Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

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Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

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Law 692: Feminist Legal Studies Workshop I
(Fall term, 2012-2013), 1 credit

Course description:

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop is designed to enable students to work closely with faculty in analyzing and discussing with leading feminist theorists and scholars visiting Queen's Faculty the topics of the speakers' papers. 

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop course is offered for one course credit per term. In the fall term of 2011, it is designated as Law 692; in the winter term of 2012, it is designated as Law 693. Students may enroll for one credit in the fall term, or for one credit in the winter term, or for a total of two credits in both terms combined. This course can also be combined with an ISP for students who may wish to carry out in-depth independent supervised work in relation to one or more of the areas discussed in this workshop.

Scheduling details:

The workshop speakers will be scheduled for the regular visitor slots on Mondays and Fridays, which run from 1 to 2:30 pm, and one or two additional meetings per term will be scheduled around everyone's class and other commitments. Speaker dates and locations are listed below.

Nature, mode, and content of evaluation of student participation:
Students will attend all the speakers events (4/term or all 7-8), will prepare advance reading for the first session of each term and two advance questions for the rest of the speakers in that term, plus 1-2 pages of briefing notes after each session (60% of course credit), will participate in the discussion at the speakers visit (10% of course credit), and will prepare a short term paper of approximately 10-15 pages on a topic that relates to any one of the speakers events (30% of course credit). To be taught by Profs. Amani and Lahey.

Fall term speakers (2012-2013):


Monday September 17, 2012

1-2:30 pm, Macdonald Hall Room 202

Pamela Cross

Counsel, Luke's Place Legal Clinic, and Consultant, National Association of Women and the Law

Custody and access in cases involving violence against women: In the best interests of whom?

Pamela Cross is a Queen's Law graduate and feminist lawyer who works in the violence against women sector. She is well known and respected in legal reform circles, particularly for her expertise on family law issues as they relate to violence against women. Pamela works primarily with Luke's Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children. She has worked as an educator and trainer on the topic of violence against women and the law for many years, and is an experienced trainer on the topic of recordkeeping, confidentiality. and production of third-party records as well as on family and criminal law, particularly as these topics relate to violence against women.

While Pamela was the Legal Director at METRAC, she was responsible for the development of extensive public legal education materials and trainings for frontline workers and for women experiencing violence. She also developed the Ontario Women's Justice Network. She was a member of the Management Committee of Family Law Education for Women (FLEW), Ontario's largest public legal education project about family law for women. She has developed and delivered a number of online courses on family and criminal law and violence against women. Pamela is a member of the teaching faculty with the National Judicial Institute, where she plans and delivers educational programs on violence against women to Canadian judges, and is leading the development of violence against women curriculum for law schools in a project with the Law Commission of Ontario. With Luke's Place Support and Resource Centre, Pamela is leading the development and delivery of online resources and training for frontline workers who support unrepresented women through family court as well as in-person training on the family court process for unrepresented women. She is also the lead trainer for Family Court Support Workers in Ontario.

Background reading

Pamela Cross, 'Custody and access in cases involving violence against women: In the best Interests of whom?'

October 15, 2012

1-2:30 pm, Macdonald Hall Room 201      

Kim Pate

Executive Director, Canadian Association of E. Frye Associations of Canada

Forgotten Sisters? Why women are Canada's fastest growing prison population; and, why you should care  

Kim Pate is an internationally recognized advocate for marginalized, victimized, and criminalized women. Since 1992, she has been the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, taking a solution-oriented approach to social justice for criminalized and imprisoned women, regularly consulting in prisons and advocating in court. Ms. Pate helped bring to light the shocking strip-searches of women inmates by male staff at the federal Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario. She also lobbied for a public inquiry into conditions at the prison, resulting in the landmark 1996 report by Justice Louise Arbour. Ms. Pate led a national campaign to re-examine cases of battered women convicted of homicide, resulting in the ground-breaking 'Self-Defence Review' in 1997. She recently called national attention to the death of 19 year-old Ashley Smith who was in federal custody, highlighting the systemic human rights issues associated with Ashley's death.

In addition to serving as visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa through the Shirley Greenberg Chair in Human Rights and as an Ontario Law Foundation Fellow, she has written numerous scholarly articles, chapters, briefs, reports and submissions, considered essential reading in the field of women's imprisonment. Ms. Pate has been honoured by many organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the American Correctional Association, the Correctional Service of Canada, Dalhousie Law School, and the International Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. She is known for her courage and empathy in fighting for vulnerable women, and in 2011 received the prestigious Governor General's Persons Award.

Reading: Kim Pate, 'Why are women Canada's fastest growing prison population; and, why should you care?'


Monday October 29, 2012

1-2:30 pm, Macdonald Hall Room

Event Poster

Patricia Hughes

Executive Director, Law Commission of Ontario

Patricia Hughes has been the Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario since its inception in September 2007. She obtained her Ph.D. in Political Theory from the University of Toronto and her LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.  Among other positions, Patricia the Dean of Law at the University of Calgary from 2001-206 and held the Chair in Women and Law at the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of Law from 1992 to 2001 and in that capacity established a Feminist Perspectives Workshop for all first year students (later to become the equity workshop). 

Dr. Hughes has been involved in equity issues throughout her career and personal/political life, from being a student researcher with the Abella Commission on Employment Equity, to being active in the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) as President of the New Brunswick chapter and as a member of the national Board of Directors, to being a member of the New Brunswick contingent on the Wilson Task Force on women in law that resulted in Touchstones for Change: Equality, Diversity and Accountability, developed an equity segment for the New Brunswick Bar Admission Course and co-organized a national workshop on civil legal aid. The LCO's projects relating to older adults, persons with disabilities, vulnerable workers and family law all address the situation women face in those contexts. The LCO also recently completed curriculum modules on violence against women for law school use.

Reading: tba


Monday November 12, 2012

1-2:30 pm, Macdonald Hall Room 202

Kerri Froc

Background Reading

Adjunct research professor, Carleton School of Canadian Studies, and Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Law, Queen's University; Vanier and Trudeau Scholar; former staff lawyer for LEAF

Seasons of With(l)er?  A Reflection on the Supreme Court's Record on Distributive Justice from Gosselin to Today

Kerri A. Froc is an adjunct research professor in the School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University and a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Law, Queen's University.  She received her B.A. from the University of Regina (1993, with distinction), her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (1996), and her LL.M. at the University of Ottawa (2009). She has been employed since 2005 at the Canadian Bar Association as a staff lawyer in the area of law reform and equality. Prior to joining the CBA, she worked as a staff lawyer for the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and as a lawyer in private practice in Regina at the Balfour Moss law firm (now part of Miller Thomson). Her practice focussed on civil litigation, administrative law, human rights, and constitutional law.  She is a member of the bars of Ontario (2005) and Saskatchewan (1997). 

A passionate advocate for women both in her legal practice and as an active volunteer for LEAF over a decade, she acted as co-counsel in notable cases including Falkiner et al. v. Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services) (2002)  212 D.L.R. (4th) 633, 159 O.A.C. 135, 59 O.R. (3d) 481 (C.A.) (finding Ontario's punitive "spouse in the house" regulation discriminated against single mothers on social assistance), and  Merk v.International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 771, 2005 SCC 70, [2005] 3 S.C.R. 425 (finding Saskatchewan's labour legislation protected a whistleblower who reported financial mismanagement within her workplace). She lectures and writes on constitutional issues concerning poor women, racialized women, women's work, and access to justice, among others. Her research interests include feminist legal theory, women's constitutional rights claims, and the theory of constitutional interpretation.