Tag Archives: ontario

NiP: Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics, and Family Law Arbitration

I couldn’t find a Table of Contents or contributor list. Looks interesting from the little that’s out there….

Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics, and Family Law Arbitration

Anna Korteweg University of Toronto, Sociology

Jennifer Selby  Memorial University of Newfoundland, Religious Studies

Abortion Expert panel report from Ontario

Abortion Expert panel report final format_0.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Abortion Expert Panel Report. (2011). Recommendations to improve abortion services in Ontario. Toronto: Echo: Improving Women’s Health in Ontario.

Key findings:

1. Abortion is a safe procedure in Ontario1. Abortion procedures performed at lower gestational age lowers the complication rate, making timely access to abortion services essential.
2. Research shows that high quality abortion services must be readily available to support women’s reproductive health 2,3,4,5. When women are able to make safe choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health, they are more likely to participate equally in social, political and economic life6.
3. The Ontario abortion system is fragile. Abortion services are shifting from a model that relied on hospitals to one that relies on specialized clinics and private physician offices (PPOs). The current abortion system is poorly understood and is dependent upon a relatively small group of providers. Hospitals must remain core providers in the system and provide back-up support to the clinics and PPOs.
4. Access to abortion services can be difficult and access is not equitable across Ontario, primarily due to a complex and fragmented system. A centralized source of information regarding how to access services that support women’s choices needs to be available.
5. Health care professionals have a duty to operate in alignment with legal and ethical frameworks that identify obligations regarding confidentiality, respectful behaviour and full disclosure of pregnancy options and choices to their patients. When women are not referred to abortion service providers, it can cause barriers in accessing an abortion provider and receiving a timely procedure or intervention putting the woman at increased risk.


Another H/T to the amazing list serv from the Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme at U of T: REPROHEALTHLAW-L

Sharia in America (?): NYLS Symposium this week

The New York Law School is hosting a Symposium on Sharia in America: Principles and Prospects (link is to a pdf flyer). It doesn’t seem that they’ll have the Ontario experience in mind (link to the Boyd report for a refresher here, and a newspaper article/video on Sharia’a in the UK here), though the speakers will touch on the anti-Sharia legislation being passed/considered in a number of states.  Speakers include Kristen A. Stilt of Northwestern and Asifa Quraishi of Wisconsin.  The latter’s bio indicates that she’s working on a project entitled: Lost in Non-Translation:  What’s Missing When We Say Shari’a and Why It Matters for Feminism, Human Rights and Constitutionalism at the moment.   You can find her Spring 2011Columbia J. Gender and Law article entitled “What If Sharia Weren’t the Enemy? Rethinking International Women’s Rights Advocacy on Islamic Law” on SSRN, here.



Ontario Court strikes down prostitution law provisions

CBC News – Canada – Court tosses prostitution laws’ provisions.

An Ontario court has thrown out key provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws in response to a constitutional challenge brought by a Toronto dominatrix and two prostitutes in 2009.

Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled Tuesday the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution contribute to the danger faced by sex-trade workers.

Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovitch had argued that prohibitions on keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade force them from the safety of their homes to face violence on the streets.

The women asked the court to declare legal restrictions on their activities a violation of charter rights of security of the person and freedom of expression.

The women and their lawyer, [Osgoode Prof], Alan Young, were expected to hold a news conference later Tuesday afternoon.

The government had argued that striking down the provisions without enacting something else in their place would “pose a danger to the public.”

Some conservative groups such as Real Women of Canada, who had intervener status in the case, argued that decriminalizing prostitution may make Canada a haven for human trafficking and that prostitution is harmful to the women involved in it.

However, in her ruling Tuesday, Justice Susan Himel said it now falls to Parliament to “fashion corrective action.”

“It is my view that in the meantime these unconstitutional provisions should be of no force and effect, particularly given the seriousness of the charter violations,” Himel wrote.

While prostitution is technically legal, virtually every activity associated with it is not. The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits communication for the purpose of prostitution. It also prohibits keeping a common bawdy house for the purpose of prostitution.

Those laws enacted in 1985 were an attempt to deal with the public nuisance created by street walkers. They failed to recognize the alternative — allowing women to work more safely indoors — was prohibited, Young had said previously.

Young called it “bizarre” that the ban on bawdy houses is an indictable offence that carries stiffer sanctions, including jail time and potential forfeiture of a woman’s home, when the ban on communication for prostitution purposes is usually a summary offence that at most leads to fines.

The provisions prevent sex workers from properly screening clients, hiring security or working in the comfort and safety of their own homes or brothels, he had said.

Young cited statistics behind the “shocking and horrific” stories of women who work the streets, along with research that was not available when the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the communication ban in 1990.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/09/28/prostitution-law028.html?ref=rss#ixzz10qkXBPSO

Documenting the Race and Gender Pay Gap in the Ontario Legal Profession

This Law Society of Upper Canada report is based on the 2006 Census, including the 6400 lawyers who filled out the Long Form Census. Click here for the full report..  Ornstein (based at York University’s Institute for Social Research) documents the gender gap in earnings and the “much larger” difference between the earnings of racialized lawyers and White lawyers.  And apparently the gender gap in earnings isn’t decreasing anymore. There’s much more in the report.   Continue reading Documenting the Race and Gender Pay Gap in the Ontario Legal Profession