FEMRAM members join 271 law professors opposing Kavanaugh nomination

angry Brett.jpg

FEMRAM members Professor Joan Meier and Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz were among 271 experts on violence and gender who signed a letter to the Judiciary Committee opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States without a full investigation of the reports of sexual assault and Kavanaugh’s reflections on the complex issue of violence against women which is one of the important issues considered by the court.

Kavanaugh has been reported by three women for three different sexual assaults. He displayed contempt for women and a belligerent demeanour during hearings before the Judiciary Committee last week.

The letter was delivered to committee members on Friday, September 28, 2018 and became a part of the hearing record.  An earlier version of the letter was posted to the NYT at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/27/opinion/letters/kavanaugh-hearing.html  & on SSRN at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3256446

Read the final letter and full list of signatories here

See Julie Goldscheid’s comments here


Ruth Halperin-Kaddari in the news


FEMRAM member Ruth Halperin-Kaddari was quoted in the 6 July 2018 article UN grills Australia on multiple failures to protect women against violence by Susan Hutchinson.

The article noted Australian cuts to domestic violence services such as women’s shelters, housing, financial, and legal services despite lip service to domestic violence reforms. It also criticised the abrupt decision to merge the Family Court with the Federal Circuit Court when a major review of family law system led by Professor Helen Rhoades is currently underway. The report from the Australian Law Review Commission is due to the Attorney-General by 31 March 2019. The committee backed calls for a Royal Commission into violence experienced by people with disabilities and implementation of the recommendations on violence experienced by Indigenous women and children.

Professor Halperin-Kaddari, an expert on family law and gendered violence, is Member, Chair of the Working Group on Inquiries and former Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). She teaches at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, and is the Director of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University.



Recently published: Resistance and backlash to gender equality: An evidence review

Crime and Justice Research Centre members Associate Professor Michael Flood and Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz and Deakin University Honorary Professor Bob Pease recently published Resistance and backlash to gender equality: An evidence review

The report is part of VicHealth’s efforts to promote gender equality in Australia. It informed the campaign (En)countering resistance Strategies to respond to resistance to gender equality initiatives. View the collection of resources at 13 Steps to Tackle Gender Discrimination.

Michael Flood presented the research at the Managing Resistance to Gender Equality for Policy and Practice event, 21 March 2018. Watch the video here.

Elizabeth Sheehy in the news


Professor Elizabeth Sheehy was featured in an excellent article Family Court’s handling of violence under scrutiny by Teuila Fuatai 

The article was about Sheehy’s talk as part of a panel on family law at the University of Auckland.  Lawyer Catriona MacLennan and Deborah MacKenzie of the Backbone Collective also spoke on the panel. Sheehy questioned the use of “parental alienation” in family court and the minimisation of domestic violence that often results from it.



Simon Lapierre in the news


Simon Lapierre was quoted in the CBC News Montreal article

Majority of sexual harassment, assault allegations never get to court in these Quebec cities: More than 75% of accusations didn’t lead to charges in Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières on March 18, 2018.

The article discussed a Radio-Canada investigation using data acquired using the Access to Information Act. for Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières from 2013 to 2017.  Radio-Canada found that less than 1/4 of sexual harassment and sexual assault reports lead to charges.

Simon Lapierre is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa. He is a founding member of the Feminist Anti-Violence (FemAnVi) Research Collective.