Category Archives: Upcoming IFLS Events

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



IFLS Community/Connections/Commitment CONVERSATIONS series

CommunityConnectionsCommitmentCONVERSATIONS series wordmarkIn the Winter term, the IFLS is starting a Community/Connections/CommitmentConversations series.  This speaker series aims to bring local lawyers and others engaged in feminist advocacy work to the law school to discuss their work and their career paths.  These more informal lunch sessions are aimed at members of the Osgoode & York community (law students and others) who are interested in finding out more about the work that is happening in this city, and the people who are doing it.  How can you get involved? How can you drive your own career in these directions? What are the pressing on the ground issues? How does research connect with activism and advocacy? How do people with formal expertise best connect and work with communities?  What are the major challenges to successful advocacy? What kind of strategies are being used, and how can we build skills in all of these areas?

Sessions will include snacks and time for questions and for the audience to informally chat with visitors and each other.  Come – build feminist community/ies.

Next semester the CommunityConnectionsCommitmentCONVERSATIONS sessions will be Tuesdays:  January 21 and Feb. 4 12:30 to 2:30. Save the date!


Details will be here or via @osgoodeIFLS on twitter or at our Facebook page.

If you have a suggestion about potential speakers, please contact Sonia Lawrence directly (email slawrence at osgoodeDotyorkuDotca)

LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean: Thurs Nov. 21, 1230-230


LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean facebook event page.

Today, same-gender intimacy is criminalized in 11 of the 12 Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean under laws introduced by British colonialism. Join us for this panel of Caribbean leaders who are working to advance LGBT rights in the Caribbean. The panelists will discuss the work and history of LGBT activism in Jamaica and Belize as well as current litigation to advance LGBT rights including the following cases:

·         Inter-American Commission on Human Rights A.B., S.H. v Jamaica P-1249-11

·         Javed Jaghai v Attorney General of Jamaica 2013 HCV 00650

·         Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and Another 2012 HCV 05676

·         Maurice Tomlinson v Belize AND Maurice Tomlinson v the State of Trinidad and Tobago CCJ Application Nos. OA1 & OA2 of 20130. Caribbean Court of Justice

·         Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize

·         Quincy McEwan et al vs. Attorney General of Guyana (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination) (see here for more on this case)


Maurice Tomlinson will speak about legal cases in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the influence of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in human rights jurisprudence across the region. Tomlinson is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups, for AIDS-Free World and a Lecturer at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Caleb Orozco will speak about the constitutional challenge to the Criminal Code of Belize, which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” in which he is the litigant.  As well, he will speak about the obstacles and strategies for LGBT human rights in Belize. Orozco is the Executive Director of United Belize Advocacy Movement, an LGBT rights organization in Belize.

Brian-Paul Welsh will speak on the history of Jamaican LGBT activism from the 1970’s to the present. He will discuss the formation and evolution of the Jamaican LGBT group J-FLAG. Welsh is a law student and Advocacy Coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS, leading LGBT organizations in the Caribbean.

Nancy Nicol is the Principal Investigator of the research project Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She will discuss the research and participatory videos currently in progress with LGBT partner organizations in the Caribbean. Nicol is Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University.

Excerpts from participatory video projects by Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Caribbean partners will also be shown.


Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Sexuality Studies Program, York University; The Centre for Feminist Research, York University; OUTlaws, OHLS; Osgoode Feminist Collective; Black Law Students Association, OHLS.


For more information, Email: Phone: 416-736-2100, ext 44567.


Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.




Panelist Bios:


Maurice Tomlinson, an attorney-at-law involved in Caribbean LGBTI and AIDS activism for over 14 years, is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups for AIDS Free World, an NGO co-founded by Stephen Lewis. He lectures law at the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology. In 2011, Maurice received the inaugural David Kato Vision and Voice Award.  He previously served as legal advisor to Jamaican LGBTI and AIDS organizations and had to flee Jamaica in 2012 when a newspaper published his wedding to a Canadian man.  He has since returned and is counsel on IACHR and Constitutional challenges to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law. He also appears as claimant in regional immigration litigation and in a freedom-of-expression case against 3 Jamaican television stations. Maurice is working on a project to document human rights violations against Caribbean LGBTI and together with his husband, Rev. Tom Decker, delivers LGBThuman rights training for police services around the region.




Caleb Orozco is an LGBT/Human Rights advocate, health educator and activist with two decades of experience in the human development sector. For the past seven years, he has worked primarily within the field of HIV and human rights as Executive Director and founding member of the United Belize Advocacy Movement. Through legislative analysis, litigation, and public education, he has worked tirelessly to advocate for a participatory and rights based approach to health services for HIV affected and marginalized populations and for the eradication of discriminatory laws that impact these communities in the Caribbean.  He is the principal litigant in the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize constitutional challenge to Section 35 of the Criminal Code. Orozco is active at the hemispheric level in international and regional organizations, such as the UN and the OAS, to raise the standard of protection and human rights enforcement for LGBT populations. He is the author of articles and shadow reports.




Brian-Paul Welsh developed a keen interest in social justice and human rights while at Campion College and the University of the West Indies (UWI), and it led him into formal activism through organizations such as Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, and J-FLAG. He is a firm believer that HIV is a metaphor for the inequities of society and that these inequities cannot be addressed until their injustice is confronted. He has worked nationally, regionally, and internationally in the field of HIV and human rights and continues advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minorities as an advocacy coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree through the University of London and intends to be a legal advisor in the field of international development.




Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and activist, as well as the founder and Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the award-winning documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada. Nicol’s documentaries have screened widely in international film festivals and are used in universities and colleges throughout North America. She is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the first of the British colonial laws on ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.  She is also working on a documentary about Botswana, where the first African challenge to the same colonial law has been launched, and on participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.





Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Research Project: new website & save the date for talk at Osgoode

Lovely new “portal” for all the work this project is engaged in, under the Principal Investigator, York Fine Arts’ Prof. Nancy Nicol.  A significant variety of resources – taped talks, links to reports & chapters, events listings, and information about the goals, methods and commitments of the larger project.  Click through below.

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights

On Thursday November 21 1230 (more information to follow), Osgoode IFLS will host a panel discussion featuring lawyer Maurice Tomlinson, representatives of J-FLAG (Jamaica Forum for all sexuals and gays) and Belizean activist/litigant Caleb Orozco on his (decision pending) challenge to the Belizean sodomy law (click here for some hopeful portents in this case). Nancy Nicol – the PI  of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights – will provide introductions.  Thanks to Osgoode Prof Janet Mosher for helping this event happen – we look forward to also welcoming having a variety of student representatives from the Osgoode Feminist Collective, OUTLaws and other groups.  Hope to see you there – save the date and look for more information in this space.


October 23 IFLS welcomes Profs. Young & Chenwi on Housing Rights/Gendered Contexts

poster for event. all information available in text of postHousing Rights in Gendered Context
with Lilian Chenwi (Wits) & Margot Young (UBC)
Wed Oct 23    1230 to 2 2027 Osgoode
Light refreshments
RSVP to Lielle Gonsalves


Join us to hear these activist/legal/academics discuss their work on gender & the right to housing, Professor Young’s with the Housing Justice Project in Vancouver (@justhousingyvr)  and Professor   Chenwi’s on poor women’s access to housing in South Africa.   More about Professor Chenwi in the Mail & Guardians 200 Young South Africans 2013 feature, here, or here from the fabulous Oxford Human Rights Hub site.

The vancouver based housing justice project includes the Housing Matters Media Project.  See more here.