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And we're back...bringing in the New Year

Welcome back everyone. After a short hiatus for our festive seasons, we are happy to be back at Robson Crim and you can expect the blogs to start rolling out soon, once everyone is back into their teaching and learning routines.

The Clawbies

We started off the New Year with some exciting news. Despite only going live in late July 2016, we learned that Robson Crim had made runner up in the Clawbies - Canada's online law blog awards- in the Best Law School/Law Professor Blog Award. Here's what they said:

"This blog could have made the Best New Blog shortlist, but even so, this is an impressive debut for a cross-country collaborative criminal law blog based at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law — with another year under its belt, this could take the Winner title in 2017."

This was a very exciting accolade to start the New Year and we are very thankful that Robson Hall Law School agreed to fund this project, with the support of its Dean, Jonathan Black-Branch.

Going National, Going Viral

At the same time, we want the world to know that Robson Crim is not just an emanation of the law school. We are a national movement of scholars, some established, some up and coming, who are dedicated to discussing interesting legal issues and developments in the Canadian context. Collectively, we believe in the free exchange of legal information, and in open access principles. We also, together, serve as the defacto board of reviewers for the Robson Crim edition of the Manitoba Law Journal (speaking of which, check out the call for papers, with its looming Feb 1 2017 deadline).

We are looking forward to an exciting year of activity. We will soon be bringing you our first peer reviewed journal edition, and of course, more refereed blawgs. Prior to publication, our blawgs undergo a refereed system of review to ensure that the posts meet a high threshold of quality. Our authors maintain the copyright in their work, and we get the benefit of being in the knowledge dissemination game. Robson Crim is about education and scholarship, and we are excited to be part of the growing tradition of open access legal writing in Canada.

Though we know that undoubtedly you have reviewed our collaborators page, as we embark on this New Year, I thought it would be appropriate to reproduce the biographies below. Our team spans Canada, areas of expertise, and in some cases, disciplines. We enter 2017 thankful for their contributions as writers, reviewers and colleagues.

Our Team

Steven Bittle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa. His research interests include corporate crime, crimes of the powerful and the sociology of law. He is the author of Still Dying for a Living: Corporate Criminal Liability after the Westray Mine Disaster (2012, UBC Press), which was awarded the 2014 publication of the year by the National White Collar Crime Research Consortium, along with several articles and chapters exploring the regulation of corporate crime. His current research, funded by SSHRC, explores the growing international interest in corporate criminal liability, with particular focus on the criminalization of safety crimes.

John Burchill is a member of the Manitoba Bar. He is the Vice-President of the Winnipeg Police Museum & Historical Society and a Commissioner with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Prior to re-joining the Police Service he had worked as a Crown Attorney with Manitoba Justice and a Risk Manager with the University of Manitoba. He had been a police officer for 25 years, working commercial crimes, hate crimes, and major crimes as an analyst. He has a BA in criminal justice and graduated from Robson Hall in 2010. He was called to the bar in 2011. He received his LLM from Osgoode Hall in 2015.

Erin Dej is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, York University. She received her PhD in Criminology from University of Ottawa. Her area of research includes homelessness, mental health, criminalization of marginalized people, and autonomy among homeless persons. She also researches NCRMD, and the medicalization/ criminalization /racialization of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Dr. Dej has taught in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, & the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Dr. Dej teaches in the areas of punishment, law, criminology, and mental health.

Dr. Robert Diab is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University and holds a PhD in law from the University of British Columbia. He works in the areas national security, human rights, and legal theory. His publications include “The Harbinger Theory: How the Post-9/11 Emergency Became Permanent and the Case for Reform” (Oxford University Press, 2015) and “Guantanamo North: Terrorism and the Administration of Justice in Canada” (Fernwood, 2008). Robert is also a co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law.

