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When debt becomes unmanageable, two options for a consumer debtor in Canada are: (1) enlisting the services of a bankruptcy trustee, and (2) becoming a client of a not-for-profit credit counselling agency. Each of these options is regulated differently and has public and private dimensions. At first glance, these two options might seem to illustrate the potential of multiple legal orders to better serve the public. In this paper, however, we argue, based on empirical research on the credit counselling industry, that while this pluralism has potential to facilitate debt relief in Canada, it has failed to do so. The lines between public and private options have been blurred to the point where they are difficult to discern, and the consumer debtor is ultimately disadvantaged.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada on Indian Residential Schools provides us with the opportunity to observe the process through which victims reconsider their place in the history of the state. The statements offered in this context put into relief the suffering and memories of assault and torture of children, to the detriment of a more complete and varied view of the origins, modes of operation, and consequences of these residential schools. By favoring the expression of a certain type of testimony, Canada’s TRC shapes many narratives of trauma, institutional crime, and national history. This essentialization of testimony leads us to question the ability of the TRC to effectively reveal the diversity and dynamics of the residential schools, the reasons for their establishment, the causes of the corruption of their goals, and the common features they might have with ongoing, enduring forms of abuse and institutional power.
In the present article, we examine the extent to which legal norms related to
family matters are in line with the diverse social representations of current
conjugal life, more particularly as concerns the economic interdependence of the
couple during or subsequent to their union. Two Quebec legal measures compel
attention: the division of the family patrimony and the obligation of support
payable to the former partner. The present analysis is based on an empirical
study involving couples living together in Quebec. Whereas current legal
discourse concerning unmarried cohabitation appears focused on spousal support,
our survey has brought out two elements that could challenge the current legal
approach. When it comes to social representations, we find that the awarding of
support to the partner is highly controversial. The majority of our respondents
also believe that the family patrimony should be shared equally, whether or not
the couple is married, and more especially when there are children, the property
of the household being deemed to be the fruit of a joint and family-oriented
In this paper, I suggest that the concept of incitement as a way of identifying hate speech sometimes locates the harm caused by speech in the wrong sorts of places. Hate speech expressed in the form of “reasoned argument” or academic debate by persons with the relevant authority or expertise potentially causes more harm, though perhaps in less obvious ways. Literature on the concept of authority has demonstrated the way authoritative speakers or speakers with perceived expertise are able to secure uptake for their views. In this paper, I demonstrate how authority and expertise can also be manufactured, enabling speakers to secure uptake in the same sorts of ways as legitimately authoritative or expert speakers. While I am not suggesting legal penalties for speakers who manufacture authority in these ways, I am arguing that we should nevertheless be sensitive to the ways in which this can occur, how it might cause various kinds of harm, and how these harms might be mitigated.
This article examines the legal characterization of the full-face veil worn by female users of Canadian government services. Considering how various Western states perceive full-face veils, we suggest that legally defining this piece of clothing as a “religious object” is key to guaranteeing freedom of conscience and religion by the courts. By drawing on constitutional law and legal theory, we examine the legal treatment of this religious object within the analytical framework of the Supreme Court of Canada in the NS case.
The objective of this paper is to present analytical and theoretical reflections on the interdisciplinary dialogue between law and sociology. The presentation of contradictions and shared interests between these two disciplines can contribute to interdisciplinary anthropology that focuses on the sometimes difficult “immigration” experienced by those who mobilize more than one academic field in their research. This paper is particularly addressed to those lawyers who start interdisciplinary dialogue within the discipline of sociology.
Education—and particularly public education—has become a crucible for the relationship between state and religious diversity, a principal site for contemporary debates about the meaning of secularism and the management of religious difference. This is so across a variety of national traditions, and despite wide differences in the historical and “emotional inheritances” surrounding the configuration of law, politics, and religion. Through an exploration of Hannah Arendt’s thought about responsibility and freedom in education, this article works towards a better understanding of why education is such a crucial and fraught field in the modern encounter between religion and law. The article turns to the recent jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada to draw out the implications of these ideas, arriving ultimately at a claim about the nature and limits of the concept of state neutrality.