过去一个周末，刑事律师’s Association hosted a conference in Toronto for women defence counsel. 的well-attended event provided female defence lawyers, and some students, lots of practical tips and food for thought of our role in the criminal justice system. 的conference, now in its third year, grew out of a need for a space for female defence lawyers to talk about specific 问题 that affect women in private practice. In 2016, the CLA released a report with respect to the Retention of Women in Private Practice, which illustrated the various challenges facing women defence lawyers, from the financial logistics of taking time off to have a child, to the gendered difference of treatment 通过 those in the court system. 的conference was one way for defence lawyers to connect and talk about these challenges, while providing space for women to share and celebrate some of their successes.
的conference keynote was Renu Mandhane, the Chief Commissioner at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Ms. Mandhane, who began her career practising criminal law in Toronto, spoke about the unique position of defence lawyers in shedding light on 问题 that might not otherwise be seen. She discussed her work on the use of segregation in Ontario’s jails, urging the audience to use the law creatively in order to come up with solutions to systemic 问题 and advance the Charter rights of our clients. (If you want to hear more from this inspiring woman, you can check out her interview on ‘的Docket‘ podcast from last December, where she touches on many of the same 问题.)
下一个小组的标题是“保留妇女在刑法中的挑战是交叉的。” 的premise of the panel was that the report of the CLA, while exploring 问题 related to sexism in the legal profession, did not deal with other forms of systemic discrimination, namely racism experienced 通过 women of colour and Indigenous women. Panelists Emily Lam and Alison Macdonald spoke of the unique challenges that they face, and offered some strategies to dealing with the casual sexism and racism they encounter. You can also read Andrea Anderson’关于种族女性面临的挑战的文章 这里. （安德森女士原本打算讲话，但不能参加。）
的“道德闪电回合” allowed panel of the Honourable Justice Melanie Dunn, Maija Martin and Jennifer Trehearne to discuss typical ethical dilemmas faced 通过 all lawyers, such as a client who cannot remember an alleged incident, thorny 问题 of domestic violence cases and dealing with a client who is ‘shopping around’ when they already have a lawyer. 的panel also delved into more specific situations, such as what obligations women lawyers have to disclose a pregnancy to a client.
上午的最后一堂课“Top 5 cases”由妇女。卡桑德拉·德梅洛（Cassandra DeMelo）讨论了R诉宾格利（R v。Bingeley）最近发布的裁决，该裁决和异议均由加拿大最高法院的女性撰写。我有机会介绍我去年进行的审判，其中涉及被视为同意的学说。我的朋友和同事Neha Chugh讨论了一个涉及她的客户的案件’秒她拥有客户的10（b）权利’向警方的陈述被排除在证据之外。我们很幸运能与最著名和最受尊敬的女辩护律师之一马莉斯·爱德华（Marlys Edwardh）一起参加会议，他谈到了Trinity Western案，该案涉及不列颠哥伦比亚省一所拟议的法学院的公约，以限制除异性婚姻。该案涉及宗教自由权和平等权的竞争权，同时兼顾公众利益’对法律制度的信心。最后，瓦诺拉·辛普森（Vanora Simpson）讨论了她处理的一个困难客户和困难事实的案子，敦促妇女做最充分的准备和最努力的工作，并向法院寻求比王室更好的故事。’s case.
下午的会议开始时有两位唯一的从业者Kim Vanderlee和Sarah Dover，他们代表不同的客户进行演讲。 Vanderlee女士讲了种族概况，分享了自己过境的一些经验，并讨论了安大略上诉法院的R v。Brown案。她在案件中谈到了与反黑人种族主义打交道，这通常是警察用来阻止来访者并鼓励听众倾听其来访者经历的不合理理由。与此同时，莎拉·多佛（Sarah Dover）谈到了她“rez律师白天和晚上的白人妇女”以及适当服务于土著社区所需的不同能力。她认为R. v。Gladue案是做事更好的法律起点，并坦率地谈到需要自己努力‘issues’关于创伤的问题，并使整个过程与家庭，社区和她的客户有关。
的final panel of the day was focused on business development. University of Toronto Sociology professor Ronit Dinovitzer presented some data about the disparities of earnings for men and women, while sole practitioners Ayesha Kumararatne and Rachel Grinberg offered guidance about building a practice. 的advice centered on building relationships, finding niche markets and reaching out to senior counsel.
总而言之，这次会议充满了启发性的一天，充满了发人深省的演讲者。再次感谢刑事律师’s Association Women’的委员会。