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.

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.