Fifty Shades of Justice L’Heureux- Dubé and Women and the Law

By Alexandra Forsyth-Sells, Third Year English Common Law student.

Many women around the world are reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” by E. L. James.  But this submission is not about these best sellers, it is about celebrating the landmark decisions by Justice L’Heureux- Dubé, which are historic, as they have changed the law to protect the rights of women, minorities, children, and others to promote justice and equality.

As a third year female law student, who has written about feminist jurisprudence and the pornography laws in Canada, along with completing a major research paper on the current state of affairs for women lawyers in Canada, I admire the dissident voice for women that Justice L’Heureux- Dubé has brought to the law. Most notably she has challenged the common view about women and their social and sexual issues, regarding prior sexual history and consent, privacy rights, and how a “pretty woman” dressed up was all about her gender.  As a result, turning the law reinforcing the institutionalization of men over women on its head.

Why did she fight to protect the equal rights for all in society? It is because she believed in the rights of all, equally in a democratic society, where the law should not be black and white and only apply to a select few. It was all about fifty shades of justice for Justice L’Heureux- Dubé, because she lived and believed in it. We will be forever grateful to her as a leading mentor for women lawyers in Canada.



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