Three Osgoode professors receive key research funding

The ability of faculty at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School to advance knowledge and new ideas about the law has been recognized with the granting of major Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) research funding to Osgoode Professors Mary Jane Mossman, Eric Tucker and Margaret Beare.

Professor Mary Jane Mossman (left) has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights for her research proposal, titled "Engendering Law and the Legal Profession in Canada: Connecting Historical Claims to Contemporary Challenges."

Mossman plans to examine claims for women’s equal access to, and treatment in the legal profession at different periods in 20th-century Canada in order to provide the basis for identifying new ways of defining contemporary approaches to legal equality for Canadian women. Her ultimate goal is to publish a book on this topic.

The project represents the next step in Mossman’s work on gender, law and legal professions and flows from her comparative study of women lawyers in the 19th century: The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender, Law and Legal Professions (Hart Publishing, 2006).

There were 11 applications submitted throughout Canada for this year’s competition. Applications were reviewed by a selection committee on the basis of the project’s merit, the researcher’s track record, the significance of the research proposal to human rights issues in Canada, and the comments of external assessors. The committee deemed Mossman’s program of research to be “an excellent and highly interesting proposal from an accomplished scholar.”

Mossman will take a release from her teaching duties during half of the 2007-2008 academic year and during half of the following academic year to work on her research project.

This is the second time in the 23-year history of the Bora Laskin National Fellowship that an Osgoode professor has been chosen for this award, which consists of a $45,000 stipend plus a $10,000 research allowance. Professor Emeritus Peter Cumming, now a justice of the Ontario Superior Court who taught at Osgoode from 1968 to 1995, received the fellowship in 1985.

The fellowship is granted by SSHRC to support research, preferably of a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary nature, and to develop Canadian expertise in the field of human rights, with emphasis on themes and issues relevant to the Canadian human rights scene. It is named in honour of the late Chief Justice Laskin, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1970. He taught at both Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto prior to his judicial appointment.

Professor Eric Tucker (left) has been awarded $49,735 in SSHRC funding for the 2007-2009 academic years for his research project, titled "Recurring Dilemmas in Canadian Labour Law, 1800-2000".

Tucker will explore the historical development of recurring dilemmas and conflicts that occurred and continue to occur in Canadian labour and employment law as the result of competing interests of workers and employers in a capitalist society. He will also be examining the interaction between the field of labour and employment law and other legal fields, including corporate and commercial law, property law and administrative law.

One of the aims of Tucker’s research project is to point out how different legal and institutional arrangements affect the quality of people’s lives.

Professor Margaret Beare (left) will receive $29,000 for her research project, "Gang Violence and Guns: Analysis of Gang-Related Conversations". In this pilot project, Beare will analyze the taped conversations of gun-using and gun-fearing youths in Toronto to learn about their motives and lives. By analyzing these tapes, she aims to discover what gang members are actually saying to one another and how they are discussing issues related to guns and their own environment.

Beare’s research project will provide a fuller picture of the lives of these youths and suggest appropriate community responses.