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.