Dr. Ruby Dhand is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University and has an MA from Carleton University, an LLB from the University of Ottawa, an LLM from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (the Ontario Bar). She has been awarded the CIHR Fellowship and the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, along with multiple Law Foundation Awards. Dr. Dhand has worked as a human rights lawyer, specializing in disability law in Ontario. In particular, she has advocated on behalf of people with mental health disabilities and on behalf of sexual assault victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Her expertise extends to disability law, health law and diversity issues in the law.

James Gacek is a doctoral candidate at Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh. Situated within broader research interests in prison sociology, critical criminology, and carceral geography, his PhD research focuses upon the socio-legal and geographical relationship between criminalized people and the territorial stigmatization of marginalized neighbourhoods in Canada. James is an American Sociological Association Student Paper Award winner (2014).

Mandi Gray is a PhD candidate at York University, Department of Sociology. She has published in journals including Studies in Social Justice and Interdisciplinary Justice Research and news media including Toronto Star and NOW Magazine. She is currently the research director of a documentary film - Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial (2017), documenting experiences of victim/witnesses in rape trials in Canada. Her work focuses on women’s experiences of the law and access to justice utilizing ethnographic and qualitative research methods.

Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich is the Program Director for the Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution at Carleton University. She was the first person to graduate with a Ph.D. from Carleton's Department of Law and Legal Studies. She has been an Ontario lawyer for fourteen years. She worked in private practice starting at a large firm, doing legal work including criminal defense. She worked for six years as Staff Lawyer, Law Reform and Equality, to the Canadian Bar Association, and as a Policy Counsel with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

Ummni Khan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, and is the current Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the construction and regulation of stigmatized sexuality in law, feminism, social science, psych discourses and popular culture. She has written on BDSM, sex work, inter-cousin intimacy and "rapey" music.

Jennifer M. Kilty is Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa. Her research examines the social construction of dangerous girls/women, the medicalization of criminalized women, self-harm and segregation practices in prison, and the criminalization of HIV nondisclosure.She has also edited two books in 2014 – Within the Confines: Women and the Law in Canada (Women’s Press) and Demarginalizing Voices: Commitment, Emotion and Action in Qualitative Research (UBC Press), and published her first book, The Enigma of a Violent Woman: A Critical Examination of the case of Karla Homolka (Routledge) in 2016.

Kyle Kirkup is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law). Kyle researches the role of constitutional, criminal, & family law in regulating contemporary norms of gender identity & sexuality. Kyle was a 2013 Trudeau Foundation Scholar, a SSHRC Graduate Scholar at the University of Toronto, Law and studied at Yale Law. Kyle served as a law clerk to the Hon. Madam Justice Louise Charron at the Supreme Court of Canada. Kyle has published editorials in The Globe and Mail, National Post, and TVO on solitary confinement in federal prisons, transgender human rights issues, and the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure.

Leon Laidlaw is completing his MA in Criminology, with a specialization in Feminist and Gender Studies, at the University of Ottawa. His SSHRC funded Master’s research explores the impact of gender identity on transgender women’s experiences in sex work in relation to the areas of labour, engagement with the criminal justice system, and health and access to services. His research interests fall within the scope of feminist criminology, gender and trans theories, and sex work and the law. Leon plans to pursue a PhD in fall of 2017, focusing again on the experiences of transgender individuals’ engagement with the criminal justice system.

Garrett Lecoq is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Garrett’s current research is highly interdisciplinary, blending doctrinal constitutional legal analysis with socio-political theories of constitutionalism, rights, and governance. His present project, expanding upon his SSHRC-funded Master’s research, examines the regulatory ramifications of how the legislative and judicial branches of Canada interpret the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the resulting precariousness of Charter rights.

Lauren Menzie is an MA candidate in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Her research interests are centered around the evolution of Canadian criminal law and governance, including the legal regulation of sex and criminal law’s emergence into the realm of administrative civil processes. Currently, her Master’s research examines the regulation of nonconsensual sexual interaction, the social and legal discourses surrounding consent, and how law denunciates certain expressions of sexuality.

