The impact of feminist research on tax and family law

Feminist research on tax and family law reform has had an uneven impact on recent legislative and judicial decisions, according to two University of British Columbia law professors who will speak at an event held by Osgoode Hall Law School on April 29.

Left: Claire Young

Claire Young and Susan Boyd of UBC’s Faculty of Law will speak at the 12th Barbara Betcherman Memorial Lecture and offer a retrospective of feminist research on developments in these fields since the mid-1980s. They will also identify the trends that are raising questions about the influence of feminist research on law reform, and point to ongoing challenges confronting feminists.

The lecture, titled “Feminism, Law and Public Policy: Family Feuds and Taxing Times,” will take place on Thursday at 5pm at Osgoode’s Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas Street West, Suite 2602, Toronto. A reception will follow the lecture, which is presented by Osgoode’s Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.

Right: Susan Boyd

Young, who also serves as associate dean, Academic Affairs in UBC’s Faculty of Law, is an award-winning teacher of tax law, co-editor of two books and author of numerous articles on tax law and policy. Her research interests include feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. Boyd holds the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies at UBC and is director of the UBC Centre for Feminist Legal Studies, teaching and publishing in the fields of feminist legal studies and family law.

The Barbara Betcherman Memorial Lecture was established in 1985 to honour an outstanding law student and lawyer who died in 1983 at the age of 35. An Osgoode silver medalist (LLB ’74), Betcherman became a federal prosecutor and later served on a Royal Commission investigating alleged police brutality. She co-founded the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and worked as a director of legal research on CBC’s Ombudsman program. In 1980, she published her first novel, Suspicions, which became an international success. Two other novels, which she was completing at the time of her death, were published posthumously.

The lecture, which is held every two years, has attracted many notable speakers, including Gloria Steinem, Janice Gross Stein, Maude Barlow, Justice Rosalie Abella, Justice Bertha Wilson and Margaret Atwood.

Admission to the lecture is free but registration is recommended. RSVP to the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at ext. 55571 or