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  • David Ireland and Richard Jochelson

Towards Dialogue in the Crim Disciplines

We are thrilled to bring you the latest edition of the Criminal Law Special Edition of the Manitoba Law Journal - volumes 42(3) and 42(4). Academics, students and the practicing bench and bar continue to access this publication and contribute to it their knowledge and experience in the criminal law. The fact that we have, once again, elected to publish a double volume is a testament to the quality of submissions we have received over the last twelve months. We present twenty-five articles from twenty-nine authors, highlighting the work of some of Canada’s leading criminal law, criminological and criminal justice academics.

The Manitoba Law Journal remains one of the most important legal scholarship platforms in Canada with a rich history of hosting criminal law analyses.1 With the help of our contributors, the Manitoba Law Journal was recently ranked second out of thirty-one entries in the Law, Government and Politics category of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). We continue to be committed to open access scholarship and our readership grows with each Criminal Law Special Edition released.

Our content is accessible on,,, CanLII Connects, Heinonline, Westlaw-Next and Lexis Advance Quicklaw. Since our first edition in 2017, our Special Edition has ranked as high as the top 0.1% on where we have had 4,000 downloads and close to 7,000 total views. In the last twelve months, our own website,, has added almost 600 engagements with the Special Edition, attracting hits from Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and India.

Our readership engages with articles on subjects as diverse as the Tragically Hip and wrongful convictions,2 bestiality law,3 and the British Columbia courts sentencing response to fentanyl trafficking.4

Since launching in 2016, the Robsoncrim research cluster at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, has continued to develop a unique interdisciplinary platform for the advancement of research and teaching in the criminal law. has now hosted over 350 Blawgs, 5 with contributions from across the country and beyond. Our cluster has over 30,000 tweet impressions a month and our website has delivered almost 600 reads in the past twelve months. We are as delighted as we are humbled to continue delivering quality academic content that embraces and unites academic discussion around the criminal law. Our team of collaborators extends from coast to coast and is comprised of top academics in their respective crim fields.

The peer review process for the Special Edition in Criminal Law remains rigorously double blind, using up to five reviewers per submission, and has generated some truly wonderful articles for our readers. We are delighted to welcome long time contributors Dr. James Gacek and Dr. Rebecca Bromwich to our online editorial team this year. James and Rebecca bring tremendous experience and an impressive body of law scholarship.6 As editors, we know they will continue to provide their collective wisdom to our publication and remain steadfastly committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship.

The upcoming year holds a number of exciting developments for the collective. On October 26, 2019 we will be holding a national conference entitled “Criminal Justice and Evidentiary Thresholds in Canada: the last ten years” which will feature fifteen nationally established experts in criminal law and criminology discussing their original research in respect of evidence and knowledge production, marking the anniversary of the R v Grant7 decision from 2009. The conference will be free and will also go towards meeting the Law Society of Manitoba’s continuing professional development requirement. The event will feature Professor Kent Roach as a keynote speaker. The event will culminate in a special edition of the Criminal Law Edition slated for publication for 2020 and is supported by a Connections Grant from SSHRC as well a grant provided by the office of the University of Manitoba’s Vice President (Research and International). In addition, we will announce new membership to our editorial and collaborative team – visit early and often for emerging details.

Our goal remains to provide a leading national and international forum for scholars of criminal law, criminology and criminal justice to engage in dialogue. Too often, these disciplines hide in silos, afraid to engage in cross- disciplinary exchanges. We believe that high quality publications in these disciplines, and indeed, other cognate disciplines, ought to exist in dialogue. We view this as crucial to enhancing justice knowledge: theory and practice, policy and planning, and even, in resistance to injustice. We strive to break down the barriers that keep these works in disciplinary pigeon holes. This is, of course, an ambitious path to embark upon, but the two volumes we have released this year represent another incremental step towards our goals. We hope you enjoy these volumes, and we thank our interdisciplinary collaborator team (, our editorial team, our student editors and all of the MLJ staff.


1 David Ireland, “Bargaining for expedience? The Overuse of Joint Recommendations on Sentence” (2014) 38:1 Man LJ 273; Richard Jochelson et al, “Revisiting Representativeness in the Manitoban Criminal Jury” (2014) 37:2 Man LJ 365.

2 Kent Roach, “Reforming and Resisting Criminal Law: Criminal Justice and the Tragically Hip” (2017) 40:3 Man LJ 1.

3 James Gacek & Richard Jochelson, “Animal Justice and Sexual (Ab)use: Consideration of Legal Recognition of Sentience for Animals in Canada” (2017) 40:3 Man LJ 337.

4 Haley Hrymak, “A Bad Deal: British Columbia's Emphasis on Deterrence and Increasing Prison Sentences for Street-Level Fentanyl Traffickers” (2018) 41:4 Man LJ 149.

5 Amar Khoday, “Against the Clock: Criminal Law & the Legal Value of Time” (17 June 2019), online (blog): Robson Crim <> []; L Campbell, “A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy and the Criminal Code: Two Cases, Two Different Definitions” (30 July 2019), online (blog): Robson Crim < the-Criminal-Code-Two-Cases-Two-Different-Definitions> []; T Sicotte, “The Supreme Court Needs to Clean up the Sex Offender Registry” (18 July 2019), online (blog): Robson Crim <> [].

6 Rebecca Bromwich, “Theorizing the Official Record of Inmate Ashley Smith: Necropolitics, Exclusions, and Multiple Agencies” (2017) 40:3 Man LJ 193; Rebecca Bromwich & Jennifer M Kilty, “Introduction: Law, Vulnerability, and Segregation: What Have We Learned from Ashley Smith’s Carceral Death?” (2017) 23:2 CJLS 157; James Gacek, “Species Justice for Police Eagles: Analyzing the Dutch ‘Flying Squad’ and Animal-Human Relations” (2018) 21:1 Contemporary Justice Rev 2; Richard Jochelson & James Gacek, "Ruff Justice: Canine Cases and Judicial Law Making as an Instrument of Change" (2018) 24:1 Animal L 171.

7 R v Grant, 2009 SCC 32.

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