Webinar: 1969 Criminal Law Reforms

University of Toronto Faculty of Law

presents

1969 Criminal Law Reforms

Wednesday,  September 16, 2020
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Moderator:
Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Speakers:
Brenda Cossman, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

2019 John LL. J. Edwards Memorial Lecture: Prabha Kotiswaran - "The Sexual Politics of Anti-Trafficking Discourse"

The 2019 John LL. J. Edwards Memorial Lecture

 Professor Prabha Kotiswaran
King’s College London

"The Sexual Politics of Anti-Trafficking Discourse"

Thursday, 28 November 2019

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Reception to follow

Michaël Lessard

SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Giving Effect to Voiceless Autonomy: Death, Incapacity, and Animals
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5
Education
University of Toronto, SJD (in progress)
New York University, LLM (Legal Theory)
McGill University, BCL & LLB (Hons.)
Awards and Distinctions
SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship
FRQSC Doctoral Research Scholarship
Macdonald Travelling Scholarship (McGill Faculty of Law)
National Millennium Excellence Entrance Award (Government of Canada)
Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal (Government of Québec)
Professional Affiliations
Barreau du Québec (2016)
Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law
Institut de recherches et d’études féministes
Théâtre du Portage
Young Bar of Montréal
Other information

RESEARCH INTERESTS 

  • Bodies, Identities and the Self 
    (mainly Health Law & Bioethics, Animal Law, Law of Persons, Family Law)
  • Sexual and Conjugal Violence
  • Linguistic Sexism 
Selected Publications

BOOKS 

Mourir au 21e siècle : entre corporalités et technologies [trans. Dying in the 21st Century: Corporealities and Technologies], Montréal, Yvon Blais [forthcoming in 2020] (edited volume with Audrey Deveault). 

Réflexions contemporaines sur la mort, volume 2 : Perspectives sociales [trans. Contemporary Reflections on Death, Volume 2: Social Perspectives], Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, M éditeur [forthcoming in 2020] (edited volume with Audrey Deveault). 

Réflexions contemporaines sur la mort, volume 1 : Perspectives culturelles [trans. Contemporary Reflections on Death, Volume 1: Cultural Perspectives], Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, M éditeur [forthcoming in 2020] (edited volume with Audrey Deveault). 

Manuel de grammaire non sexiste et inclusive [trans. Non-Sexist and Inclusive Grammar Guide], Paris, Syllepse, 2018 [French edition of the Grammaire non sexiste de la langue française](with Suzanne Zaccour). 

Grammaire non sexiste de la langue française [trans. Non-Sexist Grammar of the French Language]Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, M éditeur, 2017 (with Suzanne Zaccour). 

Dictionnaire critique du sexisme linguistique [trans. Critical Dictionary of Linguistic Sexism], Montréal, Somme Toute, 2017 (edited volume with Suzanne Zaccour). 

 

PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES 

L’animal, toujours dans l’enclos de la propriété? Bilan des cinq premières années suivant l’adoption de l’article 898.1 CcQ [trans. The Animal, Still a Thing? Overview of the First Five Years Since the Enactment of 898.1 CCQ] [under review]. 

  • Arguing that the 2015 animal law reform in Québec limits an owner’s right of abusus over their animal, thus limiting their right to kill this animal without a compelling reason. 

Remuer ciel et terre : L’autonomie corporelle après la mort à l’épreuve de l’exhumation [trans. Leave No Stone Unturned: Bodily Autonomy After Death and Disinterment] [under review]. 

  • Arguing that judges, in order to discover the deceased’s presumptive wishes in the absence of clearly expressed wishes regarding the disposal of their body, uses a narrative approach or a relational approach to human nature. Theorizing and critically assessing the case law on disinterment since the adoption of the Civil Code of Québec in 1994. 

Quel espoir pour les victimes de violences sexuelles ou conjugales? L’indemnisation étatique : enquête sur une structure juridique défaillante [trans. What Hope is There for Victims of Sexual or Domestic Violence? State Compensation: Investing a Failing Legal Structure], Cahiers de droit [forthcoming in 2020]. 

  • Providing a critical assessment of the Crime Victims Compensation Act of Québec. 

A Dynamic Judicial Approach to Diachronic Legislative Integrity, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence [forthcoming in 2020].

  • Arguing that theories of statutory interpretation should account for the fact that legislative bodies are in a dynamic process of building coherence and consistency in the law, but that the law might not be a coherent, consistent and complete whole yet. Consequently, courts ought to give more importance to legal norms that a legislative body is most committed to and less to norms this body has neglected or abandoned although they might still be visible in legal texts. 

Les amoureux sur les bancs publics: Le traitement juridique du polyamour en droit québécois [trans. Lovers on Public Benches: The Legal Treatment of Polyamory under Québec Law], (2019) 32:1 Canadian Journal of Family Law 1. 

