57 Louis Pasteur, Room 364
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Elizabeth Sheehy, LL.B. (Osgoode 1981), LL.M. (Columbia 1984), LL.D. –Honourary Doctorate awarded in recognition of contributions to women in the profession-- (LSUC 2005), was appointed to the Faculty of Law in 1984 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1995. She has also taught law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia and at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto as a Visiting Professor. She teaches Criminal Law and Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Sexual Assault Law, and Defending Battered Women on Trial. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1987 and has been a member of the School of Graduate Studies since 1990. She held the Shirley Greenberg Professorship in Women and the Legal Profession from 2002-2005.
Along with Professor Jennie Abell and Professor Natasha Bakht, Professor Sheehy has published a double volume Criminal Law and Procedure casebook, Criminal Law and Procedure: Cases, Context and Critique and Criminal Law and Procedure: Proof, Defences and Beyond, now in their fourth editions (Captus Press). In addition to her many articles, position papers, and book chapters on criminal law issues as they affect women and racialized persons, she has published several edited collections, including a special double issue of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal: Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Law and Policy (2001), Adding Feminism to Law: The Contributions of Claire L’Heureux-Dubé (Irwin Law, 2004) and, with Professor Sheila McIntyre, Calling for Change: Women, Law and the Legal Profession (University of Ottawa Press, 2006).
In 2009 she convened the first national conference in Canada on sexual assault law, entitled Sexual Assault Law, Practice and Activism in a Post-Jane Doe Era, featuring 70 speakers from across Canada as well as New Zealand, South Africa, and Israel. With Jane Doe (the litigant in Jane Doe v. Metropolitan Toronto Commissioners of Police (1998), 39 O.R. (3d) 487 (Ct. ) as Conference Co-Ordinator, they fund raised and launched a sold out conference March 6th and 7th 2009, attended by over 350 law students, activists, professors and lawyers. The event was opened by Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, cheered on by multiple standing ovations, and closed by a slide show tribute to Jane Doe and her work. Over 50 papers arising from this event are forthcoming in four collections edited by Professor Sheehy: the first out will be Women Resisting Rape: Feminist Law, Activism and Practice (2009/2010) 28 (1) Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme, followed in December 2010 by a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, (2010) 22(2). Then, in Winter 2011, the University of Ottawa Press will publish a two volume book, also edited by Professor Sheehy, entitled Sexual Assault Law, Practice and Activism in a Post-Jane Doe Era.
Professor Sheehy has also just wrapped up her SSRHC standard research grant for purchasing and analyzing the trial transcripts of battered women charged with the homicide of their male partners. This grant has enabled her to hire and train research assistants and to develop and teach, with Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, a unique course that involves students in reading and learning from murder trial transcripts. She is currently writing a book that will tell the stories of five women’s murder trials, set in the context of her research findings.
Professor Sheehy is involved in many law reform activities around equality rights and social justice issues: she has worked in a consultative capacity with the Department of Justice on the reform of criminal law (Preliminary Inquiries, Provocation, Self-Defence, Extreme Intoxication, Disclosure of Women’s Confidential Records), with the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) on several cases—most recently the “Niqab case” argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal in Spring 2010, wherein LEAF argued that a sexual assault complainant should not be forced to remove her niqab in order to testify, with the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies on Judge Lynn Ratushny's Self-Defence Review, through the Policy Implementation Assistance Program (CIDA), with the Social Affairs Committee of the Vietnam National Assembly on its Gender Equality Law and, currently, with the African and Canadian Women’s Human Rights Project in their effort to criminalize marital rape in four African countries. In November 2009 she testified before the Senate to oppose the new mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences, supported by the research assistance of ten of her first year Criminal Law students. Her brief, “The Discriminatory Effects of Bill C-15’s Mandatory Minimum Sentences,” can be found at (2010) 70(2) Criminal Reports (6th) 302.