Final exam

April 2022
Laws 3503B – (In)equality & Discrimination
LAWS 3503A: Final Assignment / Take Home Examination
Submission Instructions:
Examinations must be completed and submitted by April 28th 2022 – the last day of the formal examination period.
All exams must be submitted through Bright Space, must be submitted in word (.doc or .docx) format, and
following standard university guidelines (double-spaced, in 12pt Times New Roman font with standard 1”
Any examination not received via Bright Space by the deadline will be considered not submitted and will be
assigned a grade of zero unless a formal extension is granted by the Registrar’s Office. Students seeking
extensions on the final exam must seek a formal deferral from the Registrar’s Office.
This assignment is worth 40% of the final grade for the course.
Examination Instructions:
Answer 2 of the 4 provided questions.
Answer in essay style – following all standards for university level writing. Students are expected to ensure their
papers are properly edited for clarity, spelling and grammar. Each answer must be between 7.5 and 10 pages in
length (excluding title page and bibliography). The total assignment length for both answers should not exceed 20
pages (excluding bibliography and title page). Answers must be fully cited (uniform legal citation).
In answering each question, students are instructed to demonstrate knowledge of, and the ability to apply, the
concepts and approaches discussed in appropriate course materials.
For each question, students must cover the assigned articles as noted in each question, and cover at least 5
different assigned articles across both questions. Students may also – in addition to the assigned articles – draw
on documentaries, guest speakers, or lecture materials.
That said, emphasis should be placed on the articles assigned throughout the semester, specifically the
demonstration of having read and understood assigned articles, and the ability to draw links between the ideas
in those articles with the themes covered in the course. It is insufficient to simply identify issues or conceptual
tools – you must be able to show that you understand the content of the ideas you deploy by applying them to the
question you are answering.
Outside sources are neither required, nor permitted (except where specifically noted in the question).
April 2022
Laws 3503B – (In)equality & Discrimination
1. You are working as part of your articling program at a law firm in Toronto. One of the senior partners has
asked that you write a short article on the legacy of R. v. Gladue in terms of addressing disproportionate
overrepresentation of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples in correctional facilities. The partner is hoping to
raise awareness in the firm, and within the broader community, about how this case affected Canadian
law, and the application of S718.2(e) of the Canadian Criminal Code. While there are plenty of opinions
circulating about whether ‘Gladue Courts’ or ‘Gladue Reports’ are effective, there isn’t a lot of discussion
about the underlying issue of structural racism that S718.2(e) (and the R. v Gladue ruling) was trying to
address. The senior partner has heard that you’ve studied issues of discrimination and inequality in
Canadian Law and is hoping you can write a something that will explain some of the nuances of this
question to others in the community.
Building the assigned article/chapter by Glen Sean Coulthard and at least 2 other assigned articles covered
in the course, consider and discuss what R v Gladue was intended to address, and how the key
conceptual tools drawn from the assigned readings help us understand both the problem and the
potential insufficiency of how the law has responded.
* For this question you may draw on the cases of R. v Gladue and R. v Jackson. No additional sources
(newspaper articles, outside academic articles, or analysis) are required or permitted *
2. You have just started a job as a communications and policy advisor for an Association which represents
the collective interests of municipal governments. Your job is to help senior members of the organization
consider issues as they come up, and help craft the organizations positions on these issues. Recently,
there has been some renewed discussion about Quebec’s so-called ‘State Religious Neutrality’ Law – Bill
62, in light of the newer ‘Act respecting the laicity of the State’ – Bill 21. Your organization has quickly
realized that many representatives from other municipalities are not very familiar with these new laws –
having only read some media coverage. Many are not even aware that ‘ban on face coverings’ is in fact
couched in terms of ‘state religious neutrality.’ The president of your organization has heard that you
have a Critical Legal Studies background, and that you have studied discrimination and inequality as topic.
She has asked you to provide a short analysis of the Bill 62, and the associated changes brought to it by
Bill 21 – including the invocation of the ‘not withstanding clause’ of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
– using the conceptual tools you learned about during your studies to help her answer questions about
why the bill might be considered counter to mainstream principles of justice.
Drawing on the article by Nancy Fraser as well as at least 2 other assigned articles covered in the course,
consider and discuss Bills 62 and 21 in terms of i) explicit wording, ii) the intended and (potentially)
unintended consequences, and iii) principles of justice and equality as discussed in assigned readings.
* For this question you may draw on the full text of Quebec’s Bill 62 and Bill 21. No additional sources
(newspaper articles, outside academic articles, or analysis) are required or permitted *
April 2022
Laws 3503B – (In)equality & Discrimination
3. Welcome to 2024. The global pandemic is finally over. Conflicts in eastern Europe have been resolved.
Economic recovery has begun worldwide, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and diversity
of opportunity. Things are looking up! Boom. Aliens crash land on earth.
While very exciting, this is very disruptive to the world order. There are religious, ethical, political and
social questions across the globe. There are also significant legal questions. No one can communicate
with the aliens. It is unclear if the aliens that have crashed built the ships they came on, or if they were
merely being transported. They are so different than humans, it is not easy to tell if they are ‘sentient’ –
or possessed a more reactive rudimentary intelligence.
Having just started with a new international agency tasked with sorting out the various issues the arrival
of these visitors have brought, you have been asked to consider the socio-legal implications of extending
basic human rights to these beings. You have been asked to draft a short memo (essay style response) on
the issue, considering it in terms of its direct and indirect implications from a critical legal studies
perspective. Drawing on the articles by Christopher Stone & William Connolly, as well as at least 1 other
assigned article covered in the course, write the requested memo (short essay) considering the intended
and potentially unintended consequences of recognizing these beings as legal ‘persons’ with all or some
of the legal protections associated with such recognition.
4. Imagine for a moment that you are sitting down with a friend, family member, co-worker, or partner. The
other person is someone you care about, but lately they have been repeating things that make you
uncomfortable. They say they don’t believe in issues of racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia, and
that people are just being ‘too sensitive’. They tell jokes that make fun of people’s gender identity, sexual
orientation, race or ethnicity. People have raised it with them, but they counter that it’s a matter of
opinion – or that it doesn’t matter because it’s only talk and jokes. It’s not like they make the laws, they
argue. Consider how you might, drawing on some of the conceptual tools introduced throughout the
class, try to explain how notions of equality and discrimination operate in contemporary Canadian society
– both through, and alongside formal law.
Focusing on one or two issues in particular – sexism, homophobia, heteronormativity, racism,
transphobia, institutional bias or other forms of discrimination – and drawing on at least 3 different
assigned articles covered in the course, draft what you would say to this person to potentially help them
reconsider and broaden their understanding of these issues.
*No additional sources (newspaper articles, outside academic articles, or analysis) are required or
permitted *

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