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Law Gender & The Law

Adding Feminism to Law

The Contributions of Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé

edited by Elizabeth Sheehy

foreword by Beverley McLachlin

Irwin Law Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2004
Gender & the Law, Feminism & Feminist Theory, Essays
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2004
    List Price

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The nineteen essays in this volume celebrate the judicial career of Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé and consider the unique ways in which her work as a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada enhanced women's legal and social equality in Canada. Written by leading legal scholars, jurists, and social activists, these essays examine Justice L'Heureux-Dubé's substantive contributions to areas of the law including family law, taxation, human rights law, immigration law, and criminal law, as well as examining the ways in which her judgments advanced access to justice and the rights of Aboriginal people, gays and lesbians, and people with disabilities in Canada. Finally, they look at the influence her decisions have had in jurisdictions beyond Canadian borders.
As the papers in this collection demonstrate, Justice L'Heureux-Dubé's work—both on the bench and as a public figure—advanced a feminist analysis of law that served to enhance the quality of life for Canadian women. As importantly, they document her approach to judging, which was defined by human compassion and an ability to see and understand the lived reality of people's lives.
During her fifteen years on the Supreme Court from 1987 to 2002, Justice L'Heureux-Dubé participated in over six hundred Charter of Rights decisions, many of which were profoundly significant and often controversial. Anyone interested in the enterprise of judging generally and in the history of the Court and its role in Canadian society during these turbulent times will find this book a most important addition to their library.

About the authors

Elizabeth Sheehy is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She has taught courses in criminal law and procedure, women and the law, commercial law, torts, and advanced studies in contracts and torts. As a consultant, Professor Sheehy has worked for the Department of Justice on women`s issues in criminal law, the Women`s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies on Judge Lynn Ratushny`s Self-Defence Review. With Jennie Abell, she has produced two volumes of a criminal law and procedure casebook that is in use in several law schools. She has also written articles on criminal law as it affects women, the Charter, and torts.

Elizabeth Sheehy's profile page

Beverley McLachlin was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 2000 to 2017. She is the first woman to hold that position and the longest-serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. Born in rural Pincher Creek, Alberta, McLachlin studied philosophy and law at the University of Alberta before being called to the bar in 1969. After teaching at the University of British Columbia, she was appointed a judge in 1981. Throughout her prestigious career, she has served on many courts, including the County Court of Vancouver, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2019, McLachlin became a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour within the Order. Her first novel, Full Disclosure, was an instant national bestseller.

Beverley McLachlin's profile page

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