Archive for January, 2011

Interested in international law, human rights, indigenous rights, feminism, rights related to economic, social and cultural rights and/or the right to self-determination or issues of violence and discrimination? Don’t miss this exciting roundtable, held jointly with the Manitoba Aboriginal Law Students’ Association!

On February 10, Céleste McKay will be joining us to discuss “The Human Rights of Indigenous Women.”  The roundtable will be held from 12 -1 in room 308.

We are truly honoured to host such a special guest. Céleste McKay is a Métis woman from Manitoba, with a background in social work and law.  In 2007, Céleste received her LL.M. degree from the University of Ottawa which focused on the international right to health of Indigenous women in Canada.  She has worked in the areas of human rights, policy, research and advocacy work, both nationally and internationally, primarily on behalf of Indigenous women’s organizations. Céleste is a Consultant on Human Rights and International Affairs.
Check out the following website for further info:

Join us for this opportunity to learn more about Céleste’s international and domestic work promoting the human rights of indigenous women. If you’d like to do some reading and thinking in advance of the discussion, please read pages 14 – 20 and 28 – 33 of  Mairin Iwanka Raya: Indigenous Women Stand Against Violence. A Companion Report to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Women

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Hello Robson Hall!
On Tuesday, January 25th you can leave your lunch at home and for a minimum donation of $3 enjoy a delicious lunch! Robson Hall students and Faculty members are putting on a fantastic lunch to raise money for the West Broadway Youth Outreach. Bring some spare change, enjoy some fantastic food and help the community in the process! Your colleagues are donating a huge variety of tasty dishes to help make this lunch a success. You’ll find samosas,curry, foccacia bread, pasta, perogies, delectable desserts and much much more! You don’t want to miss it!

The Law Society of Manitoba has partnered with WBYO for this year’s LSM community event. The FLF will be participating in the “Lawyers for Literacy” event by volunteering on January 29th to read with or to children from the WBYO. Along with promoting literacy, the FLF is raising money to support all the good work the WBYO does. All money raised at the potluck will go directly to the WBYO. So let’s come together  with that famous Robson Hall community spirit and raise a record setting amount for this awesome organization! You’ll find the fantastic spread waiting for you in the main hallway at noon on the 25th.

More about the WBYO:
The West Broadway Youth Outreach is a recreational life skills program for children who live in the area bounded by Arlington Street, Portage Avenue, Osborne Street and the Assiniboine River, for children ages 4 – 12, with junior volunteers, mentors and role models ages 13-17 from the area. All activities are free. They provide 28 structured programs after-school and evenings year round. They have a homework club where kids are encouraged to engage in their studies and are offered incentives to do so. They have a Dreams Program through which kids are encouraged to think beyond the day-to-day and realize that they can have dreams that can be fulfilled.

The Goals of the program are to:

Ensure that local children have the opportunity to have their basic social emotional and recreational needs met
Instill a sense of accountability in local children
Provide positive adult role models
Develop local leadership

West Broadway Youth Outreach also welcomes donations of books, children’s clothes, juice boxes for after school snacks, games, toys, musical instruments…pretty much anything you can think of that would be of interest to a child. We will be accepting gently used books, toys, games etc. as “payment” for the lunch as well.
If you’d like to learn more about the Law Society of Manitoba’s 2011 community event in partnership with the West Broadway Youth Outreach, check this out.

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This article draws upon some of the themes discussed in the girls club? roundtable. Although the actresses involved in the panel do not play lawyers on tv, I think their comments apply equally to female lawyers – perhaps more so if you swap out the difficulty of being attractive and funny with the difficulty of being smart and attractive, or serious and attractive, or just an ordinary, hard-working woman (like 99.9% of women who aren’t on television)

A pretty interesting read:


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The FLF is participating in a very exciting Law Society of Manitoba program called “Lawyers for Literacy” and we need your help!
On January 29th, members of the FLF will be spending time at Crossways in Common reading with and reading to children from the West Broadway area. This fantastic community event will allow lawyers (and law students) to share their skills with children by helping them read and encouraging them to read, while promoting literacy through demonstrating how important reading is and all the places it can take you. Along with these important goals, the event will support the West Broadway Youth Outreach, an organization that provides services to approximately 600 children from the area. The WBYO operates on a shoestring budget. With additional money, they will be able to expand the services they offer. For example, the WBYO takes kids swimming every week, but not all of the kids can participate because they can’t afford bathing suits and towels.
Individuals participating in “Lawyers for Literacy” are asking for pledges in support of their participation. We at the FLF recognize that it is hard for law students to pledge money, but know that our members are with us in our belief that at its most basic level, equality means ensuring that all children have access to the supports, services and resources that enable them to learn and grow so that they too can grow up to be whatever they dream to be.
So how can you help???
The FLF is going to hold a lunch at Robson Hall on January 25 . This delicious event will be open for all to attend on a donation basis (minimum $3). The donations will go towards supporting the FLF members participating in Lawyers for Literacy in lieu of pledges. While we would love if all of  you could attend and donate, we also need as many of you as possible to donate a dish to serve.Essentially, this is going to be a big potluck lunch and who doesn’t love potlucks? Please let us know by Tuesday, January 18th if you can donate a dish. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just something that can be served to a crowd. Our participation in the Lawyers for Literacy event depends on your support!

