New book examines racial profiling and human rights in Canada

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Professors Lorne Foster and Les Jacobs are the co-editors of a new book, Racial Profiling And Human Rights In Canada: The New Legal Landscape (Irwin Law, 2018). Well-recognized as among the country’s leading scholars on racial profiling, Foster and Jacobs have conducted several large, empirical projects on racial bias in policing. This seminal volume maps out the new social and legal landscape for racial profiling and provides new insights, methodologies and policy solutions.

Lorne Foster

The official launch will take place Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Helliwell Centre at Osgoode Hall Law School as part of the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (REI) conference called Canada 2018: Inclusion at the Crossroads.

Over the past two decades, issues of racial profiling as part of police practices in Canada have come to the forefront. Other sites in Ontario such as schools, universities, hospitals and family services have also faced issues of racial profiling. Complaints about racial profiling and racial bias are increasingly brought to Canadian courts and human rights tribunals.

Allegations of “driving while black” and “flying while brown” have become commonplace. Public controversy currently surrounds practices such as “carding,” “stop-and-search” procedures and “policing at borders,” and has raised serious questions about the scope of police powers. Yet, unlike the United States or the United Kingdom, a relative lack of scholarly research has prevented a detailed portrait of the extent to which racial profiling is a systemic problem in Canada. This lack of scholarly research has inhibited the development of sound public policy.

Racial Profiling And Human Rights In Canada represents a comprehensive examination of a combination of psychological, sociological, organizational, political and community perspectives, resulting in a holistic and multifaceted approach to understanding the phenomenon of racial profiling and pre-empting or eradicating it.

Les Jacobs

The book’s primary theme is the notion of transformation. Part One examines racial profiling through an “equality as transformation” lens, which provides an instructive background for the development of public policy and public law. Part Two explores different manifestations of racial profiling, including new, emerging forms of racial profiling, as well as uncovering examples in everyday life that have been concealed and largely neglected. Part Three focuses on effective methods and strategies to prevent and respond to racial profiling, highlighting some transformative policy applications and equity initiatives.

Racial Profiling And Human Rights In Canada is required reading for the academic community, policy-makers, social justice and human rights advocates, and judicial and law enforcement officers. More information about the book is available on the Irwin Law Books website.