Tag Archives: honour killings

Recommended: Uma Chakravarti "From Fathers to Husbands: of love death and marriage in North India" from 2005

From our IFLS visitor, Preet Virdi, a piece recommended (particularly in light of the funding focus in Canada on “honour killings” as highlighted by Deepa Mattoo and Farrah Khan during their visit; and because of the constitutional focus of this piece).


Chakravarti, Uma. 2005. “From fathers to husbands: of love, death and marriage in North India”, in Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain, eds. Honour: Crimes, Paradigms and Violence Against Women (London, New York: Zed Books), pp. 308-331.  See a review here and a (possibly illicit) copy here.  A bit more about Dr. Chakravarti, here

The term ‘honour killing’ should be discarded by feminists in favour of a term that more aptly acknowledges feminist understandings of violence and does not accept the ideology under which the kind of violence is masked. Chakravarti’s article addresses cases of ‘denial of choice marriages’ where single majority-aged women’s choice of marriage partners, especially in cases of inter-caste or inter-community marriages, are severely curtailed by notion of adult consent as including the consent of her parents and other relatives. She clearly shows, through her involvement with a number of legal and women’s organizations, that women’s right to choose their marriage partner is subject to the complex dynamics of family, kinship, caste, class, panchayat, police and local magistrates, as well as state law, where the conflict emanates from the contradiction between constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and certain penal clauses routinely utilized by families in order to regain control of their ‘errant’ daughters.



Events at Osgoode: Meet a Gladue Caseworker; Dialogue about "Honour Killings"

It’s a pleasure to be an institution where students are active in creating links between the community and the school and opportunities to learn.  Here are two events coming up.

OCTOBER 24: A Dialogue About “Honour Killings” in Canada

Brought to you by Osgoode’s: Muslim Law Students’ Association, South Asian Law Students’ Association, and Women’s Caucus

What are ‘honour killings? • Are ‘honour killings’ different from other forms of violence against women? If so , how? • Have ‘honour killings been discussed accurately and fairly in the media? • Should there be a specific Criminal Code provision to address ‘honour killings? Why or why not? • And more

Panelists: Deepa Mattoo (Staff Lawyer, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario) •Kripa Sekhar (Executive Director, South Asian Women’s Centre) •Nader Hasan (Partner, Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan LLP)

Refreshments Provided.  Poster here. OCT 24 @ 12:30 IKB 2001

 OCTOBER 31: Gladue & Sentencing

Please join the Osgoode Indigenous Students Association (find them on Facebook here) to hear from Jennifer Bolton, a Gladue Caseworker from Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, who will be speaking to faculty and students on Gladue sentencing principles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012    12:30-2:00   Room 2010    Lunch will be provided

Who Should Attend:  This event will benefit faculty and students interested in criminal law and Aboriginal law, sentencing, equity, equality, criminology. .

The Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark decision called R v Gladue(http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1999/1999canlii679/1999canlii679.html)  held that a court must take into consideration alternatives to incarceration with respect to Aboriginal offenders during sentencing. The court made the following comment at paragraph 64 after reviewing the statistics of Aboriginal peoples in custody:

These findings cry out for recognition of the magnitude and gravity of the problem, and for responses to alleviate it.  The figures are stark and reflect what may fairly be termed a crisis in the Canadian criminal justice system.  The drastic overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples within both the Canadian prison population and the criminal justice system reveals a sad and pressing social problem.  It is reasonable to assume that Parliament, in singling out aboriginal offenders for distinct sentencing treatment in s. 718.2(e), intended to attempt to redress this social problem to some degree.  The provision may properly be seen as Parliament’s direction to members of the judiciary to inquire into the causes of the problem and to endeavour to remedy it, to the extent that a remedy is possible through the sentencing process.

Since the Supreme Court’s judgment, Gladue principles have not  been consistently applied in courts. Recently, in  March 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Ipeelee (http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc13/2012scc13.html) confirmed Gladue principles and held that the failure to apply these principles “would run afoul of this statutory obligation. Furthermore, the failure to apply the Gladue principles in any case would also result in a sentence that is not fit and is not consistent with the fundamental principle of proportionality.  Therefore, application of the Gladue principles is required in every case involving an Aboriginal offender, including the breach of an LTSO, and a failure to do so constitutes an error justifying appellate intervention.”