We’re delighted to announce that Professor Isabel Grant has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The fellowship comprises over 2000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. These individuals have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.
“I have tried over the years to produce research that is meaningful and that impacts the law in positive ways,” says Professor Grant. “I am humbled to have my research recognized by the Royal Society of Canada and to join a group of scholars who have made such significant contributions.” Professor Grant’s research focuses on law and policy issues surrounding violence against women, sexual assault, homicide, and the criminalization of people with HIV. Throughout her career, she has worked with advocacy groups representing women and people with disabilities on more than 20 interventions in the Supreme Court of Canada and other appellate courts.
I have tried over the years to produce research that is meaningful and that impacts the law in positive ways.
Professor Grant is currently working on two SSHRC-funded projects. The first, a collaboration with Allard Law Professor and Dean pro tem Janine Benedet, examines sexual assault across the lifespan of complainants. "We began this work by looking at the unique issues that arise in cases of sexual violence against older women, an area that has been largely ignored in the literature, and then moved on to examine sexual assault against adolescent girls” she says. “We are now studying women in intimate relationships and specifically looking at the ways in which sexual history evidence is used in these cases.”
In a second SSHRC-funded project with Allard Law Professor Debra Parkes, Professor Grant seeks to shed light on the meaning of a life sentence in Canada for those convicted of murder. “What periods of parole ineligibility are judges imposing? Have those periods increased over time and if so why? Are changes over time impacting particular groups of people more than others, such as Indigenous persons, within the criminal justice system? We hope that by uncovering what is actually happening we will be able to recommend a better path forward,” she says.
Professor Grant teaches in the areas of criminal law, homicide, sentencing and mental health law at the Allard School of Law, where she is also currently the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs. In 2020, Professor Grant received the prestigious Killam Teaching Prize, awarded annually to faculty nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching.
Visit the UBC Research + Innovation website to learn more about each of UBC's new Royal Society of Canada Fellows and Members.