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

What’s interesting these days?

NIP [two that look interesting...] employment equity & 'women's work'

Employment Equity in Canada: The Legacy of the Abella Report 

Carol Agócs, ed

Carol Agócs is Professor Emerita at UWO Poli Sci (read her biographical info here).  The table of contents (here) looks great.  Articles by Gerald Hunt, David Rayside and Donn Short, Marcia Rioux and Lora Patton, Mary Cornish, Fay Faraday and Jan Borowy, Raj Anand, inter alia, and a forward by Justice Abella herself!

“Informative and evidence-based, this book celebrates the legacy of the Abella Report, while raising critical questions about the continuing challenges of achieving workplace equality.”

Colleen Sheppard, Director, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

from the publishers page here 

Publisher’s page at U of T Press

Examining the evidence of nearly thirty years, the contributors – both scholars and practitioners of employment policy – evaluate the history and influence of the Abella Report, the impact of Canada’s employment equity legislation on equality in the workplace, and the future of substantive equality in an environment where the Canadian government is increasingly hostile to intervention in the workplace. They compare Canada’s legal and policy choices to those of the United States and to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and examine ways in which the concept of employment equity might be expanded to embrace other vulnerable communities. Their observations will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the past, present, and future of Canadian employment and equity policy.

from the publishers page here

book coverBeyond Caring Labour to Provisioning Work
by Sheila M. Neysmith, Marge Reitsma-Street, Stephanie Baker Collins, and Elaine Porter also from U of T Press, publisher’s page here.
Although women have long been members of the labour force, the proportion of domestic, caring, and community work they provide compared to men or the state has yet to decrease substantially. Beyond Caring Labour to Provisioning Work offers a powerful new framework for understanding women’s work in a holistic sense, acknowledging both their responsibilities in supporting others as well as their employment duties.

Beyond Caring Labour to Provisioning Work is based on a four-year, multi-site study of women who are members of contemporary community organizations. The authors reveal the complex ways in which these women define and value their own work, investigating what supports and constrains their individual and collective efforts. Calling on the state to assist more with citizens’ provisioning responsibilities, Beyond Caring Labour to Provisioning Work provides an excellent basis for new discussions on equitable and sustainable public policies. (here)

New in Print: Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies (Cook, Erdman, Dickens, eds.)

15282It is increasingly implausible to speak of a purely domestic abortion law, as the legal debates around
the world draw on precedents and influences of different national and regional contexts. While the
United States and Western Europe may have been the vanguard of abortion law reform in the latter
half of the twentieth century, Central and South America are proving to be laboratories of thought and
innovation in the twenty-first century, as are particular countries in Africa and Asia.

That’s a quote that might be comforting or worrying, really.   It comes from the publisher’s material for this new collection edited by Rebecca Cook and Bernard Dickens (U of T Law, emerita and emeritus) and Joanna Erdman (Dalhousie Law).   Alert your institutional library about this – here is the publisher’s material, and here is the publisher’s website material.

 

The impressive list of contributors includes : Luis Roberto BarrosoPaola Bergallo, Lisa M. Kelly, Adriana Lamačková, Julieta Lemaitre, Alejandro Madrazo, Charles G. Ngwena, Rachel Rebouché,  Ruth Rubio-Marín, Sally Sheldon, Reva B. Siegel, Verónica Undurraga, and Melissa Upreti.

Joanna Erdman’s work has been featured by the IFLS before, and she’s coming through for the Gendering Civil Liberties workshop this month which of course includes some questions about reproductive rights.

This blog has also recently featured contemporary abortion struggles in New Brunswick (here and here) and Ireland (e.g. here).  This book will offer a much wider perspective, one which may be either chilling or invigorating, depending on your domestic context and concerns.

Drop me a note if you are reviewing it, please,  at slawrence at Osgoode dot yorku dot ca.

 

 

{Book Launch} Sept 22: Subversive Property: Law & the Production of Spaces of Belonging by Sarah Keenan (SOAS)

 IFLS Speaker Series & Socio Legal Studies Speaker Series

{Book Launch} Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging with Sarah Keenan (SOAS)

Monday September 22  230-4   IKB (Osgoode Hall)  Room 2003 22SeptSarahJKeenanROOM CHANGE IKB 2027 FACULTY COMMON ROOM

Sarah Keenan is lecturer in Law at SOAS, University of London.  She teaches Property, Feminist Legal Theory and Indigenous Land Rights and is also engaged in community-based struggles around each of these issues.  She’s been to the IFLS before, see these posts.          

pdf poster for sharing, printing here

This book explores the relationship between space, subjectivity and property, arguing that new political possibilities for property may be unveiled by thinking about property in terms of belonging rather than exclusion.  While most socio-legal theories of property focus on the propertied subject and that subject’s right to exclude, this book shifts focus away from the propertied subject and on to the broader spaces in and through which the propertied subject is located.  Using case studies, such as analyses of compulsory leases under Australia’s Northern Territory Intervention and lesbian asylum cases from a range of jurisdictions, the book argues that these spaces consist of networks of relations that revolve around belonging: not just belonging between subject and object, as property is traditionally understood, but also the less explored relation of belonging between the part and the whole.  This presentation will discuss the main themes of the book to suggest ways in which subversive property might offer a conceptually useful way of analysing a wide range of socio-legal issues.