  • Defining polyamory, monoamory, and related concepts. Arguing that four approaches are used in Québec to orient people toward monogamous relationships and away from polyamorous relationships: (1) limiting to two the number of parents per child, (2) facilitating spousal care, (3) protecting spouses against economic vulnerability, and (4) prohibiting certain polyamorous arrangements (criminalization of polygamy). 

Quel genre de droit? Autopsie du sexisme dans la langue juridique [trans. Autopsy of Sexism in the Legal Language], [2019] (2017) 47:2 Revue de droit de l’Université Sherbrooke 225 (with Suzanne Zaccour). 

  • Tracking sexism in the language of the law, laying down a nomenclature of jurilinguistic sexisms (lexical, grammatical, terminological) as well as developing two new notions: the linguistic glass ceiling and ostentatious feminines. 
  • Cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9. 

Le calcul des aliments du parent de fait : de l’approche synchronique à l’approche étapiste [trans. Calculating the support paid by a de facto parent: moving from a synchronic to a layered approach], (2019) 60:1 Cahiers de droit 251. 

  • Arguingfor the adoption of a layered approach to child support, under which the support obligation of a de facto parent is subsidiary to the obligation of the civil parent. 

« Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together? » L’obligation déontologique des juges face aux victimes d’agression sexuelle [trans. The Ethical Obligations of Judges in Sexual Violence Cases], [2019] (2017) 63:1 McGill Law Journal 155. 

  • Arguingthat judges commit a breach of judicial ethics when they make a remark or a statement that (1) is likely to maintain the myth of the good victim of sexual violence, (2) participates in one of the four related stereotypes condemned in law and (3) is not justified by its relevance and necessity for legal reasoning.

Les dénonciations publiques d’agressions sexuelles : du mauvais usage de la présomption d’innocence [trans. Public Denunciation of Sexual Assault: Misunderstanding the Presumption of Innocence], (2017) 29:2 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 401. 

  • Arguing that using the notion of presumption of innocence to prevent victims from denunciating cases of sexual assault is an inappropriate use of the notion. 

 

ARTICLES 

Coronavirus : développements récents en droit de la famille durant la pandémie de la COVID-19 (14 avril au 1er juin 2020) [trans. Coronavirus: Recent Developments in Family Law During the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 14 to June 1st, 2020)], (2020) June Repères. 

  • Providing a critical overview of family law developments, discussing among others return to school cases.  

Coronavirus : développements récents en droit de la famille concernant la garde et l’accès durant la pandémie de la COVID-19 (13 mars au 13 avril 2020) [trans. Coronavirus: Recent Developments in Family Law Regarding Custody and Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 13 to April 13, 2020)], (2020) April Repères 2983. 

  • Providing a critical overview of family law developments, discussing among others custody and access cases. 

Commentaire sur la décision Roy c. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal – Responsabilité civile pour entrave à la volonté de don d’organes et de tissus : l’autonomie corporelle après la mort [trans. Commentary on Roy c. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal – Civil liability for obstructing the wish to donate organs and tissues : Bodily autonomy after death], (2020) March Repères 2924. 

  • Providing a critical assessment of Roy c. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, 2019 QCCQ 6257, a rare case of civil liability in the context of posthumous organ donation. 

Dialogue dissident : la désobéissance a-t-elle sa place sous une autorité linguistique inclusive? [trans. Dissenting dialogue: does disobedience have its place under an inclusive linguistic authority?], (2018) 53 Cahiers de l’éducation permanente 35 (with Suzanne Zaccour). 

  • Arguing that disobedience to linguistic authorities is not only justified when confronted to sexist institutions but also to inclusive ones in some circumstances. 

Parler féministe [trans. Speak Feminist], (2018) 1 “Lumières” Revue L’Esprit Libre 15 (with Suzanne Zaccour). 

  • Arguing in favour of “ostentatious” feminine words, that is, feminine words audibly distinct from masculine words. 

 

BOOK CHAPTERS 

Poursuivre son agresseur aux petites créances? [trans. Suing One’s Sexual Assailant at the Small Claims Division?] in Penser une justice féministe, J. Chateauvert and S. Mayer (eds.), Remue-ménage, Montréal [forthcoming in 2020] (with Suzanne Zaccour). 

  • Outlining the pros and cons of suing one’s sexual assailant at the Small Claims Division of the Court of Québec. 

 

CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS 

Mémoire sur le traitement juridique des personnes polyamoureuses et de leurs enfants [trans. Brief on the Legal Treatment of Polyamorists and their Children], Ministère de la Justice du Québec, June 28, 2019.  

Reviewed and commented on the draft of Terminology Standardization Division (Government of Canada), Gender and sexual diversity glossary, November 12, 2018. 

