Focus On

Legal scholar honoured in Persons Case awards ceremony

Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2:14 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

Every year, in honour of the Persons Case, the Governor General honours Canadians who have made contributions to the advancement of women's equality. This year, there are five recipients, including a noted legal scholar.

Elizabeth Sheehy is a professor at the University of Ottawa's faculty of law and a feminist law scholar. She teaches courses in criminal law and procedure, sexual assault law and defending battered women on trial.

In naming her as an award recipient, the Governor General's office describes Sheehy as an “expert on legal responses to violence against women whose research has helped to transform Canada’s criminal justice system.”

Sheehy's scholarship has delved into issues such as sexual assault law and responses to battered women. She has worked to teach members of the justice and legal communities (including police departments, lawyers, judges and therapists) how laws treat women who have experienced violence.

The other 2017 recipients are: Betsy Bury who fought to ensure women had access to health care and family planning services; feminist scholar and historian Micheline Dumont who writes about the early realities of women’s lives; Linda Slanina who works empower women and girls and end gender-based violence; and youth recipient Melissa Sariffodeen the co-founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code, a national, non-profit organization that provides technical education and training to women and girls.

The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were presented by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette at ceremony at Rideau Hall on Oct. 19.