 

 

Light refreshments will be provided

Questions? Please contact the IFLS administrator, Lielle Gonsalves LGonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca

 

Máiréad Enright on reproductive rights in Ireland – past & present colliding

A belated link to a post by Máiréad Enright over at Inherently Human about symphysiotomya surgical procedure which breaks bones in the pelvic region to allow vaginal delivery:

“Symphysiotomy was thought to permanently enlarge the pelvis, and therefore, when carried out in a first pregnancy, it might remove the necessity for a woman with ‘disproportion’ to face repeated CS in future pregnancies. This was a particular problem for Catholic doctors. Contraception was practised in most developed countries, making repeat problem pregnancies less common, and non-Catholic doctors advised sterilisation after three CS. Irish Catholic doctors were unable or unwilling to do this. They were aware of criticism by colleagues who believed that Catholic religious structures disadvantaged patients. ” (from Jacqueline Morrissey, ‘The murder of infants? Symphysiotomy in Ireland, 1944-66″ (2012) 20(5) History Ireland, quoted in The Journal November 2012 “A history of symphysiotomy: the impact of Catholic ethics on Irish medicine”, here)

Many women who were given the procedure testify that they were not properly informed, did not consent and were not even told about the procedure during recovery.     This procedure was not performed in any other country where there was the capacity to provide safe C-sections.

The procedure was used until the 1980’s.  Since then, there have been court cases, a Report, an Independent Review, and now the group Survivors of Symphysiotomy have asked the UN Committee Against Torture to look into the Irish experience (see the SOS report here).  Máiréad’s post examines, in some fascinating detail, the Irish state responses to the UN Human Rights Committee [UNHRC]in a recent ICCPR review, with particular reference to the proposal for redress of women who received this surgery.

Her conclusion is both brutally clear and nuanced in its analysis:

At Geneva, the state delegation seemed poorly prepared to discuss institutional gender-based violence. The common sense that Ireland is ‘facing up to its past’ is self-satisfied nonsense. True, the papers are happy to print stories of oppression and violence suffered in an Ireland neatly consigned to some long ago time. But it has proven too easy to swat away public scrutiny of the administrative systems which the state has devised for the management of the Magdalene women, the subjects of the Ryan report, the children abused in national schools, the women subjected to symphysiotomy, and, soon, the women and children circulated through and confined in the Mother and Baby Homes. Those systems are structured by a strange intertwining of paternalism and penny-pinching. In ‘the past’, the Irish state was frankly committed to containing, disciplining and directing the conduct of those considered unfit to think for themselves, and at the lowest possible cost. Today’s redress policy is a softer, but no less threatening, echo of that grim political economy.via Ireland, Symphysiotomy and the UNHRC | Inherently Human

Grim is the word.  Those of you following the current debates over abortion law and practice in Ireland  will find this post a critically important piece of context, both historical and contemporary.

Once you have read the post described above, read another more recent post by Máiréad, over at Critical Legal Thinking.  This one describes what is known and not known about a recent case dealt with under Ireland’s abortion laws.  READ IT, please, if you have any interest in these issues.

Once you have done that you will know much more about the current state of the law in Ireland, you might have new insights into the state of the law in your jurisdiction, and you will probably want to know more about Máiréad Enright.  So,

  • follow her on twitter@MaireadEnright
  • learn about what she does at Kent Law School as a lecturer, here
  • anticipate what is sure to be a no holds barred Irish Feminist Judgments project here and here
  • virtually attend an Economic and Social Research Council seminar series she co-organizes – The Public Life of Private Law – here (because there is audio of so many things you missed)
  • read some of her work on SSRN here, such as Girl Interrupted: Citizenship and the Irish Hijab Debate (2011) 20 Social and Legal Studies  463,
  • and find more in the blogosphere by looking here (or, of course, any search engine, since she’s probably writing something right now)

Don’t waste time feeling inadequate either.

Via Slaw: Why Prof. Joanne St. Lewis Stood Up to Racist Cyber Libel – Slaw

If you don’t know what this is about, I urge you to read Professor St. Lewis’ words as guest blogged on Slaw.   As noted in the piece, the case is likely to be appealed.  This is what racist speech looks like – and the gender angle here is also apparent.  For those, like me, not entirely comfortable with the tort of libel, this case may help to clarify anxieties and boundaries in terms of its use.  As always, Professor St. Lewis is eloquent as she draws the connections between past and present, individual and community, law and power.

Professor Joanne St. Lewis: Why I Stood Up to Racist Cyber Libel – Slaw

In the end, it was not simply pride that enabled me to persist. I firmly believe that racialized professionals in the academe have a unique role as knowledge producers well beyond the expectation that they be role models and mentors. We must do our work with integrity. This integrity includes bringing rigor to how issues of racism are analyzed and developed within and outside the classroom. If we cannot engage in these discussions within the academe then what hope is there for the broader social engagement that is essential for the realization of an enlarged Black humanity in a constitutional democracy?