Mémoire sur la situation juridique des personnes polyamoureuses au Québec [trans. Brief on the Legal Status of Polyamorous Persons in Québec], Commission citoyenne sur le droit de la famille, Chambre des notaires du Québec, August 2018. 

 

SELECTED MEDIA ARTICLES 

“Le droit protège-t-il la réputation des agresseurs?”, La Presse, July 15, 2020, online

“À qui appartient la langue française?”, Le Devoir, June 11, 2020, online.

“Le féminin mérite-t-il d’être entendu?”, Le Devoir, February 10, 2020, online

“La Cour d'appel tranche : Les chiens dangereux peuvent-ils être euthanasiés par les municipalités ?”, Jeune Barreau de Montréal, January 16, 2020 (with Romane Bonenfant), online

“Don d’organes : Pour un respect des personnes décédées”, La Presse, November 30, 2019, online.

“Comment aider les victimes de violence sexuelle et conjugale? Une réforme de l’IVAC est nécessaire”, La Presse, November 11, 2019, online.

“Avoir le droit de définir sa mort?”, Le Devoir, October 21, 2019, online.

“Violences sexuelles : un récent projet de loi ignoré des médias”, Jeune Barreau de Montréal, October 7, 2019 (with Romane Bonenfant), online.

“Il est temps de considerer la triparenté”, La Presse, August 24, 2019, online.

“Un consentement implicite, vraiment, docteur?”, La Presse, July 5, 2019, online.

“Laissez les sorcières, McCarthy et la liberté d’expression en paix!”, La Presse, February 21, 2019, online.

“Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” L’obligation déontologique des juges face aux victimes d’agression sexuelle, Extrajudiciaire, June, 2018. 

“Des bancs d’école au banc des accusés: le masculin destitué”, Le Devoir, November 18, 2017 (with Suzanne Zaccour), online

“Quand la ‘neutralité’ grammaticale rend les femmes invisibles”, Le Devoir, January 16, 2017 (with Suzanne Zaccour), online

“Le français n’a pas de sexe ?”, Ricochet, November 30, 2016 (with Suzanne Zaccour), online

“La langue du plafond de verre”, Ricochet, September 21, 2016 (with Suzanne Zaccour), online

“Le droit à la peine la moins sévère”, La Presse, April 25, 2016, online.

“Le vide juridique de l’aide médicale à mourir”, Le Devoir, December 12, 2015, online

“Du mauvais usage de la présomption d’innocence”, Le Devoir, October 30, 2015, online

“L’indignation. (Et après?)”, Faits et causes, December 2, 2014, (with Étienne Cloutier). 

“Jugement sur la prostitution : La réaction d’Ottawa pèche par électoralisme”, Le Devoir, January 14, 2014, online

Research Interests
Civil Law
Critical Legal Theory
Family Law
Feminist Analysis of Law
Health Law
Legal History
Legal Theory
Moral Philosophy
Sexuality and the Law
Supervisor
Committee Members
Andrew Franklin-Hall (Philosophy)

U of T Law Journal publishes special issue on "Same-Sex Marriage and the Law"

Friday, March 15, 2019

The latest issue of the University of Toronto Law Journal is a special issue on "Same-Sex Marriage and the Law." The issue includes three articles on the subject, including one by Prof. Brenda Cossman, "Same-Sex Marriage Beyond Charter Dialogue: Charter Cases and Contestation Within Government."

Visiting Prof. Carolyn Strange: "Gay Village killings show there's still tension between Toronto cops, LGBTQ community"

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Faculty of Law was pleased to host Prof. Carolyn Strange, of the Australian National University School of History, as a visiting professor from July to November 2018. Before she returned to Australia, Prof. Strange wrote this piece in The Conversation reflecting on the historical context of the police response to serial killers of gay males in light of the charges against Bruce McArthur in Toronto.

Bruce McArthur, who allegedly lured men into sexual encounters, killed them and disposed of their bodies, faces eight murder charges in Toronto. The case has saddened and angered many, especially those from LGBTQ2S+ communities. They’ve accused police of failing to investigate the case seriously.

Some community activists believe homophobia and racism lengthened the time it took police to make an arrest. These accusations have triggered an investigation into previously unsolved murders of gay men in the 1970s.

Menaka Guruswamy, lead lawyer who represented LGBTQ Indians in fight to decriminalize gay sex in India, gives the 2018 Goodman Lecture

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

By Peter Boisseau

When India’s Supreme Court recently changed its position and struck down a nearly 155-year-old colonial era law criminalizing gay sex, it had as much to do with shifting perceptions of love as with new legal interpretations, one of the lead lawyers representing petitioners in the case told an audience at the 2018 David B. Goodman Lecture.

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