Just before i go and teach, I was astonished that the story of Danièle Watts’s experience with the police in Los Angeles is making the Canadian morning news – not unhappy, just astonished.  But I wanted to say…this is a good example of something which is not new at all, but is news. This isn’t just in the US. And it isn’t just about interracial dating.  Assuming that Black and Indigenous women (in cars? near cars?) are selling sex isn’t unusual police behaviour – nor is it unusual for just ordinary folk to do it (this was a part of the Stacey Bonds story (sorry I cannot link to the IFLS posts because something is up this am – here is the ruling throwing out charges against HER, at least), and was noted in the Report of the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System. (1995)).  This is part of how some citizens have to police their own behaviour, locations, dress, etc, if they don’t want to unfairly attract the wrong (police!) attention (to say nothing of the situation of actual sex workers).   This is one way that racial profiling affects racialized women – and particularly some racialized women.   I’d love to hear more about this.  As always, the use of one incident to dramatically illustrate something is both wonderful (light of day!), and troubling (discovery!??).

Socio-Legal Studies Speaker Series Fall 2014 at Yorku

h/t Amanda Glasbeek


Monday, September 22, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm
IKB 2027(Osgoode Hall Faculty Common Room)
Dr. Sarah Keenan, SOAS, University of London
(Book Launch, co-sponsored with the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode)
“Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging


Monday, September 29, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Ian Green, School of Public Policy and Administration
“The Supreme Court’s Rights Revolution: Section 7 of the Charter and Aboriginal Rights”


Monday, October 27, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Richard Weisman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science

“Reflections on the Role of Remorse in Law and Directions for Future Research”


Monday, November 10, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

Dr. Susan Dimock, School of Public Policy and Administration

“Intoxication in Canadian Criminal Law”
Monday, November 17, 2014, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Ross South 701

 Dr. Miriam Smith, Law and Society, Department of Social Science

“Explaining the Failure to Act: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S., 1994-2014″

Louise Arbour in the Globe and Mail

Louise Arbour, noted legal mind, shares insights and advice as she joins her first law firm – The Globe and Mail.


This interview is a fun quick read.  A few highlights:

You are talking to someone who is enormously not introspectful. I have very little insight and not a great deal of interest in analyzing my inner drive.


….a dissent I wrote in Gosselin in Quebec on the right to welfare[….] was my first introduction really to economic and social rights and their alleged absence from the framework of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


There were not a lot of people I would identify with, i.e. women. My law professors were all men. My early colleagues at the law school and on the bench were all men. It’s hard for me to think of them as mentors, although it’s very clear that it’s a series of men, for the most part, who were very supportive

Deadline: Call for Papers October 15, 2014

The Asper Centre has posted this great CFP:

Call for Papers October 15, 2014

The Interplay between Sections 7 and 15 of the Charter

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, St. George Campus – February 27, 2015


The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights invites papers for its upcoming conference examining in detail the interplay between sections 7 and 15 of the Charter.


The Centre invites papers that stimulate and develop an ongoing exploration of the relationship between sections 7 and 15. Issues that can be addressed include:


• Is equality a principle of fundamental justice under section 7?

• How have the courts treated the two separate grounds for challenging government action?

• Are their strategic advantages to pleading both grounds or only one?

• How can different cases challenging the same law proceed differently based on the ground pleaded (e.g. Bedford and Downtown Eastside Sex Workers)?

• How does the relationship between the sections play out in circumstances such as mandatory minimum sentencing, challenges to the NCR provisions, human smuggling legislation?


Other conference topics may include issues such the role of individual choice in respect of both equality and liberty rights; harm or dignity as central themes; socio-economic rights or the rights of the poor; and arbitrariness as an element of the analysis under each section.


The papers will be utilized as the central themes on various panels across the one day conference and selected conference papers will be considered for publication as part of a special issue of the National Journal of Constitutional Law. Authors of papers chosen for presentation will be notified by November 1, 2014. Final (for the conference) papers are due by February 6, 2015.


The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights is a centre within the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law devoted to advocacy, research and education in the areas of constitutional rights in Canada. For more information about the Centre go to www.aspercentre.ca.


For those interested in participating, please send an abstract (max: 250 words) of your intended paper with a 1-2 paragraph biography to: Cheryl Milne at cheryl.milne@utoronto.ca


Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2014