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Professor Elaine Craig receives 2019 CLSA Book Prize

Posted by Jane Doucet on June 6, 2019 in News, Alumni & Friends, Research, Awards
(Photo: Danny Abriel)
(Photo: Danny Abriel)

The Schulich School of Law is pleased to announce that Professor Elaine Craig has received the 2019 Canadian Law Society Association’s Book Prize for Putting Trials on Trials: Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession. The prize is awarded annually for the best book on law and society published in the previous year in English or French.

The award, which was renamed this year as the W. Wesley Pue Book Prize in honour of Canadian legal scholar Wesley Pue, who died in April, was announced on June 3 in Vancouver during the CLSA’s annual meeting. Craig is the inaugural recipient of the newly renamed honour.

When Professor Bruce Ryder of Osgoode Hall Law School presented the award, he said, “Putting Trials on Trial is a powerfully engaging and timely intervention that will have transformative impacts on issues requiring urgent attention.”

I would suggest that too often, we are failing in our duty to show sexual assault complainants respect and to protect them from discrimination and abuse. — Professor Elaine Craig

As the title suggests, Craig’s book examines the legal profession’s role in causing unnecessary harms to complainants in sexual assault trials. Since it was published in 2018 by McGill-Queen’s University Press, she has been crossing the country to discuss it.

“As a profession—as criminal defenders, Crown attorneys, judges, law professors, and law society regulators—I would suggest that too often, we are failing in our duty to show sexual assault complainants respect, we are failing in our duty to protect them from discrimination and abuse, and we are doing so unnecessarily,” said Craig in a public lecture at Halifax Central Library last September.

In April, Craig was the co-recipient of the 2019 Torys LLP Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award for her work in this area of the law; she will be receiving that award on June 6 in Toronto. Also in April, Putting Trials on Trial was nominated for a 2019 Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Earlier this week, Craig appeared as a witness before Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, where she testified regarding Bill C-337, The Judicial Accountability through Sexual Assault Law Training Act.