Crowd-sourced sexual harassment map for Egypt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Crowd-sourced sexual harassment map for Egypt


 Widely available web 2.0 tools for creating digital online maps have opened up the realm of mapmaking to a very broad spectrum of individuals. The crowd-sourcing of information to place in geographic context has also become an important way by which information that is often difficult to gather can be collected and shared.

 An example of such an undertaking is HarassMap. This map is the work of a group of activists, researchers and volunteer contributors who are using crowdsourcing techniques to map and document incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in Egypt. The map uses colour coding to distinguish between various types of harassment. It allows anyone with a smartphone, email or internet connection to report incidents that can be plotted on the map. The reports, which are anonymous, provide descriptions of each incident. The website offers English, French and Arabic versions, although the reports are published in the language used by the individual making the report. Stated goals of the map are to end the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt, provide a reporting system, and to “revitalize the public movement”.

It's the little things....


It’s the little things...












Karen R. Restoule*

I often think about the role of reconciliation in the Idle No More movement, how both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples play important roles in the quest to achieve equality.  With images of protests, railway blockades, and highway slowdowns that run through my mind when I hear the words "Idle No More", I force myself to shift my thinking beyond the large scale exhibitions and consider the actions that occur at the most fundamental level.  Much less obvious, and not widely displayed to the average Canadian, simple acts of respect and inclusion are occurring across this country and their effects are of a quiet strength.  

 
One that comes to mind involves my partner, his classmates and their sports journalism professor "Harold".  In their second week of class, Harold challenged his students with the very first question in their current events quiz by asking, “Who is Theresa Spence?”  Now you would think that a room full of educated and engaged folks would have caught a glimpse of news reports of the Chief who was going into Week 4 of her hunger strike.  You would think.  But they hadn't.  Ok, to be fair, less than 1/4 of the students were able to respond correctly.  Was I really surprised though?  Was I surprised that they flipped (or scrolled down) right past the front page photo of a woman who was willing to put her health and life into jeopardy to bring public attention to the life-threatening issues that continue to plague her First Nation?  The very same woman that has been referred as the Ghandi of First Nations peoples?  Not in the least. 

 
HOWEVER, perhaps I should quiet my inner critic and focus on the good here because there is some good.  In fact, there is some GREAT!  And that wonderful thing is the very reality that in a post-graduate sports journalism class within the City of Toronto, where very few First Nations, Inuit, or Metis students sit (if any), where only non-Aboriginal peoples teach, and where Aboriginal issues are not expected to be discussed, a question regarding one of the greatest Aboriginal movements of our time was included in a weekly pop quiz. 

 
This is what reconciliation looks like, folks.  It’s the little things.

*Karen is Ojibway and a member of Dokis First Nation. She is a recent graduate of the French Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa. Currently, Karen is completing her articles in the area of social justice. Prior to attending law school, she worked in provincial corrections and legal fields. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2005, in Aboriginal Studies and Linguistics. In her free time, Karen enjoys visiting with family and friends, cooking, film, and working towards the advancement of the rights of First Nations communities and peoples.
 

Mark the 25th anniversary of the Morgental decision in Ottawa

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Le français suit

January 28th marks the 25th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision which enshrined Canadian women’s right to choose. To commemorate this milestone, Niki Ashton, MP and NDP Critic for the Status of Women in partnership with Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD), would like to invite you to participate in a discussion on reproductive rights.

When: January 28th, 2013
Time: 6:00 pm-8:30 pm
Where: Room 7-50, 131 Queen St, Ottawa

Light refreshments will be served followed by the live streaming of a panel discussion in Toronto featuring; Judy Rebick, Michele Landsberg, Carolyn Egan, Angela Robertson, and Jillian Bardsley, as well as speeches in Ottawa by activists Mélanie Jubinville-Stafford and Sahra Maclean.

Please confirm your attendance by no later than 12 noon EST on Friday January 25th at 613-992-3018 or niki.ashton.a1@parl.gc.ca

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Le 28 janvier marque le 25e anniversaire de la décision Morgentaler, qui a consacré la liberté de choix des Canadiennes. Pour célébrer cet événement, Niki Ashton, députée et porte-parole du NPD pour la Condition féminine, en partenariat avec Action Canada pour la population et le développement (ACPD), vous invite à participer à une discussion sur les droits reproductifs.

