African Grandmothers Tribunal

In the fall of 2013, UBC Law had the honour of partnering with prominent Canadian NGO, The Stephen Lewis Foundation, to support the Foundation’s high-profile event, the African Grandmothers Tribunal.

Held at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on September 7, the Tribunal provided a sounding board for the courageous African grandmothers who have stepped in to care for orphaned grandchildren by putting them through school, supporting them through the loss of their parents to AIDS, and teaching them about HIV prevention and treatment.

UBC Law Professor Margot Young worked directly with The Stephen Lewis Foundation to help support this important initiative by supervising law students who undertook summer research internship positions with the Foundation. It was a true honour for the students to meet Canadian icons in the environmental, feminist and social justice fields, and to participate in such a unique and timely event. As described by Professor Young, this was a “tremendous opportunity for our students to work with an internationally renowned Canadian NGO that has a clear and powerful feminist and social justice agenda in dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Second year law students Brendan Dawes, Jessica Lewis, Lisa Bellano and Claire Hildebrand conducted legal research on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and related issues across Sub-Saharan Africa and drafted the memoranda below:

“South Africa: Healthcare and Stigma”, Claire Hildebrand and Jessica Lewis

“Zimbabwe: Food and Housing Security”Lisa Bellano

“Swaziland: Pensions and Child-Headed Households”Lisa Bellano, Brendan Dawes, Claire Hildebrand and Jessica Lewis

“Uganda: Property Grabbing”Claire Hildebrand

“Kenya: Wife Inheritance”Claire Hildebrand and Jessica Lewis

“Kenya: Prostitution, Violence and Land Ownership”

The BC Family Law Act: A plain language guide for women who have experienced abuse

Developed in consultation with women’s anti-violence organizations, this guide provides women navigating the family law system with an accessible tool to understand BC’s new family legislation, which makes substantial changes to the laws relating to matrimonial property and child custody.

The guide was written as a project of CFLS by JD student Laura Johnston, supervised by Professor Susan Boyd.

Domestic Violence Program Development for Judges

The Honourable Donna Martinson prepared this report for the National Judicial Institute based on a community consultation on family violence, done in collaboration with the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and the FREDA Centre.

The topics covered in the report include concurrent proceedings in cases involving violence against women and children; credibility assessments; risk assessments; expert parenting reports; court orders and their enforcement; the use of language in judgments and alternative dispute resolution.


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