IFLS is delighted to welcome Professor Camille Gear Rich from USC this week to present her latest work: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16 1230 in 4034 (Osgoode Hall Law School, IKB). Please join us – we’re serving lunch! RSVP here. ALL WELCOME.
Camille Gear Rich’s research and teaching interests include constitutional law, feminist legal theory, family law, children and the law and the First Amendment. She is the founder and director of PRISM: The USC Initiative for the Study of Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Law. She is also the founding director of Gould’s First Generation Legal Professionals program. Rich is widely known for her research on law, discrimination and identity formation issues related to race, class, gender and sexuality.
Follow this with our co sponsored 7PM screening at the REGENT THEATRE (MtPleasant between Davisville/Eglinton) of NETIZENS, a documentary also taking on questions of feminism and free speech, see here.
Emma Cunliffe (UBC Law) at the IFLS January 8 2016, 1230-2
RSVP at bit.ly/osresearch, use event code Emma (or click through the image below and use event code Emma)
R. v Barton & the Death of Cindy Gladue
In March 2015, Bradley Barton was acquitted of murder in relation to the death of Cindy Gladue. Gladue was a Métis mother who bled to death in the bathroom of an Edmonton hotel, allegedly while Barton slept. Barton testified that her wounds had been caused by consensual ‘rough sex’. The forensic pathologist called by the Crown at Barton’s murder trial invited the jury to inspect Gladue’s preserved body tissue in order to reach their own conclusions about how her injuries were caused. (R v Barton, 2015 ABQB 159.) When the acquittal was reported, Indigenous communities, women’s advocates and others responded with anger and dismay. The trial judge’s decision to allow the pathologist to introduce Gladue’s body tissue became a particular focus of disapprobation (eg Sampert, 2015; Cormier, 2015).
This talk will investigate whether expert evidence and legal conceptions of expertise function as Trojan Horses by which discriminatory stereotypes and implicit bias find purchase within Canadian legal processes regarding gendered violence. In particular, Dr. Cunliffe will consider whether the failure of legal processes to respond adequately to gendered violence is partly produced by legal conventions and expert opinions that undermine Charter commitments to fair and egalitarian fact determination.
Emma Cunliffe is an associate professor at UBC’s Allard School of Law. Her research analyses the fact determination functions of courts, and particularly addresses expert scientific and medical evidence, the role of implicit stereotypes and bias in the criminal justice system, and the principles of open justice. Emma has received the Killam Prize for Teaching Excellence and the George Curtis Memorial Award for Teaching. At UBC, she teaches evidence, criminal law, jurisprudence and interdisciplinary research methodologies. Emma’s last visit to York was for the SLST series in 2014, when she talked Women and Wrongful Convictions.
Angela P. Harris will be known to most readers of this blog. Now at UC Davis School of Law, she’s been at the forefront of critical race and critical legal scholarship for a long time now. She’s one of the editors of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (2012, Utah State UP) (there is a transcribed interview, here, where she discusses the book, it’s reception, and the impact of increased corporatization of universities).
In this talk, she explores the connections between mindfulness (she teaches a course called “Mindfulness and Professional Identity: Becoming a Lawyer While Keeping Your Values Intact”) and critical race scholarship, illustrating the ways in which she sees the two as intimately connected. The talk isn’t an easy one – she details violence and challenges our responses to it. Harris also spotlights the work of many Black female artists in the accompanying slides. Take the time to have a look.
If you don’t know what this is about, I urge you to read Professor St. Lewis’ words as guest blogged on Slaw. As noted in the piece, the case is likely to be appealed. This is what racist speech looks like – and the gender angle here is also apparent. For those, like me, not entirely comfortable with the tort of libel, this case may help to clarify anxieties and boundaries in terms of its use. As always, Professor St. Lewis is eloquent as she draws the connections between past and present, individual and community, law and power.
In the end, it was not simply pride that enabled me to persist. I firmly believe that racialized professionals in the academe have a unique role as knowledge producers well beyond the expectation that they be role models and mentors. We must do our work with integrity. This integrity includes bringing rigor to how issues of racism are analyzed and developed within and outside the classroom. If we cannot engage in these discussions within the academe then what hope is there for the broader social engagement that is essential for the realization of an enlarged Black humanity in a constitutional democracy?