Tag Archives: Feminist Faculty

Feminist Faculty 2013-2014 Case Roundup

Speakers: Profs. Isabel Grant, Mary Liston and Efrat Arbel

Join us for the final CFLS lecture of this academic year. Three feminist faculty members will discuss important 2013-14 decisions at different levels of court, and their implications for gender equality in Canada. Pizza will be provided.

R v Hutchinson, 2014 SCC 19
Does one consent only to engaging in a sexual act or do the circumstances of that activity, such as whether the sex is protected or unprotected, come within the concept of consent? Prof. Grant will consider this decision’s important implications for sexual assault law & HIV nondisclosure prosecutions. The absence of a feminist intervener group in the case is evident in the majority and minority opinions.

Saskatchewan v Whatcott, 2013 SCC 11
Prof. Liston will focus on the intersection of human rights and constitutional law in the SCC’s judgment, and the important role of human rights bodies in facilitating access to justice in Canada.

Inglis v British Columbia, 2013 BCSC 2309
This case involved the constitutionality of the Mother-Baby Program at Alouette Correction Centre for Women. Prof. Arbel will focus on the court’s comparator group analysis under s. 15 of the Charter.

When:             Tuesday, 25 March @ 12:30 PM
Where:            Room 123, Allard Hall (1822 East Mall)

Click here to view the event poster.

For the full CFLS lecture schedule, see https://blogs.ubc.ca/cfls/lectures/

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Article: “Family Law Reform in (Neoliberal) Context”

Chair in Feminist Legal Studies Susan Boyd has recently co-authored an article for the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family entitled “Family Law Reform in (Neoliberal) Context: British Columbia’s New Family Law Act”.

Abstract: This article introduces and critically examines the new British Columbia (Canada) Family Law Act (FLA), which lays out new norms and procedures for the resolution of family disputes and emphasizes out-of-court dispute resolution. These changes are also intended both to reflect and to construct the ‘new’ face of contemporary motherhood and fatherhood post-separation. After identifying the neoliberal context within which the changes will play out, we explain the law reform process and summarize the reforms pertaining to post-separation parenting. Key changes include: replacing the terms ‘custody’ and ‘access’ with an expanded definition of guardianship; a list of specific factors that must be considered in determining a child’s ‘best interests’; a detailed definition of domestic violence; explicit rules to guide relocation; and authority for courts to make conduct and non-compliance orders. The FLA distances itself from presumptions regarding the preferred form of parenting arrangements post-separation, but the post-separation default position is that each parent is the child’s guardian with all parental responsibilities. The last part of the article places the changes in their contemporary social and political context and critically evaluates their strengths and weaknesses. Our conclusion cautions that without adequate resources to support families and improved access to justice, the innovative aspects of the FLA may be thwarted.

Click here to view the abstract on the International Journal of Law Policy and the Family website, plus links to HTML and PDF versions of the full article.

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Lecture: “Prostitution Law and Policy after Bedford v. Canada”

On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Bedford v. Canada.  The Supreme Court held that the criminal prohibitions on bawdy houses, communicating in a public place for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of prostitution violated s. 7 of the Charter and were of no force or effect.  The declaration of invalidity was suspended for 12 months to give Parliament time to respond with new laws.

Janine Benedet, Faculty Director, UBC Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

Christine Boyle, QC, Professor Emeritus, UBC

Janine Benedet and Christine Boyle, QC each acted as co-counsel for women’s groups who intervened in Bedford, Professor Benedet for the seven groups making up the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution and Professor Boyle for the Asian Women’s Coalition Ending Prostitution.  Each will offer some reflections on their participation in the case and the role of racism and sexism in constructing and maintaining the prostitution industry.  Professor Benedet will also offer some thoughts on possible next steps in the legal response to prostitution in Canada.

Tuesday, 14 January @ 12:30 PM
Room 122, Allard Hall (1822 East Mall) 

View the current lecture schedule here.

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Lectures Captured – Fall 2013

This term, we have been experimenting with the lecture capture system at Allard Hall, and have a number of our lectures now available on video. As you will see, we are still working out some kinks, including issues with the audio cutting in and out. Hopefully with some practice we’ll get it all down to a science. In the meanwhile, see below to catch a lecture you missed, or re-listen to one of your favourites!

1 October 2013 – Corinne Arthur, Special Projects Coordinator, Surrey Women’s Centre
“We are SMART: A Regional Response to Violence Against Women and Girls”

8 October 2013 – Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
“Child and Family Poverty and Public Policy: A Women’s Issue?”

15 October 2013 – Judith Daniluk, Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology UBC
“Careers and Motherhood: Can Women Really Have It All?”

22 October 2013 – Claire Young, Professor, UBC Faculty of Law
“Taxing Times for Lesbians and Gay Men: 20 Years Later”

29 October 2013 – Annie Rochette, Associate Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal
“The Gender Dimensions of Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation: Silos & Possibilities”

5 November 2013 – Melina Buckley, Vancouver Lawyer & Member of the Equality Effects’ 160 Girls Legal Team
“The 160 Girls Project: Using the Law to End Violence Against Girls in Kenya and Malawi”

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“Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage”

UBC Chair in Feminist Legal Studies Susan Boyd recently published a paper on feminist critiques of same sex marriage. See below for the abstract and a link to download the full text in pdf format.

This article reviews feminist critiques of same sex marriage and analyzes how marriage as a socio-legal institution relates to inequality based on factors such as sex, race and class. The article first identifies how the legalization of same sex marriage can be viewed as a positive step in the quest for equality and recognition of lesbians and gay men. It then describes the legal and statistical trends in relation to marriage in Canada, as one of the first countries to legalize same sex marriage. The heart of the article discusses the key feminist critiques of both marriage and same sex marriage, drawing on an international survey of primarily English language literature. It considers why these critiques have been understated in the debates on same sex marriage and reviews empirical studies on the views of lesbians and gay men on marriage. While acknowledging that legal marriage can offer important rights to some couples, the conclusion suggests alternatives to placing marriage at the center of the lesbian and gay movement for equality and recognition.

Download the full paper from the Social Science Research Network.


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