Negotiating Feminism: Campus Sexual Violence and the Possibilities of Informal Justice

Mercredi, 30 mars, 2022 13:00à14:30
Online - Zoom

On Zoom.


(En anglais seulement) Campus sexual violence has become the province of increased rulemaking, governance, and bureaucratic activity in the last ten years. Feminist law and policymakers have campaigned for targeted reforms in this area, including the widespread adoption of campus sexual violence policies at colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. In this talk, I provide a critical feminist perspective on the progress of campus sexual violence reform in Canada. I will argue that campus sexual violence policies have evolved to reflect what I call the ideology of legal centralism, "taking sexual abuse seriously" by privileging the formal law and campus adjudication over other systems of justice. Crucially, the ideology of legal centralism has entailed a corresponding skepticism, if not categorical rejection of consensual dispute resolution (i.e., mediation and restorative justice) for challenging this methodology. I will argue that this is a mistake. One of my purposes in the talk is to recalibrate feminism’s relationship with informal law and to explore the possibilities of consensual dispute resolution as a site of radical, structural change on campus.


daniel.delgobbo [at] mcgill.ca (Daniel Del Gobbo) is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University Faculty of Law. His research and teaching fall at the intersection of civil procedure, access to justice, human rights, and critical theory, with a focus on issues of gender and sexuality. Publishing widely in these areas, Daniel has a book forthcoming with the University of Toronto Press, Negotiating Feminism: Charting a Path through Law, Sex, and Violence, which traces the reflection of the feminist "sex wars" from the late 1970s to the early 1990s in contemporary debates about the role of law in addressing the problem of campus sexual violence. Previously, Daniel earned his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021, where he was a Trudeau Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and CBA Viscount Bennett Fellow. He earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2015 and J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011.

Back to top