Note – if you are interested in donating a dish to the potluck and want to bring a dessert, please include that information when you e-mail us. We will probably cap the number of dessert dishes at 2 or 3. Also, while we would love to thank those who donate dishes with a free lunch, doing so would probably result in having no dishes left to serve to the larger law school community. We appreciate your understanding in our asking everyone to contribute $3 minimum to enjoy the lunch.
West Broadway Youth Outreach also welcomes donations of new or gently used books, children’s clothes, juice boxes for after school snacks, games, toys, musical instruments, or anything else that would be of interest to a child. These will be accepted at the lunch in lieu of the $3 minimum donation.
We look forward to hearing from you!!
Find out more about Lawyers for Literacy
Thanks for your support!

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Our friends in sociology are putting together this fascinating looking discussion series! This is a great opportunity to escape the isolation of Robson Hall and interact with our wider University community!

Honours, graduate and law students!

You’re invited to participate in the University of Manitoba 2011 Interdisciplinary Student Discussion Series.

In an effort to promote student discussion and exchange at the University of Manitoba, we’ve organized a three-part, brown-bag panel discussion series that offers students an opportunity to participate in a peer-reviewed presentations on campus

This year’s topics are:

– Israeli Apartheid Week: Noble, Confrontational, or Anti-Semitic?

Friday March 4th, 12:30 – 1:30, Room 335 Isbister Building

– The Federal Government’s Criminal Justice Agenda: Public Safety or Playing Politics?

  • Friday March 11, 12:30 – 1:30, Room 335 Isbister Building

– Development of the Albertan Tarsands: Towards Energy Security or Ecological Catastrophe?

  • Friday March 18th, 12:30 – 1:30, Room 335 Isbister Building

Have an opinion on any of these issues? Would you like to take part in the discussion? Then join us as a panellist! You don’t need to be an expert. Send us an e-mail with your name and a 150 word proposal of your position to:


Deadline for Submission of Presentation Proposals: Feburary 4th

We’ll let you know if you have been selected by February 18th.

PowerPoint and projector available. Snacks and refreshments provided!

Please pass message/poster around.

Hope to see you there.
Evan Bowness
Support and Funding Provided by The University of Manitoba Alumni Association and the Department of Sociology


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The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (CJWL) has published Volume 22(2), an issue titled “Ten Years After Jane Doe”. The English language CJWL is based at Robson Hall and Prof. Debra Parkes is the English editor. The journal is an excellent feminist legal resource.

What does it mean to be in a post-Jane Doe era? The current issue of the CJWL probes issues around sexual assault law and features stories on English-Canadian newspapers and sexual assault myths; the legal construct of consent in wife-rape cases in Ontario; victim blaming; and the sexual assault of intoxicated women (and more!)

Find the table of contents here

Read more about this issue of the CJWL and other Jane Doe related work here

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Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a chance to relax before diving back into classes this term.

The FLF is thrilled to announce that Dr. Emma Cunliffe (UBC Faculty of Law) will be leading a roundtable for us on January 21st from 12 -1 on “What Feminism Can Teach us About Expert Evidence”. This is a great chance for those who have taken evidence to consider some feminist issues around the case law and concepts learned in class. For those who haven’t taken evidence yet, the roundtable is an opportunity to gain a feminist perspective on evidence law. Evidence law is an area where a feminist perspective is extremely important and there’s not a lot of time to delve into these issues in the course itself. So come to the roundtable to learn and discuss!

If you’d like to prepare for the roundtable, Dr. Cunliffe would be grateful if you did a broad reading that will provide a good introduction to the topic. The approach to the roundtable will be flexible and open so that there can be lots of discussion and time for questions. The reading should help spark some thoughts in your mind before the discussion. Click on the link below for the reading.

What feminism can teach us about expert evidence

We are very excited to host Dr. Emma Cunliffe for this roundtable. It is an honour to have her come speak with us.


Dr Emma Cunliffe is an Assistant Professor at the UBC Faculty of Law.  She won the Killam Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2010 and has pioneered the use of problem-based learning in her classes at UBC.  Dr Cunliffe’s research focuses on expert evidence in homicide trials, particularly expert medical evidence.  Her forthcoming book (Murder, Medicine and Motherhood: Hart, 2011) considers the role of sudden infant death syndrome and normative conceptions of motherhood in child homicide prosecutions in the early 21st century.  In her current work, Emma is considering the social and legal context in which 20 parents and caregivers were wrongly accused of murder by Ontario pathologist Charles Smith.  In addition, Emma is conducting the first comprehensive survey of admissibility decisions regarding expert evidence in Canadian courts, in an effort to identify whether some types of expertise are scrutinized more closely than others by judges and lawyers.


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