Quand: Le 28 Janvier, 2013
Heure: 18:00 – 20:30
Lieu: Pièce 7-50, 131 Rue Queen, Ottawa

Un léger goûter sera servi suivi par la diffusion en direct d'une table ronde à Toronto avec; Judy Rebick, Michele Landsberg, Carolyn Egan, Angela Robertson, et Jillian Bardsley, ainsi que des discours à Ottawa par les militantes Mélanie Jubinville-Stafford et Sahra Maclean.

RSVP au plus tard le vendredi 25 Janvier à midi, au 613-992-3018 ou niki.ashton.a1@parl.gc.ca

Why TWU should not have a law school

Trinity Western University, a private, Christian university in British Columbia has made an application to open a law school. Trinity Western requires all faculty, staff and students to sign a covenant promising to abstain form same-sex sexual intimacy. Students who fail to abide by the covenant can be disciplined, including by expulsion.

Read this op-ed in the National Post by uOttawa law Professors Jena McGill and Angela Cameron and other Canadian GLBTQ activists outlining why Trinity Western's application should be turned down.

Battered Women's Defences Still in Question

Professors Elizabeth Sheehy and Carissima Mathen published this op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, discussing the recent Supreme Court of Canada case to examine battered women's defences.

Colloque CAELS/CAELS Conference

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CAELS Conference
Canadian Environmental Law: Thinking Big And Small
February 22-23, 2013 at the University Of Ottawa

The Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies (CAELS) is an exciting new networking project that connects environmental law students, practitioners and professionals from across the country. As part of our education mandate, we are proud to hold our first annual conference from February 22-23, 2013 at the University of Ottawa. The conference will feature multidisciplinary panels of graduate students, practitioners, and academics who will be discussing pressing environmental issues such as the impacts of Bill C-38, climate change and the law, and corporate social responsibility. Environmental law requires expertise in a broad variety of disciplines, from physics and biological sciences to law and policy to social movements.  Panels will reflect this diversity. This event will allow CAELS to establish itself as a forum for students and professionals in Ontario and Canada who are interested in the development and study of environmental law.

For more details about the conference or about registration, please visit our website at www.caels.org.

Colloque CAELS
Droit environnemental canadien : Une question de taille
Les 22 et 23 février 2013 à l’Université d’Ottawa


L’Association canadienne des sociétés des étudiant(e)s en droit environnemental (CAELS), une initiative récente et prometteuse, permet le réseautage entre les étudiants de droit environnemental, les praticiens et les professionnels à travers le pays. Dans le cadre de notre mandate d’éducation, nous présentons fièrement notre premier colloque annuel les 22 et 23 février 2013 à l’Université d’Ottawa. Ce colloque comportera des panels d’experts multidisciplinaires composés d’étudiants gradués, de praticiens et de chercheurs universitaires qui discuteront de certains problèmes environnementaux pressants tels l’impact du projet de loi C-38, le changement climatique et le droit ainsi que la responsabilité sociale des entreprises. Le droit environnemental nécessite l’expertise d’une panoplie de disciplines, de la physique et des sciences biologiques au droit et à la politique en passant par les mouvements sociaux. Les panels d’experts reflèteront cette diversité. Cet évènement permettra à CAELS de s’établir en Ontario, ainsi que dans l’ensemble du Canada, en tant que forum pour les étudiants et les professionnels intéressés par le développement et l’étude du droit environnemen

Idle No More at Uottawa Law

Friday, January 11, 2013

Support Uottawa Law's Aboriginal Law Students Association as they mobilise to participate in Idle No More today.

Walk with them to Parliament Hill.

Departing the Fauteux Hall lobby at 11:15 am.

Bring your umbrellas and your solidarity.

If you have morning class come up to the Hill afterwards.

Idle No More at Uottawa Law- Walk to the Hill

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Aboriginal Law Student's Association of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law are organising a walk from the faculty to Parliament Hill on Friday January 11th, 2013.

The walk will begin from the lobby of Fauteux Hall at 11:15 am.

Come show your solidarity with our Aboriginal students, and Aboriginal peoples across Canada in this historic date.

Idle No More Round Dance Flash Mob

Round Dance Flash Mob @ 1 PM TODAY  on Tabaret Lawn (Laurier) on the University of Ottawa campus.

Come show your solidarity with Canada's Indigenous peoples.

