Tag Archives: documentary film

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.


Canadian Feminist/Legal Scholars on Case Method & Context

These two pieces from West Coast colleagues caught my eye lately. Both are about putting the context back into cases and they offer much to us as educators and scholars.

Young, Margot E., Insite: Site and Sight (Part 1 – Insights on Insite) (2011). Constitutional Forum, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 87-91, 2011.

The case thus presents a legal moment in a much longer and more complex social and political struggle over the rights and life chances of groups significantly marginalized and disadvantaged in Canadian society generally, and in the urban life of the city at issue in particular.

Elizabeth A. Adjin-Tettey and Freya Kodar  offer up  Film as a Complement to the Written Text: Reflections on Using the Sterilization of Leilani Muir to Teach Muir v. Alberta (2011). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2011.  This one grabbed me at least in part because of Regina Austin’s recent visit and our discussions about the place of documentary film and video making as a part of teaching lawyers.  Adjin-Tettey and Kodar are thoughtful on the opportunities and questions – definitely worth a read for those thinking about tweaking their teaching.

The increasing use of film, fictional and documentary, to tell stories about law is partly influenced by the perception that moving images and sound recordings of real life events
offer the audience entry points into the lives of those involved in the case, along with a picture of the broader contexts that may be omitted in case reports. In this regard films,
particularly documentaries, take viewers beyond the “official” accounts in the case reports and allow them to experience the “reality” of the cases.47 Visual images, as well as sound
recordings of events, provide audiences a rare opportunity to reflect on, interpret images and sounds, and form their own impression and understanding of events. The opportunity to
observe body language, facial expression, and demeanour, as well as any subtext that might not be immediately apparent in a written record, produces an affective and embodied
response not always possible from engagement with written texts. It allows the viewer a better sense of the meaning of the case to those involved.


Video break: Courting Justice in SAfrica (thanks to FeministLawProfessors.com)

Link to Christine Corcos’s Feminist Law Professors post on this issue.   Her original post also offers an SSRN link to a paper reviewing Courting Justice, entitled Gender and the Judiciary in South Africa: A Review of the Documentary Film Courting Justice. Thank you Christine for pointing me to this deeply interesting film about South Africa, race, gender, and judging.

More on the film from Women Make Movies.

Courting Justice takes viewers behind the gowns and gavels to reveal the women who make up 18 percent of South Africa’s male-dominated judiciary. Hailing from diverse backgrounds and entrusted with enormous responsibilities, these pioneering women share with candor, and unexpected humor, accounts of their country’s transformation since apartheid, and the evolving demands of balancing their courts, country, and families.

Here is a link to a South African newspaper piece on the film.

Johannesburg Judge Mathilde Masipa believes that the changing profile of the Bench is increasing the legitimacy of the court. “In the past, people would stay away from the court and rather sort things out themselves. Now they see black people and women on the Bench and they say maybe, if you want justice, the high court is where you go.”