Both lionized and vilified, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé has shaped the Canadian legal landscape – and in particular its highest court. Only the second woman on the Supreme Court of Canada, L’Heureux-Dubé anchored her approach to cases in their social, economic, and political context. This compelling biography takes a similar tack, tracing the experience of a francophone woman within the male-dominated Quebec legal profession – and within the primarily anglophone world of the Supreme Court. In the process, Constance Backhouse enhances our understanding of the Canadian judiciary, the creation of law, the Quebec socio-legal environment, and the nation’s top court.
[Claire L’HeureuxDubé: A Life] is an exceptional contribution to Canadian legal literature. Backhouse completely immersed herself in her subject by taking extensive French immersion studies, learning about the Quebec civil law system, and conducting close to 200 interviews over a ten-year period … the result is a meticulously researched but very readable biography of a leading figure in Quebec and Canadian law.
— David Cameletti, Barrister and Solicitor, Canadian Law Library Review, August 2018
About the Author:
Constance Backhouse holds a Distinguished University Chair and a University Research Chair in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Among her many books are Carnal Crimes: Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900–1975 (2008); The Heiress vs the Establishment: Mrs. Campbell’s Campaign for Legal Justice (2004; with Nancy L. Backhouse); Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900–1950 (1999); and Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada (1991). Professor Backhouse has received the Augusta Stowe-Gullen Medal (1981), the J. Willard Hurst Prize (1992), the Law Society Medal (1998), a Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research (1999), a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2006), the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law (2006), the Killam Prize (2008), the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case (2013), and the Molson Prize (2015). She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2008 and the Order of Ontario in 2010.