Black Law Students' Association of Canada's 22nd National Conference

ENGLISH
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BE THE CHANGE
Black Law Students' Association of Canada's 22nd National Conference
Ottawa, Ontario
February 21 - 24 2013
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Mark your calendars - the 22nd national Black Law Students Association of Canada (BLSAC) conference will take place in Ottawa, Ontario from February 21 - 24, 2013.  First launched in Toronto in 1992, BLSAC's  national conference has grown to be the most important legal gathering on the Black community calendar.Early bird registration will be open on Friday, January 11th at 9:00AM. The first twenty people to register will get the exclusive opportunity to attend a Special Meeting with the Right Honourable Chief Justice McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada!

Highlights include:
Thursday (Morning) | Meet the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The first 20 members to register online will benefit from a special meeting with The Right Honourable Beverley McLaughlin, Chief Justice of Canada. All delegates invited to attend the hearing.

Thursday | Books to Prisons. Bring your gently used literature to inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre."In the last 10 years, the number of federally incarcerated Black Canadians increased by over 40%".

Thursday | Legal Writing Academy Cafe. A session to give you the nuts and bolts of effective legal writing in articling and beyond.

Thursday | Field Trips in the National Capital Region. Explore the city's beauty with visits to the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Parliament Hill and Centre d'Exposition de l'Imagier.

Thursday | Dinner in the Capital. Enjoy the city`s finest cuisine and network with your colleagues from across the country. Words of welcome from our Mayor, The Honourable Jim Watson.

Friday | Blakes' Morning Ceremonies: Break Barriers Build Bridges. Touching souls and uplifting spirits, Montreal’s renowned Imani Gospel Singers inspires you with soulful, melodious and vibrant music.

Friday | 50 Shades of White? Dean Camille Nelson tackles racism in law schools and the legal profession, and imparts strategies for change.

Friday | Intellectual Property, Entertainment and Technology Law. Leading and emerging experts provide insights on the trends of the trade.

Friday |The Trials of Law School.A journey in Law.A journey in Life.  A pre-law session consisting of a screening of a film followed by a Q&A on the law school experience. 

Friday | A Change Is Gonna Come. Stellar advocates lead a discussion on innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change.

Friday | Youth Dialogue with the Michaelle Jean Foundation. Join the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean and Jean-Daniel LaFond for a community dialogue on empowering Black and minority youth to build solutions to challenges facing our communities.

Saturday | Colour of Democracy. A no holds barred discussion on the politics of power, access and civic engagement in Canadian society.

Saturday | National Security Blues. An expert panel on hot button national security issues in a post-9/11 era.

Saturday | Justice Julius Isaac Alexander Diversity Moot Court Competition (Sponsored by KoskyMinsky).   An annual highlight, moot finalists compete in this championship round before a distinguished panel of judges and the entire BLSAC community.



Saturday | Gala Night. Reflecting the confidence, dignity and style of the nation's capital, convene at the ball room for a night to remember.
Be the Change. See You In the Capital.

FRENCH

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BE THE CHANGE
22e Conférence Nationale de l’Association des Étudiants Noirs en Droit du Canada
Ottawa (Ontario)
2013 21-24 Février
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Marquez vos calendriers -  la 22ème conférence nationale de l’Association des ÉtudiantsNoirs en Droit du Canada (BLSAC) aura lieu à Ottawa du de 21-24 février 2013. Lancé à Toronto en 1992, la Conférence nationale de BLSAC est devenue le rassemblement le plus important de la communauté juridique noire au Canada.

L’inscription rapide sera ouverte le vendredi 11 janvier à 09h00. Les 20 premières personnes à s’inscrireauront la possibilité exclusive d'assister à une réunion spéciale avec la très Honorable juge en chef McLachlin de la Cour Suprême du Canada.

Faits saillants :

Jeudi (matin) | Rencontrer la juge en chef de la Cour Suprême du Canada. Les 20 premiers membres à s’inscrire en ligne vont bénéficier d'une réunion spéciale avec l’honorable Beverley McLaughlin, juge en chef de la Cour Suprême du Canada. Tous les délégués sont invités à assister à l'audience.

Jeudi | Livres pour les Prisons. Apportez votre littérature légèrement usagée aux détenus du Centre de détention d'Ottawa-Carleton. Au cours des 10 dernières années, le nombre de Noirs incarcérés par le gouvernement fédéral du Canada a augmenté de plus de 40 %.

Jeudi | Café de l'Académie de rédaction juridique. Une session pour vous donner les rouages d'une rédaction juridique en stage et au-delà.

