Tag Archives: Feminist Friday

Happy Holidays and Feminist Friday with Fathima Cader!

For the last Feminist Friday of 2017, we are thrilled to have the spectacular Fathima Cader!

Fathima Cader practises labour and employment law in Toronto, having previously served in legal clinics in Toronto, Dar es Salaam, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She teaches at the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, where she is also a Senior Fellow with the Transnational Law & Justice Network. In this latter capacity, she serves as the Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Series, a public lecture series on contemporary social justice movements in Sri Lanka. Her research and advocacy interests are particularly focused on state constructions and regulations of terror and national security. To that end, her recent publications include “Terror’s Lawfare” in The New Inquiry on comparative analyses of anti-terror laws in Canada and Sri Lanka; “Made You Look: Niqabs, the Muslim Canadian Congress, and R v NS” in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice on the rights of veil-wearing complainants in sexual assault cases; and “Tamil, tiger, terrorist? Anti-migrant hysteria and the criminalization of asylum seekers” in Briarpatch Magazine on the mass detentions in Canada of Tamil asylum-seekers fleeing Sri Lanka. Her other publications include creative non-fiction in Hazlitt and Warscapes, poetry in Apogee Journal and Canadian Woman Studies: les cahiers de la femme, and criticism in The Funambulist.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…My law prof heroes tend to be those engaged in behind-the-scenes activism outside the classroom and outside the law (i.e. beyond strategic litigation). Besides how multifacated and grounded this makes their legal research, I’ve found this commitment to the margins also often translates into creativity and generosity in how they relate students – especially those students who are structurally barred from accessing or excelling in legal practice. 


The traits I deplore in a law professor are…I struggle with careerism, something we’re all exposed to. Law professors are given a great deal of power (if variegated across the vectors of tenure, gender, race, etc), and it is very easy to exploit and to abuse those power dynamics – for example, in our relationships with students, but also in our relationships with the media and government bodies. We’re encouraged to think of ourselves of experts, rather than accomplices. So, to my previous point, I’m grateful for friends and colleagues who modelled matter-of-fact humility in how they understand their legal work in relation to the people most harmed by law’s violence.

The best time of day for writing is…The small hours of the night.

My feminist heroes are…So many, and so contingent. For what it’s worth, I like to approach my Feminist Legal Theory syllabi as an homage to the innumerable friends, activists, and scholars who challenge and encourage me to interrogate feminism’s faultlines. For example, Dionne Brand has remained for me, through the years, a touchstone in thinking about the language of law and violence. More recently, I’ve been very grateful for Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s theorizing of the relationship between law, land, and nationalism.

Right now I am working on…I’m in Sri Lanka at the moment, where ‘reconciliation’ is (not unlike Canada) the word of the day. But eight years from the war’s end, peace remains precarious: the disproportionate torture of Tamil people by the state remains ongoing, while domestic and international ‘terrorism experts’ turn the sights on the island’s diverse Muslim communities. The peddling of familiar and anachronistic allegations of Muslims becoming ‘radicalized,’ while Buddhist monks coordinate attacks on churches and mosques, is, in the deja-vu it inspires, very frightening. I will shortly be returning to Toronto to a stack of papers to mark and a string of hearings to prepare for, but while here, I’m working on skeletons for essays on war and survival, land and terror.

Right now I am reading… I was halfway through As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (2017) when I left Toronto. I finished reading the very acerbic The Sellout (2015)  by Paul Beaty on the train ride between Colombo and Batticaloa. Looking forward now to getting as many new Sri Lanka-related books as I can find and fit in my luggage.

And I wish I were reading… More poetry. And The Search for Justice: The Sri Lanka Papers, edited by Kumari Jayawardena and Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena (2016).

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would spend my time…Perpetually TBD.

The biggest difference between academia and private practice is…I love that I’m never entirely comfortable in either – neither with academia’s disconnection from human connections, obligations, and consequences; nor with private practice’s general fetishization of casework. I’ve found it immensely generative to be at conflicted and unsettled at the dis/juncture between theory and practice.

Thank you Fathima! You’re an inspiration.

Happy Feminist Friday with Régine Tremblay!

Today’s Feminist Friday features the amazing Régine Tremblay!

Régine Tremblay is Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law (UBC). She holds degrees in civil law and common law (BCL, LLB, McGill University, 2009), an LLM (University of Toronto, 2010), and recently defended her doctoral thesis (SJD, University of Toronto). Before beginning her SJD, she was Assistant Director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and a Lecturer in Canadian Family Law (2011-2013) (McGill University, Faculty of Law). She is a practising member of the Quebec Bar (2011) and is trained as a family mediator (Basic training, 2016). Her doctoral research has been funded by a SSHRC – Doctoral Awards (2014-2018), the Macdonald Travelling Scholarship (2013-2014) (Shared), the Edwin Botsford Busteed Scholarship (2009 and 2013-2014), and a fellowship from the University of Toronto. She won prizes and awards throughout her studies, including the Nouveaux Chercheurs – Chaire Jean-Louis Baudouin en droit civil (2015).

