Seminar: Jurisfiction and Other Settler Colonial Imaginaries

by | 18 Feb 2021

Teaming up with the Warwick Centre for Critical Legal Studies, we are thrilled to announce a series of short seminars (please subscribe here) from brilliant critical scholars from around the world. These seminars began because of the pandemic, because we could no longer see each other at seminars, workshops and conferences. But we hope that this series will help to bring contemporary and cutting edge critical legal research to a broader community of scholars and thinkers.

Our first presenter is Stacy Douglas, who is an Associate Professor at Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies. Stacy’s research explores democracy, the state and government through empirical and theoretical approaches, particularly those that intersect with poststructural, feminist, queer, and critical race traditions.

In this paper, Stacy argues: ‘In 2012, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced (and passed) Bills C-38 and C-45, two omnibus bills that made significant changes to environmental protections, as well as the Crown’s existing duty to consult with indigenous communities. This is remembered as the catalyst for the Idle No More movement, which saw thousands of indigenous people and their allies take to the streets to draw attention to the contemporary colonial landscape of Canadian law and politics. In response, the Mikisew Cree First Nation in northeastern Alberta brought an application for judicial review against the Crown, arguing that the federal government had a duty to consult before introducing this legislation. Since 2014, the Mikisew have been embroiled in a legal campaign that has at once supported (Federal Court 2014) and disavowed (Federal Court of Appeal 2016, Supreme Court 2018) their claims. The following charts the decisions from these three courts to reveal the fickle and fictive accounts of settler-colonial sovereignty that they contain. My goal is to draw attention to the leaps in logic that hold this imaginative infrastructure in place in, what Peter Fitzpatrick, drawing on Edward Said, has called a project of “internal decolonization” through an exoticization of the domestic (Fitzpatrick 1992, 14).’

If you would like to present your contemporary critical legal research as part of this seminar, please submit a short pitch/abstract (max 300 words) via the Critical Legal Thinking submission page.

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