Jeudi | Visites sur le terrain dans la région de la capitale nationale. Explorez la beauté de la ville avec des visites au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, au Musée canadien des civilisations, la colline du Parlement et au Centre d'exposition de l'Imagier.

Jeudi | Dîner dans la capitale. Profitez de la meilleure cuisine de la ville et faites du réseautage avec vos collègues venant des quatre coin du Canada. Mots de bienvenue de notre maire, l'honorable Jim Watson.

Vendredi | Cérémonies de Mâtiné Blakes : Obstacles de saut de jeter des ponts. Toucher les âmes et relèvement des esprits, les célèbresImani Gospel Singersde Montréal vous inspire avec de la musique soul, mélodieuse et dynamique.

Vendredi | 50 Nuances de blanc? Dean Camille Nelson aborde le racisme dans les facultés de droit et de la profession d'avocat et donne des stratégies de changement.

Vendredi | Propriété intellectuelle, de divertissement et de droit de l'informatique. Des experts nouveaux et imminents donnent un aperçu sur les tendances du commerce.

Vendredi |Les essais de la faculté de droit. Un voyage en droit. Un voyage dans la vie. Une session avant-droit consistant en une projection d'un film suivie d'un Q & R sur l'expérience à la faculté de droit.

Vendredi | Un changement viendra. Des avocatsexemplaires animent une discussion sur des approches novatrices et progressistes à droit et changement social.

Vendredi | Dialogue jeunesse avec la Fondation de Michaelle Jean. Joignez-vous à la très honorable Michaëlle Jean et Jean-Daniel LaFond pour un dialogue communautaire sur l'autonomisation noir et jeunesse minoritaire pour élaborer des solutions aux défis auxquels font face nos communautés.

Samedi | Couleur de la démocratie. Une discussion franche sur la politique de la puissance, l'accès et l'engagement civique dans la société canadienne.

Samedi | Blues de sécurité nationale. Un groupe d'experts sur les questions de sécurité nationale, un point sensible dans une ère post-9/11.

Samedi | Concours de plaidoirie Justice Julius Isaac Alexander diversité (parrainé par KoskyMinsky). Un événement annuel, où les finalistes s'affrontent dans ce championnat devant un panel distingué de juges et l'ensemble de la communauté de BLSAC.

Samedi | Soirée de gala. Reflétant la confiance, la dignité et le style de la capitale nationale aura lieu à la salle de bal pour une soirée inoubliable.

Soyez le changement. Rendez-vous dans la capitale.
www.blsacanada.com


Idle No More Round Dance Flash Mob

Round Dance Flash Mob @ 1 PM TODAY  on Tabaret Lawn (Laurier) on the University of Ottawa campus.

Come show your solidarity with Canada's Indigenous peoples.

Information Maps, Freedom of Expression and Privacy

Monday, January 7, 2013

Information Maps, Freedom of Expression and Privacy












Professor Teresa Scassa

A New York newspaper created a furore by publishing, in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, an interactive online map that displayed the names and addresses of residents holding permits for guns. The newspaper obtained the data through an access to information request. The map was accompanied by an article with the title: “The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood." The map and article provoked outrage. Gun owners were concerned about their privacy, and one news agency ran an interview with a retired burglar who suggested that the map would make burglars’ work much easier. A blogger responded to the map by creating another map which featured the names and addresses of the staff of the newspaper. The newspaper has reportedly had to hire armed guards to protect its main office.

This is, of course, not the first time that controversial information maps have been created by news agencies or by others. In California, for example, information about election donors is a matter of public record. Someone used this information to publish a map detailing the names, addresses and contribution amounts of individuals who had donated to a campaign to amend the State’s constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

Widely available Web 2.0 tools and resources have made it easy for almost anyone to create online maps. The ability to present information in a geographical context is an attractive option.  Information maps are visually appealing, and can reveal patterns and permit connections that might not be evident from data presented in the form of lists or plain text. For example, Patrick Cain, a Canadian journalist, has been creating innovative and fascinating information maps for many years. Perhaps one of his most useful maps is his annual map of busted grow-ops in Toronto. There are real risks associated with purchasing a house which was once used for a grow op, and there is no obligation on sellers to disclose this information.  The grow-op maps provide important and easily accessible information for those searching for a new home.

