Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism

Edited by Margot Young, Susan B. Boyd, Gwen Brodsky, and Shelagh Day

  • Published: 2007. Paperback 2008
  • Subject Listing: History
  • Bibliographic information: 384 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: Usa And Canada Only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Recent years have seen the retrenchment of Canadian social programs and the restructuring of the welfare state along neo-liberal lines. Social programs at both the federal and the provincial levels have been cut back, eliminated, or recast in exclusionary and punitive forms. Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism responds to these changes by examining the ideas and practices of human rights, citizenship, legislation, and institution-building that are crucial to addressing poverty in this country.

The essays in this volume investigate current trends in social, political, and legal anti-poverty activism. They challenge prevailing assumptions about the role of governments and the methods of accountability in the field of social and economic justice. Through their analysis of rights advocacy and the interconnectedness of law and politics, the contributors also demonstrate that the fight for social and economic justice is vibrant and of critical importance.
Margot Young is an associate professor and Susan Boyd holds the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. Gwen Brodsky and Shelagh Day are directors of the Poverty and Human Rights Centre in Vancouver.

"This book represents a timely, engaging, and significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between law, politics, and poverty. It will serve as a catalyst for debate over the future of social and economic rights in the welfare state."
-Lorne Sossin, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Part 1: Poverty and Rights: Reading Gosselin
1. Reality checks: Presuming Innocence and Proving Guilt in Charter Welfare Cases / Martha Jackman
2. But It's for Your Own Good / Diane Pothier
3. Social Rights and Judicial Competence / David Schneiderman

Part 2: Social Citizenship and the State
4. Claiming Adjudicative space: Social Rights and Citizenship / Bruce Porter
5. Aboriginal Women Unmasked: Using Charter Equality Litigation to Advance Women's Rights / Sharon McIvor
6. Welfare Reformed: The Re-making of the Model Citizen / Janet Mosher
7. The "Made in Quinne McKeever and Fionnuala Ni Aolaume
15. The Charter as an Impediment to Welfare Roll Backs: A Meditation on "Justice as Fairness" as a "Bedrock Value" of the Canadian Democratic Project / Ken Norman

Part 5: Legal Activism Revived
16. Why Rights Now? Law and Desperation / Margot Young
17. The Challenge of Litigating the Rights of Poor People: The Right to Legal Aid as a Test Case / Melina Buckley
18. Charter Rights and Government Choices / Gwen Brodsky