Social Justice Professors: Rakhi Ruparelia
Social Justice Biography:
Professor Ruparelia’s interest in social justice is informed by her academic and practical experiences in both law and social work. She completed her law degree and Masters in Social Work simultaneously, focusing on the impact of law and social policy on marginalized communities in both programs. In her social work capacity, Professor Ruparelia has worked with various communities, including Inuit patients from Baffin Island seeking medical help in Montreal, vulnerable patients in a hospital emergency room, and survivors of sexual assault.
After her graduate studies at Harvard Law School, Professor Ruparelia established and directed a community legal clinic for ex-prisoners in Cincinnati, Ohio, to assist them with their transition back to society. In addition to her casework, she also participated in test case litigation on such issues as voting rights and unfair housing restrictions.
Since returning to the University of Ottawa, Professor Ruparelia has worked closely with the National Judicial Institute. She has conducted training sessions for trial judges on determining consent in sexual assault cases, particularly in the context of adolescents. Currently, she is working with the NJI to develop training modules on domestic violence.
Critical race and feminist analyses of the law inform Professor Ruparelia’s research interests. Her work has considered topics such as surrogacy and sexual assault from these perspectives. She is currently exploring the sentencing of racialized women as drug couriers.
Professor Ruparelia is one of the coordinators for the social justice concentration.
- “Giving Away the ‘Gift of Life’: Altruistic Surrogacy and the Assisted Human Reproduction Act” (Forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Family Law)
- “Does No ‘No’ Mean Reasonable Doubt? Assessing the Impact of Ewanchuk on Determinations of Consent” (Forthcoming in Canadian Woman Studies)
Additional Information: Faculty Biography