Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

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Law 693: Feminist Legal Studies Workshop II 
(Winter term, 2019), 1 credit

Course description:

Course Information

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 2015, it is designated as Law 692; in the winter term of 2016 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 typically 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/all year), will prepare advance reading and two advance questions for each speaker in each 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 10-12 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.

Feminist Legal Studies Queen's - Winter Term 2019 Lectures

Friday, January 18, 2019
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Martha Jackman, University of Ottawa

Topic: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back:  Poverty, the Charter and the Legacy of Gosselin


In 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Louise Gosselin’s Charter challenge to a Quebec welfare regulation that reduced benefits for those under-30 by two-thirds, forcing them to choose between hunger and homelessness.  The paper examines the legacy of Gosselin for the rights and constitutional inclusion of women and others living in poverty.  It first considers the important jurisprudential step forward in the case: the Supreme Court’s rejection of the argument, at odds with the expectations of equality seeking groups and with Canada’s international socio-economic rights obligations, that section 7 cannot impose positive obligations on governments.  The paper then considers the Court’s two steps back in the Gosselin case: the majority’s approach to the evidence and its treatment of Louise Gosselin’s substantive argument.  The paper argues that Charter claimants in poverty cases continue to face prejudicial stereotypes and disproportionate evidentiary burdens that are particularly harmful to women.  Their section 7 claims are also consistently reframed by the courts and then found to be non-justiciable.  The paper concludes that the Supreme Court’s failure to revisit Gosselin, or even to grant leave to appeal in any poverty case since then, represents a serious failure of constitutionalism in Canada.


Background Reading:

Martha Jackman, “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: Poverty, the Charter and the Legacy of Gosselin” (2019) 39 National Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming)

Bruce Porter and Martha Jackman, “Introduction: Advancing Social Rights in Canada”, in Martha Jackman and Bruce Porter, eds., Advancing Social Rights in Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014) 1- 31, online: SSRN (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2696226)

Monday, February 11, 2019
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Kim Brooks, Dalhousie University

Topic: The Daily Work of Fitting in as a Marginalized Lawyer



Background Reading:

Black on Bay Street: Hadiya Roderique had it all. But still could not fit in

The Daily Work of Fitting in as a Marginalized Lawyer

Diversity by the Numbers: The Legal Profession

Monday, March 1, 2019
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Angela Lee, University of Ottawa

Topic: Why 'Frankenfoods' Need Feminism



Background Reading:

Angela Lee, "An Ecofeminist Perspective on New Food Technologies" (2018) 5:1 Canadian Food Studies
House of Commons, Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, Genetically Modified Animals for Human Consumption: Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (December 2016) (Chair: Pat Finnigan)
Bruce Friedrich, "Nerds Over Cattle: How Food Technology Will Save the World", Wired (7 October 2016)

Friday, March 8-Saturday, March 9, 2019
12:00 pm, Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Feminist Legal Studies Queen's Annual Conference



Friday, March 8, 2019
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202 [Policy Studies building, next to law building]

Professor Angela Harris, University of California (Davis) School of Law

Topic: The Colour of Farming: Food and the Reproduction of Race


Background Reading:

Angela Harris, "[Re]Integrating spaces: The Color of Farming," Savannah Law Review, vol. 2 (2015): 157-199

Angela P. Harris, "Anti-Colonial Pegagogies: '[X] Justice' Movements in the United States,' Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue Femmes et Droit, vol. 30, no. 3 (2018):567-594