While there is great potential for useful information maps, there are also potential risks. There is a great deal of publicly available information collected by different levels of government. For example, many registers of public documents, and decisions of administrative tribunals are already accessible to the public. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has expressed concerns about the consequences of placing this sort of information online; in the past, public access was available to those who showed up at specific sites to view the entries in the register. This implicitly limited access to this information. While some of this public information might be very usefully presented to the public in map form (see, for example, the maps of crime reports in Ottawa) other information may have serious privacy or security consequences if disclosed online and in map form.

Privacy and data protection laws in Canada do not offer a great deal of protection in this regard. While governments are bound by privacy legislation that protects against the disclosure of personal information in the context of access to information requests, other government information is part of public registers. Individuals who disclose information on maps for personal, non-commercial purposes may be exempt from the application of national or provincial private sector data protection laws, and these laws also create exceptions for information that is collected, used or disclosed for “artistic, literary or journalistic purposes”. (I recently published a law journal article on this issue.)Thus, for example, a news outlet in Canada that did something comparable to the New York-based newspaper described above might well be insulated from recourse under data protection laws because of their “journalistic purposes” in doing so.

There is, of course, a tricky balance to be struck. Personal privacy and individual security are important values, but so are those served by open government (transparency, accountability) and by the freedom of expression. Indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada is expected to rule sometime in the coming year on the constitutionality of the exception for journalistic purposes in Alberta’s private sector data protection legislation. That decision may give use some guidance on the tricky balance between freedom of expression and the protection of privacy. In the meantime governments must continue to examine how best to achieve the goals of openness while at the same time protecting individual privacy and security.

NS and Women's Equality

Friday, January 4, 2013














By Professor Natasha Bakht, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

The long-awaited decision in R v NS, 2012 SCC 72 was released by the Supreme Court of Canada on December 20th, 2012.  The case examines whether a devout Muslim woman sexual assault complainant, who wears a niqab or full-face veil publicly, could wear her niqab while testifying in court   This case is essentially about the prosecution and adjudication of the offence of sexual assault, which has historically and contemporaneously been fraught with racism and misogyny.  It is significant for women’s equality as it places at the forefront women who are marginalized in our society, women who we prefer not to see and whom we thus, learn little about.

The majority’s decision in NS while keeping the door open for Muslim women to wear the niqab while testifying in certain situations, did not adequately consider NS’s equality or section 7 rights.  Indeed the word equality never appears in the decision! To frame NS’s claim as only rooted in religious freedom is to fundamentally misconstrue the intersectional nature of the issue at stake.  NS is a sexual assault complainant.  Asking a niqab-wearing woman to remove her veil is like asking her to remove her skirt or blouse in court. It is, literally, to strip her publicly and in front of her alleged perpetrators. We know that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in Canada.  Prohibitions on wearing the niqab while giving testimony will only discourage Muslim women from participating in the justice system. 

While the majority decision rightly states that Canada’s traditions do not involve leaving one’s religious convictions at the courtroom door, it unfortunately goes on to state that where a niqab-wearing witness’ testimony is contested, which it naturally would be in the context of a sexual assault, the balance must weigh heavily in favour of the woman removing her niqab. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the entire court is unwilling to reject the long-standing common law assumption of the importance of seeing a witness’ facial expressions to credibility assessment.  Given that our society struggles with systemic racism and sexism among other oppressions, the fact that certain people appear less trustworthy than others is cause to be cautious in our reliance on demeanour evidence. Despite the numerous warnings regarding the unreliability of demeanour evidence in social science literature and case law, the majority found the record insufficient because it was not tendered through an expert available for cross-examination.

The net result of the NS decision is that trial judges will continue to have discretion to require a niqab-wearing woman to remove her veil, even in the unique circumstances of a sexual assault trial.  Although trial courts now have a clearer analytical framework to structure their reasoning on this point, it will be impossible for a niqab-wearing woman to predict in advance whether the decision to seek justice will require her to remove a garment that has both religious and psychological significance to her.  In the sexual assault context, one can only expect this to result in further under-reporting.

The outcome, of course, could have been much worse, as the decision by Justice LeBel demonstrates.  He would have preferred a clear rule that never allows a woman to wear a niqab because according to him, “it removes the witness” (at para 77) from the process of communication. It is unclear to me how removing niqab-wearing women from court processes altogether, which would be the result of his rule, facilitates the principle of openness of the trial process that he advocates. 

