Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:10pm
Solarium (Room FA2), Falconer Hall, 84 Queen's Park



Irehobhude O. Iyioha, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and
Adjunct Professor, John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre
University of Alberta

Theorizing Effectiveness: Law, Women's Health and the
Limits of Formal Legal Effectiveness - A Multi-jurisdictional Analysis of Access to Abortion Services

Thursday September 14, 2017
12:30 - 2:00
Solarium (room FA2), Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park

Although there have been notable advances in the recognition of women’s health rights internationally and in various national regimes, rule-based advances have not always translated into significant health benefits for women. There remains a considerable gap between the goals of advocacy and legislative reform and the lived experiences of millions of women around the world. Through a multi-jurisdictional analysis of access to reproductive health services in selected jurisdictions, including China and Canada, this presentation questions the merits of traditional theories of legal effectiveness. Drawing on Alexy’s “Dual Nature Thesis” on the nature of law, the presentation highlights conceptual limitations in traditional accounts of law’s effectiveness and argues that these inherent limits suggest the need for a new theoretical framework for assessing law’s (in)effectiveness.

Dr. Irehobhude O. Iyioha is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. She has also held professorial and teaching positions at Western University and the University of British Columbia (UBC), as well as policy positions with the Governments of Alberta and Ontario. She holds an LLM from the University of Toronto and a PhD from the University of British Columbia, and is co-editor of the book, Comparative Health Law and Policy: Critical Perspectives on Nigerian and Global Health Law (Ashgate, 2015). The recipient of a Jack and Mae Nathanson Visiting Fellowship at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Dr. Iyioha has previously served as a Visiting Academic at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Liu Scholar at the UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues, Fellow of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Program in Health Law and Policy, and will serve as a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in Fall 2017. Dr. Iyioha has received numerous local and international awards for her work and service, including the World Congress on Medical Law Award, the 2016 Canadian Immigrant of Distinction Award for outstanding achievements in professional and service capacities, and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award, 2017 (co-recipient) given for scholarly work that makes a significant contribution to legal literature. 

A light lunch will be provided.


For more workshop information, please contact Nadia Gulezko at