Julie Mouris, “Canada’s International Human Rights Obligations and Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women”

The tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada has been the subject of national and international scrutiny throughout the last decade. Numerous reports by national and international bodies have identified this ongoing and pressing problem, and have urged Canada to fulfill its obligations on this issue. Canada’s obligations toward Aboriginal women flow not only from domestic laws, but also from Canada’s many international commitments.

This paper examines how Canada is in breach of a number of its international human rights obligations towards missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Part I examines the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, outlining key statistics compiled by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (“NWAC”). This section also scrutinizes the contributory role of police. Part II discusses international legal instruments relevant to the topic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, as well as commentary and case law from international human rights bodies. Part III provides a timeline of reports and recommendations made by national and international bodies, including a critical assessment of Canadian responses. Finally, Part IV discusses paths forward and recommendations on urgent measures to be adopted by the Canadian government.

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Craig Mazerolle, “Taking (Judicial) Notice of Workplace Precarity: Single Mothers and the Right to Childcare Accommodation”

Familial relationships have been a growing topic of interest for human rights jurisprudence in the employment context. While lone-parent families are far from unique, courts and tribunals have yet to comprehensively address the interaction of family status discrimination and the childcare needs of lone-parent families. Using a feminist and historical framework, this paper analyzes the growing field of law concerning childcare accommodation and working parents. I argue that, by crafting jurisprudence within the context of two-parent households, courts and tribunals risk inadvertently silencing the unique childcare issues of lone-parent families, especially those families led by single mothers. To better address these issues, lawyers must encourage courts to issue judicial notice of the interaction between lone-parent families, gender, and precarious work.

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Brady Donohue, “Operationalizing Golden: Measuring the Efficacy of Judicial Oversight”

Over a decade ago, in R v Golden, the Supreme Court of Canada set out clear guidelines on when a strip search complies with section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”). Since that time, high profile cases have captured the public’s attention, signaling that police services continue to struggle with implementing the Golden principles. Cases such as R v Bonds—where Stacy Bonds was aggressively and illegally strip searched, including having her bra and shirt cut off by members of the Ottawa Police Service—remind us of this reality. Should Bonds and Darteh, both of whom are racialized, be considered isolated incidents of police misconduct, or do they reflect systemic disregard or indifference to the standards established by the Supreme Court of Canada in Golden? Ultimately, their experiences signal persistent systemic issues explored by the court.

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Digital Companion

The Digital Companion is our first-ever digital issue, and exclusively features Canadian law student writing. We have selected the most promising student papers from our 2014 Canadian Law Student Conference, to be featured in the inaugural issue of the Digital Companion.

The Digital Companion is not peer-reviewed, but is otherwise subject to the same editorial process as our print volume. For information on how to submit articles to the Digital Companion, please visit our Submissions page.