Paper Title

[1.3] Seeing Justice Done: Feminist Advocacy and Substantive Equality In Canadian Cases of Sexual Assault

Location

Arts & Education Building 260, Moderated by Ginny Ratsoy

Start Date

18-1-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

18-1-2019 3:15 PM

Disciplines

Constitutional Law | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The 1998 case Jane Doe v. Board of Commissioners of Police for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto et al. revealed how systemic discriminatory attitudes influence and inform the enforcement of the law in Canada. A victim of sexual assault, Doe filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the Toronto Police for their biased policing and sex-based discrimination in the apprehension of her assailant. In doing so, she secured a major legal victory and exposed how the law cannot be divorced from the wider social context in which it exists. With reference to the Doe case, this paper examines the dichotomy between what the law promises and what it grants alongside feminist legal theory. Key to this understanding is the difference between substantive equality and formal equality, and how they connect to principles of natural justice in Canadian legal doctrine. With these concepts in mind, this paper orients the law as it applies to victims of sexual assault within its broader social context to highlight the problematic barriers in granting ‘equal benefit under the law’ as promised in s.15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This paper will ultimately argue in favour of the need for feminist approaches to justice through advocacy and education as a means to confront deeply entrenched social norms that prevent women from achieving substantive equality in criminal justice cases of sexual assault.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

Import Event to Google Calendar

COinS
 
Jan 18th, 2:00 PM Jan 18th, 3:15 PM

[1.3] Seeing Justice Done: Feminist Advocacy and Substantive Equality In Canadian Cases of Sexual Assault

Arts & Education Building 260, Moderated by Ginny Ratsoy

The 1998 case Jane Doe v. Board of Commissioners of Police for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto et al. revealed how systemic discriminatory attitudes influence and inform the enforcement of the law in Canada. A victim of sexual assault, Doe filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the Toronto Police for their biased policing and sex-based discrimination in the apprehension of her assailant. In doing so, she secured a major legal victory and exposed how the law cannot be divorced from the wider social context in which it exists. With reference to the Doe case, this paper examines the dichotomy between what the law promises and what it grants alongside feminist legal theory. Key to this understanding is the difference between substantive equality and formal equality, and how they connect to principles of natural justice in Canadian legal doctrine. With these concepts in mind, this paper orients the law as it applies to victims of sexual assault within its broader social context to highlight the problematic barriers in granting ‘equal benefit under the law’ as promised in s.15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This paper will ultimately argue in favour of the need for feminist approaches to justice through advocacy and education as a means to confront deeply entrenched social norms that prevent women from achieving substantive equality in criminal justice cases of sexual assault.