Régine’s research interests include family law, family property law, family mediation, private law, comparative law and critical theories (feminism and queer theories). Her research has been published in English and French, in Canada and in the United Kingdom, including in the Canadian Journal of Family Law and in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. She is the co-author of the Dictionnaire de droit privé: Les familles – Private Law Dictionary of the Family, 2nd edition (2016), a contributor to the McGill Companion to Law and the co-editor of Les intraduisibles en droit civil (2014)Her research has been cited in various articles, in a report submitted in 2015 to the Quebec Minister of Justice on the reform of family law in Quebec, and by the Conseil du Statut de la Femme. You can find some of her publications here: http://ssrn.com/author=1422200.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are… I admire engaging, dynamic, open, accessible, humble and smart law professors.

The best time of day for writing is…Very early in the morning, when my brain is fresh.

My feminist heroes are…That’s a tough one…what makes a heroine a heroine? Bertha Wilson, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Brenda Cossman, Susan Boyd, Lori Chambers, Simone De Beauvoir, Thérèse Casgrain, Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, and I could go on and on and on…

Right now I am working on…I am working on a few things, it is an exciting time. I am writing about the limits of filiation in Quebec as exposed by surrogacy, access to justice in BC and law reform, relationships of economic and emotional interdependency in civil law, and the gendered narratives surrounding gametes in law.

Right now I am reading… My dissertation, because I am preparing my defense… but I am also reading Pamela Palmater, Beyond Blood. Rethinking Indigenous Identity, and Boyd and al., Autonomous Motherhood? A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint. On the non-legal front, I am reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Open Heart, Open Mind by Clara Hughes. If I could, I would just read all day.  

And I wish I were reading… Constance Backhouse, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life.

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read… I think I would say The Second Sex.

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is… I am an old soul when it comes to music and I am definitely out of the loop… Anything by Eurythmics or Annie Lennox.

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time… Being a law professor is the best, but I can think of a few things… maybe forensic anthropology or history, training to be an Olympian, plumbing, fiction writing, opening a microbrewery in Charlevoix… oh and I’d love to learn fly-fishing. 

The biggest difference between Montreal and Vancouver is… There are many differences between Montreal and Vancouver… mentioning only one is hard. The real estate market and the weather are obvious picks (and the time devoted to talking about real estate and weather), the demography, the linguistic profile of the population, the landscapes… and how slowly Vancouverites cross the streets! Vancouver and Montreal are also similar in many ways, they are both progressive, multicultural, beautiful, open, fantastic cities to live in.

Thank you Prof. Tremblay! And if you ever open a microbrewery in Charlevoix, we will be there!

Happy Feminist Friday, featuring Prof. Jillian Rogin!

Happy Feminist Friday!

Today we are profiling Prof. Jillian Rogin, a Windsor Law aluma and now Windsor Law assistant professor.

Jillian Rogin is the mother of a vivacious two year old. She completed her undergraduate degree at Trent University with a double major in Indigenous Studies and Philosophy. It was here that she began to understand her role in settler-colonialism and her responsibilities as a settler on this land. In furtherance of this pursuit, she completed an M.E.S. graduate degree at York University where she examined gender and apartheid in Israel. After working in social services for almost a decade, she decided to go to law school to try to disentangle her disillusionment with the legal system and completed a LL.B. degree at the University of Windsor. After completing her articles at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, she worked at Legal Aid Ontario as a duty counsel lawyer (criminal). She spent a number of years in this role working at the Ontario Court of Justice focusing on judicial interim release. Jillian then completed an LL.M. at Osgoode Hall Law School examining the law of bail as it applies to Indigenous accused people in Canada. After working for two years as a review counsel at Community Legal Aid (CLA) in Windsor, she accepted the appointment of Assistant (Clinic) Professor at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law. She researches and publishes in the areas of criminal law including judicial interim release, evidence in sexual assault cases, Gladue, and other issues related to the criminal justice system in Canada. Her work is informed by feminist legal theory, Indigenous scholarship, and post-colonial and critical race scholarship.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…clarity, the ability to foster critical thought, engaged in the issues being taught, organized, the ability to model resilience and to live the work.

The trait I deplore in a law professor is…ego and fragility (which often go hand in hand).

