pamela wallin

This is about more than just Pamela Wallin’s taxi expenses!  Canada’s LEAF (Women’s Legal Education  & Action Fund) requested intervention in the upcoming (November 13-15_) Senate Reference (see Maclean’s mag background information here) but they report that the compressed timelines due to the fast tracking of this reference led to LEAF needing to request late filing, a request which was denied by LeBel J. on 2013-06-14.

Here is a link to LEAF’s memorandum of argument in the intervention request, and here is a little snippet:

4. Inclusion and equality, including equality of women and men, are fundamental principles of our democracy. 

5. Given these fundamental organizing principles, Canadian women have an expectation that electoral and appointment processes will include appropriate measures based on current knowledge and analysis to ensure equality of access and result. Such processes must promote the substantive equality of Charter rights-holders, recognizing the importance of reflecting the diversity of Canadian society and achieving overall gender balance in the composition of the Senate. Senate reform must avoid processes that will result in the underrepresentation of women and minority groups. 

6. LEAF seeks to intervene in this reference in order to assert the necessity of taking the rights of women and minority groups into account in all constitutional processes and changes touching upon Canada’s democratic institutions given the important role they fulfill with respect to law and public policy. 

This is from LEAF’s  Open Letter to the First Ministers of Canada which demands that women be consulted on Senate Reform:

The outcome of this Referencewill affect the manner in which Senators are chosen in the future. Any new selection and/or election processes must address the historic underrepresentation of women, minorities and Aboriginal peoples in Parliament. Over almost a century from women’s first right to hold office, and almost half a century from the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, women do not yet even approach gender parity by population, let alone attaining, as a matter of course, the level of participation historically accorded to men. (2)

The undersigned do not take a position with respect to the division of powers aspects of the Reference, nor do we take a position on the preferred route to reform of the Senate.  We rather urge that all governments ensure that whatever process is undertaken, the mistakes of past constitutional amendment processes will not be repeated.  Any such process must take into account the established principles of constitutional law.  Women in Canada and other Charter rights-holders have a right to be included in any Senate reform process and any Senate reform process must promote substantive equality for women and minority groups.

h/t Mary Jane Mossman

Boyd: "Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage"

This article reviews feminist critiques of same sex marriage and analyzes how marriage as a ocio-legal institution relates to inequality based on factors such as sex, race and class. The article first identifies how the legalization of same sex marriage can be viewed as a positive step in the quest for equality and recognition of lesbians and gay men. It then describes the legal and statistical trends in relation to marriage in Canada, as one of the first countries to legalize same sex marriage. The heart of the article discusses the key feminist critiques of both marriage and same sex marriage, drawing on an international survey of primarily English language literature. It considers why these critiques have been understated in the debates on same sex marriage and reviews empirical studies on the views of lesbians and gay men on marriage. While acknowledging that legal marriage can offer important rights to some couples, the conclusion suggests alternatives to placing marriage at the center of the lesbian and gay movement for equality and recognition.

via Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage by Susan B. Boyd :: SSRN.