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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press


Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press


Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism

Recent years have seen the retrenchment of Canadian social programs and the restructuring of the welfare state along neo-liberal lines. Social programs 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. It challenges prevailing assumptions about the role of governments and the methods of accountability in the field of social and economic justice.

400 pages

Table of Contents



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 Québec” Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion / Lucie Lamarche

8 Trade Regime Federalism: An Assessment of the Social Union Framework Agreement / Barbara Cameron

Part 3: Social Citizenship and International Contexts

9 Collective Economic Rights and International Trade Agreements: In the Vacuum of post-National Capital Control / Marjorie Griffin Cohen

10 Enforcing Social and Economic Rights at the Domestic Level: A Proposal / Gráinne McKeever and Fionnuala Ni Aoláin

11 Minding the Gap: Treaty Commitments and Government Practice / Shelagh Day

12 Litigating Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: How Far Will the Courts Go? / Karrisha Pillay

Part 4: Beyond Gosselin: Legal Theory Emboldened

13 Taking Competence Seriously / David Wiseman

14 Dignity, Equality, and Second Generation Rights / Denise Réaume

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

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