The best time of day for writing is…I have a two year old which means that the best time of day to write is any moment I can get.

My feminist heroes are…Nahla Abdo, Patricia Monture, Maria Campbell, Lee Maracle, Julia Sudbury, Fathima Cader, Theresa Spence (I could continue with this list – not sure where to stop, there are so many).

Right now I am working on…a paper about bail/gender/ and Indigenous female accused.

Right now I am reading…Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, everything by Bev Jacobs and Carol LaPrairie (see above paper I’m working on), and I’m reading the autobiography of Malcolm X in my spare time. 

And I wish I were reading…Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard.

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…Thunder in my Soul by Patrica Monture-Angus and Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson.

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is…“Lovin You” by Minnie Ripperton.

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time…with my daughter making homemade pasta – or being a criminal defence lawyer. Or both.

The most interesting thing about being a faculty member where I did my J.D. is…learning to refer to my new colleagues by their first names.

The most surprising part of working with Windsor’s Community Legal Aid clinic is…the magnitude of the learning curve for law students. Watching it happen is completely empowering and disempowering at the same time.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Prof. Rogin!

Feminist Friday with Prof. Jodi Lazare!

For our second Feminist Friday, we have the privilege of profiling Prof. Jodi Lazare, Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Prof. Lazare came to the Schulich School of Law as the 2014-2015 Schulich Fellow and then as a part-time faculty member before being appointed an assistant professor in 2017. Her current research examines the practice of judicial reliance on the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, including the underlying theoretical bases of the spousal support remedy, comparative understandings of post-marital obligations across provincial lines, and the legitimacy of judicial reliance on non-legislated instruments. Prof. Lazare has worked in both small and large private practice. Prof. Lazare completed her articles as a law clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver at the Supreme Court of Canada.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are… Empathy, open-mindedness, approachability and a sense of humour

The best time of day for writing is… First thing in the morning – with a cup of coffee and a quiet house

My feminist heroes are… Too many to choose from, but Henry Morgentaler easily comes to mind

Right now I am working on… A paper exploring cultural and legal attitudes toward spousal support in Quebec

Right now I am reading… The Break, by Katherena Vermette

And I wish I were reading… More fiction

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read… “Intersecting Challenges: Mothers and Child Protection Law in BC” by Judith Mosoff, Isabel Grant, Susan B Boyd, Ruben Lindy (recently published in the UBC L Rev)

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is… Dump the Guy ASAP, by Lisa Leblanc

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time… Rescuing dogs and cats and writing op-eds

The biggest difference between private practice and academia is… Intellectual Freedom (I think – I have not spent much time in private practice) 

The biggest takeaway from my time clerking at the SCC is… Don’t underestimate the weight that sits on judges’ shoulders 

Thank you, Prof. Lazare!

Feminist Friday – Prof. Jamie Liew answers our questions!

Happy Feminist Friday! Here on the site, we will be featuring a variety of feminist academics we admire by asking what they are working on, what they are reading, and more.

First up is Prof. Jamie Liew, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and an immigration and refugee lawyer called to the Law Society of Ontario. She has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court and the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as the Standing Committees in Parliament and the Senate. Jamie is the co-author of the book, “Immigration Law” (with Donald Galloway) published by Irwin Law. Her research focuses on how immigration, refugee and citizenship law marginalizes migrants, often turning to critical legal, race and feminist theories. More recently she is interested in policy efforts to eliminate statelessness.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…their commitment to teaching, their ability to draw students into a topic and make it not only interesting but understandable, and how some are able to infuse practical and real-world scenarios and skills with critical thinking.

The trait I deplore in a law professor is…sometimes forgetting the privilege we have in educating new generations of lawyers and our impact on law schools, the law profession and universities.

The best time of day for writing is…in the morning.

My feminist heroes are…my mother, every migrant mother making decisions in the best interests of their children which sometimes means being separated from them.

Right now I am working on…a project that hopes to illuminate how the law creates statelessness and discuss potential ways in eliminating statelessness.

Right now I am reading/just finished reading… The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw and the Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng.

And I wish I were reading… Please Look After Mother by Shin Kyung Sook; Let it Rain Coffee by Angie Cruz; Fledgling by Octavia Butler; and For Today, I am a Boy by Kim Fu….plus many more. I have a long list!

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay.

A song I love that I’m listening to a lot these days is… Mars by Gustav Holst because my young son is obsessed with it and the solar system. I’m not sure if it is something that should be played more….

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time…blogging, writing fiction, running for political office, going to Myanmar to work on refugee and statelessness issues, learning the violin, learning my mother tongue…many more things….

Thank you Prof. Liew!