Dr. Melanie Janelle Murchison holds her doctorate from Queens University Law School, Belfast. She teaches at the Center for Law, Society and Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Melanie Murchison has been nominated for two Outstanding Teaching Awards, and has, amongst other subjects, taught Law, Criminal Justice in Canada, Sociology and Legal Studies (Law and Society). Dr. Melanie Murchison's research interests include Comparative Constitutional Law, Judicial Behaviour, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methodology.

Debra Parkes is Professor and Chair in Feminist Legal Studies in the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. Previously, she was a member of the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba where she served as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Her SSHRC funded scholarly work includes examining the challenges and possibilities of framing and adjudicating rights claims, with a particular focus on gender (in)equalityand rights in the criminal justice, corrections, and workplace contexts. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Women and former and President of the Canadian Law & Society Association.

Erin Sheley is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a PhD in English from the George Washington University. Erin's research considers how the law should account for subjective narratives in evaluating criminal and tort harm. Using the fields of psychology, narrative studies, and sociology she argues that narrative aspects of harm ought to play a more consistent role in shaping law. Her work has appeared in the Wake Forest Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the BYU Law Review and Law and Literature. She also practiced for several years in the litigation group of the Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

If you have made it this far, let me reintroduce you to the editorial board:

David Ireland is an Assistant professor at Robson Hall. A graduate of the LL.B. and LL.M. programs at Robson Hall, David practiced criminal law as both Crown and defence counsel before joining the faculty in 2016. His graduate thesis, “Bargaining for Expedience? The Overuse of Joint Recommendations on Sentence”, supervised by Professor Debra Parkes, highlighted the prevalence of cultural joint recommendations in the plea bargaining process in Manitoba.

Richard Jochelson is an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba and holds his PhD in law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, a Masters in Law from University of Toronto Law School, and a Law Degree from University of Calgary Law School (Gold Medal). He is a former law clerk who served his articling year at the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench, before working at one of Canada’s largest law firms. He worked for ten years teaching criminal and constitutional law at another Canadian university prior to joining Robson Hall. He has published peer-reviewed articles dealing with obscenity, indecency, judicial activism, police powers, criminal justice pedagogy and curriculum development, empiricism in criminal law, and conceptions of judicial and jury reasoning. He is a member of the Bar of Manitoba and has co-authored and co-edited several books. He is a cofounder, architect and former editor of one of Canada's only national criminal justice journals. He has recently co-authored The Disappearance of Criminal Law: Police Powers and the Supreme Court (Fernwood, 2015).

Amar Khoday earned his Doctor of Civil Law (2014) and Master of Laws (2008) degrees from McGill University’s Faculty of Law in Montreal and Juris Doctor (2004) from the New England School of Law in Boston. Working under the supervision of Dr. Frédéric Mégret, Dr. Khoday completed his doctoral thesis entitled “Legitimizing Resistance? International Refugee Law and the Protection of Individuals Resisting Oppression.” With respect to his doctoral studies, he was a recipient of both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Research Fellowship and O’Brien Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. In 2011, he was awarded a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship by the McGill Faculty of Law and taught criminal law during the summer session with Professor Angela Campbell. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Khoday also worked as a human rights researcher at McGill University’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office. Prior to joining the faculty at Robson Hall in 2012, he completed a term as Executive Director of the McGill International Criminal Justice Clinic. Dr. Khoday maintains diverse research interests. Amongst these, and as part of his doctoral research, he examines the intersections between law and resistance and the ways that legal systems legitimize acts of resistance. His research also touches upon the areas of criminal law and procedure, refugee law, public international law, and law and popular culture. Along with Dr. Gerald Heckman and Dr. Shauna Labman, he is a founding member of the Migration Law Research Cluster at Robson Hall.

David Milward is a member of the Beardy's & Okemasis First Nation and is an Associate Professor of Law with the University of Manitoba. He holds a doctorate in law from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelors and Masters in law from the University of Alberta. He teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, and courses on Aboriginal justice at the University of Manitoba. He has published several articles in leading legal and interdisciplinary journals, and has recently published a book with U.B.C. David also conducted research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on the connection between residential schools and Aboriginal over-incarceration.

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