Justice Abella’s dissenting decision would have allowed niqab-wearing women to testify in courtrooms in all situations except in cases where the accused demonstrates that the witness’ face is directly relevant to the case, such as where her identity is in issue.  She would have treated niqab-wearing women no differently from other witnesses whose demeanour is partially affected by medical or other impediments.  In my view, Justice Abella’s approach was the right one.  As she states at para 96:

The majority’s conclusion that being unable to see the witness’ face is acceptable from a fair trial perspective…essentially means that sexual assault complainants...will be forced to choose between laying a complaint and wearing a niqab, which...may be no meaningful choice at all.


photo by Michael Slobodian



Thinking about Popular Constitutionalism

Thursday, January 3, 2013











Vanessa MacDonnell
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law Section)
What role do extra-judicial actors play in determining the contours of Canadian constitutional law? This is a question I have been thinking about a lot lately, and in this post Iprovide a few thoughts on one aspect of this very large questionby examining the role of popular constitutionalism in Canada (more detailed thoughts can be found in my paperentitled “Internet Surveillance and Popular Constitutionalism,” to be published as part of a edited collection by Routledge in 2013(George Williams, Fergal Davis and Nicole McGarrity, eds,Surveillance, Counter-Terrorism and Comparative Constitutionalism)).
To date, my thinking on popular constitutionalism has been significantly influenced by Reva Siegel and Robert Post’s many very interesting articles on the subject.[1]Their basic premise is that social movements can play an important role in the evolution of constitutional law by shaping or even altering how we understand basic constitutional doctrine. The issue I want to raisein this post is the extent to whichthese discussions lay bare the political nature of constitutional law. Once we begin to think about how extra-judicial actors – individuals, groups, governments – act as players in constitutional law-making, then a re-examination of what courts do in light of this broader view is inevitable. One of the insights that emerges from this re-examination is thatwhat courts and political actors do may not be as different as all that.
 This is an over-simplification, of course, but I think it is fair to say that the work on popular constitutionalism poses a challenge to those who would argue that judicial decision-making is a “forum of principle”immune from political pressures.[2] Judges must to an important degree be at least removed from political pressures, even if they are not immune from them. After all, if courts and politicians do essentially the same work, the arguments about the problematic (undemocratic) nature of judicial review gain some considerable force. But there is little doubt that arguments which rest on the neutrality of courts are made weaker by Siegel and Post’s scholarship, which detailshow the women’s rights and civil rights movements convinced the courts through their activism to adopt a more enlightened judicial understanding of constitutional doctrine
This brings me to two related points. First, I wonder whether we actually want courts to be immune from political pressure. Siegel and Post’s discussion of the importance of “democratic constitutionalism” suggests that we might not.[3]For those who argue for a robust understanding of constitutional law and its possibilities, it is clear that where there is politics, there is room for progressive change, growth, evolution, development.This position is not without its difficulties, of course, but the point seems to me to be an important one. In this way – and this is the second point – convincing courts to understand constitutional law differently can be viewed as an important tool in the arsenal of activists. Constitutional lawshould be viewed as a tool to be appropriated and deployed in strategic ways; not as some far away law contained in dusty law books, but as the law of “the People,”[4] to be moulded and shaped by popular visions of social justice.


[1] For a selection, see Reva Siegel and Robert Post, “Roe Rage: Democratic Constitutionalism and Backlash” (2007) 42 Harv CR-CL L Rev 373 [Siegel and Post, “Roe Rage”]; Reva Siegel, “Equality Talk: Antisubordination and Anticlassification Values in Constitutional Struggles Over Brown” (2004) 117 Harv L Rev 1470; Reva Siegel and Robert Post, “Legislative Constitutionalism and Section Five Power: Policentric Interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act” (2003) 112 Yale L J 1943-2059; Reva Siegel, “She the People: The Nineteenth Amendment, Sex Equality, Federalism, and the Family” (2002) 115 Harv L Rev 947; Reva Siegel, “Text in Contest: Gender and the Constitution from a Social Movement Perspective” (2001) 150 U Penn L Rev 297.
[2] Siegel and Post, Roe Rage at 373, citing Ronald Dworkin, “The Forum of Principle” (1981) 56 NYU L Rev 469.
[3]Ibid. See also Jula Hughes, Vanessa MacDonnell and Karen Pearlston, “Bedford: Toward an Equality-Based Approach to Incrementalism?” (2013) Ottawa Law Review (forthcoming).
[4]Larry Kramer, “Popular Constitutionalism, Circa 2004” (2004) 92 California Law Review 959.
Designed by Rachel Gold.