Feminist Legal Studies Centre founded

UBC will play a major role in advancing feminist legal scholarship in B.C. with the creation of a new Centre for Feminist Legal Studies.

Both Senate and the Board of Governors recently approved a proposal to establish the centre, which will focus on interdisciplinary research and teaching in the areas of feminist legal theory and analysis, including equality, human rights, family law, criminal law, taxation and mental health law.

"This centre will consolidate and build on existing strengths in feminist legal studies at UBC," said Susan Boyd, chair of Feminist Legal Studies. "It will highlight the ways in which legal research, teaching, law reform and litigation have been affected in recent years by the emerging body of feminist legal scholarship.

"We hope that establishment of the centre will enhance our ability to attract research funding and support from the community."

As holder of the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies, Boyd will be involved in initiating the activities of the centre and, on occasion, the activities of the director.

Other research areas under consideration include the study of the history of law and legal institutions as tools of social control and as avenues of social change, and the intersection of race, class, disability and sexual orientation with gender in legal arenas.

Based in the Faculty of Law, members of the academic centre will work with colleagues in various disciplines at UBC and in other institutions and with representatives of community organizations.

The appointment of a director for the new centre is expected to be made by May.

In addition to the centre at UBC, only two other facilities with similar mandates exist at Canadian universities, one located at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby and another at Osgoode Hall Law School at Toronto's York University.