Professor Constance Backhouse has published a new compelling biography of former Supreme Court Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, entitled Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life (UBC Press). As the second woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court, Justice L’Heureux-Dubé is known today as a giant of the Canadian legal landscape, remembered as one of the most dynamic and controversial legal figures of her time.
Professor Backhouse covers aspects of legal history that have never previously been investigated, exploring the rich sociopolitical and cultural setting in which Justice L’Heureux-Dubé’s career unfolded. She focuses, for example, on the changing gender norms that affected Justice L’Heureux-Dubé as a francophone woman within both the male-dominated Quebec legal profession, and the primarily anglophone world of the Supreme Court. Professor Backhouse also highlights the former judge’s innovative legal approach to cases in their social, economic, and political contexts, while also considering her personal life.
“A compelling book about a compelling judge by a compelling author,” says former Common Law Dean, Nathalie Des Rosiers. “Claire L’Heureux Dubé is a bold, brilliant, and brave woman who transformed Canadian law. Constance Backhouse is also a bold, brilliant, and brave woman who has transformed Canadian legal history. This is a meeting between two giants, the ebullient and forceful Québec legal mind and the eminent Anglo-Canadian feminist scholar. I laughed, I cried, I debated, and I reflected. I read it in two days. So should you.”