April 5, 2022
2L wins award for best student writing
Second-year student Mirabelle Harris-Eze has been awarded the JSD Tory Writing Award from the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues. The prize is presented to the two best student submissions to the journal.
Mirabelle's paper uses feminist legal theory to reimagine Alberta's Protecting Victims of Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act (PVNDIIA). "Where’s Walda? How the Alberta legislature can more adequately protect 'invisible' NCDII victims through statutory reform" is written as a fictional law reform proposal submitted by the Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to the Government of Alberta. The paper finds that PVNDIIA's provisions fail to account for deepfakes, doxxing, deindexing, victim supports, and partial nudity in defining intimate images and remedies. Mirabelle wrote her paper for a Feminist Legal Theory course taught by Professor Jennifer Koshan last fall, where students discussed Critical Race Feminism, Indigenous Feminism, Queer theory, and Class studies. The paper topic was inspired by Professors Hilary Young and Emily Laidlaw's uniform NCDII tort adopted by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, the recent ES v Shillington case, and the gendered impacts of NCDII. Drawing from principles on outsider pedagogy, Mirabelle argues that legislators ought to engage in multilayered analyses that ensure historically silenced voices not only have space, but credibility and power.
"To be recognized for one of my favourite papers written for one of my favourite courses feels so validating," says Mirabelle. "Studying feminist legal theory in Professor Koshan's class made me remember why I went to law school in the first place: to learn how to be a better advocate. My classmates and I were able to write papers in the form of factums, law reform briefs, shadow reports, feminist judgments. We learned about feminist legal theory through stories, journal articles, comics, blog posts. We learned that legal writing and advocacy need not be so delimited. I think it was this creative freedom and theoretical foundation that made my paper stand out."