Critical Conversations in Canadian Public Law is the first 100% open-access collection of peer-reviewed essays devoted entirely to critical appraisals of public law topics in Canada. Set to be published by the University of Ottawa Press in 2023, Critical Conversations in Canadian Public Law highlights the intersections of critical perspectives— including decolonial and Indigenous legal theory, critical race theory, feminisms, and critical disability theory—with doctrinal public law topics, broadly defined.
The goal of the Critical Conversations collection is to showcase interdisciplinary thinking on topical public law issues at the forefront of the evolving relationship between state and society. In Canada, this relationship is undergoing a period of significant reinvention, as evidenced, for example, by the movements for reconciliation, decolonization and Indigenization, the calls to recognize and remedy systemic racism in institutions including police forces, and the extension of human rights protections to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. By centering critical perspectives on public law topics, Critical Conversations in Canadian Public Law fills a gap in existing Canadian public law literature, which tends to prioritize traditional, largely liberal, public law scholarship. This collection bridges the divide between “public law,” as it is conventionally conceived, taught, and understood, and “critical theory”, by identifying critical theories as not only relevant, but imperative, to robust, fully contextualized understandings of public law topics. This approach marks an original and significant intervention into the field of public law in Canada.
The collection includes 17 chapters organized into five thematic sections. The diverse contributors to Critical Conversations include legal academics, former judges, and activists from across Canada, writing in both English and French. Additionally, the text opens with an Introduction authored collectively by the editorial team that investigates and interrogates the field of “critical public law” writ large, mapping the contours of the field and laying the foundation for future work in this area, and closes with a short conclusion that draws together key themes, ideas, questions and problems from the 17 chapters.
Allison Christians (Contributor) Allison Christians is a full professor and the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation at McGill University Faculty of Law.
Jena McGill (Editor) Jena McGill is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section), and a member of the Law Society of Ontario. Her research engages with areas of Canadian constitutional law (with a focus on equality law); gender and sexuality; women, peace and security in international law; intersectional feminist legal theory; and legal technology as a vehicle to promote access to justice. Her work on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. Jena has been a Visiting Scholar at the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality at Kent Law School in Canterbury, UK.
Karen Drake (Editor) Karen Drake is a member of the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation who researches and teaches in the areas of Canadian law as it affects Indigenous peoples, Anishinaabe constitutionalism, Indigenous pedagogy within legal education, property law, and dispute resolution including civil procedure and Indigenous dispute resolution. She joined the Osgoode faculty in July 2017 from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University where she had been a founding Co-Editor in Chief of the Lakehead Law Journal. Prior to joining Lakehead, she articled with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, completed clerkships with the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, and practised with Erickson & Partners, focusing on legal issues impacting Indigenous peoples, human rights, and civil litigation.
Kyle Kirkup (Editor) Kyle Kirkup is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law Section). His research explores the role of constitutional law, criminal law, and family law in regulating contemporary norms of gender identity and sexuality.
Anne Levesque (Editor) Anne Levesque studied history and political science before obtaining her law degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (French Common Law Program) in 2007, followed by a Master's degree in International Human Rights from Oxford University in 2016. Her research and publications focus on human rights and public interest litigation. She is one of the lawyers representing the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada pro bono in its human rights complaint leading to a landmark victory in 2016 that affirms the right to equality of over 165,000 First Nations children.
Joshua Sealy-Harrington (Editor) Joshua Sealy-Harrington is Trinidadian-Canadian, and was born in Calgary, Alberta. He practices remotely from New York City, where he conducts doctoral research at Columbia Law School theorizing law, identity, and sexuality. He previously completed an LL.M. at Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Fulbright Student, and Law Society Viscountt Bennet Scholar. He is an incoming Assistant Professor at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law. He has authored several peer-reviewed publications as well as articles for The Globe and Mail, Newsweek, National Magazine, Law Matters, and ABlawg. Further, his scholarship has been cited by the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of Canada. He is passionate about translating the experience of minority groups into tangible legal claims. And in 2019, he received a Canadian Law Blog Award for his online advocacy on behalf of race, gender, and sexual minorities.