Jun 10, 2020
Professor Janine Benedet is this year’s recipient of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Academic Excellence Award. This award recognizes exceptional teaching and research excellence amongst law faculty in mid-career in Canada.
Dr. Benedet has taught a wide range of subjects since joining the faculty in 2005 including Criminal Law, Labour Law and Legal Ethics. Her seminar on the Law of Sexual Offences was one of the first Canadian law school courses dedicated to sexual assault law. In 2013, she was honoured with the George Curtis Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence and a year later was awarded the Killam Teaching Prize.
As Associate Dean Academic, Professor Benedet has made significant contributions to experiential learning at the Allard School of Law, including playing an integral role in the development of the RISE Women’s Legal Centre, in conjunction with West Coast LEAF.
Professor Benedet is a prolific scholar whose research and advocacy work have had a major impact on the development of criminal law – both in the courts and through legislative change, particularly in the area of sexual violence against women. She is an accomplished advocate, having appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada representing equality-seeking groups.
In announcing this year’s award recipient, the adjudication committee highlighted why Professor Benedet was honoured with this year’s award:
“Professor Benedet’s career has demonstrated excellence in multiple ways. Her research has been prolific, courageous, feminist and rooted in her activism. She has shown a consistent willingness to engage in legal education with the judiciary, the public, and especially with her own students. She brings her expertise to law reform, litigation and policy-making in multiple fora. With feminism as a consistent thread, Professor Benedet has demonstrated excellence across legal sub-disciplines including criminal law, and labour and employment law.”
Professor Benedet’s work has been generously supported by SSHRC and the Law Foundation of British Columbia and has been widely acknowledged by our courts. Most recently in R v Friesen, 2020 SCC 9 the Court cited three of Professor Benedet’s articles in developing guidelines for sentences for those who commit sexual offences against children: “Sentencing for Sexual Offences Against Children and Youth: Mandatory Minimums, Proportionality and Unintended Consequences” (2019), 44 Queen’s L.J. 284; “Confronting the Sexual Assault of Teenage Girls: The Mistake of Age Defence in Canadian Sexual Assault Law” (2019), 97 Can. Bar. Rev. 1 (with Isabel Grant) and “The ‘Statutory Rape’ Myth: A Case Law Study of Sexual Assaults against Adolescent Girls” (2019), 31 C.J.W.L. 266 (with Isabel Grant) (visit the Allard Law Research Commons to download the full articles). Professor Benedet has also made very significant contributions to judicial education across the country on sexual assault law and other areas within her expertise.
The Allard School of Law community congratulates Professor Benedet on this much deserved recognition of her contributions.
- Allard Law News