Lecture: “Governments as Litigators in Human Rights Cases: Guarantors or Opponents of Rights?”

What are the obligations of governments and their lawyers, as respondents in human rights litigation? What are the implications of current litigation efforts being made by governments to exempt their conduct as service-providers from compliance with their human rights legislation? Equality rights litigator Gwen Brodsky will focus on the case of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society v. Canada, a challenge to under-funding of on-reserve child welfare services. This case is currently before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Gwen Brodsky, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, UBC Law 

Gwen Brodsky is a leading national and international expert on equality rights and the Charter.  She has extensive experience arguing equality rights cases before tribunals and courts, and has acted as counsel in leading cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, including Andrews, Swain, Mossop, Thibaudeau, Gould, Vriend, Meiorin, Gosselin, Keays, and Moore.  She has also appeared before commissions and treaty bodies of the UN and the Americas.  She was the first Litigation Director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

For the past decade, Dr. Brodsky’s work has focused on the inter-connections between equality rights, social and economic rights, and Aboriginal rights, and on the means of fulfilling them in constitutional and human rights contexts.  She is counsel to the petitioners in McIvor v. Canada, a challenge to sex discrimination against Aboriginal women and their descendants under the Indian Act.  This case, which is ongoing, has already resulted in law reform which has had the effect of making 45,000 Aboriginal women and their descendants newly eligible for Indian status.  She represented the Native Women’s Association of Canada on the issue of the murders and disappearances of Aboriginal women and girls before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in BC.

Tuesday, 21 January @ 12:30 PM
Room 122, Allard Hall (1822 East Mall) 

View the current lecture schedule here.

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