Challenging Patriarchy or Embracing Liberal Norms? Justice Wilson's Child Custody and Access Decisions

Research output: Chapter


During the late 1970s and the 1980s, when Justice Bertha Wilson sat on the Ontario Court of Appeal and on the Supreme Court of Canada, family law emerged as a field of public concern, and the contours of child custody and access law became increasingly contested. This chapter reflects upon Justice Wilson's decisions regarding this legal matter, situating them within the context of shifting socio-legal norms relating to children, family, motherhood, and fatherhood. The seven decisions reviewed here (of which five are dissents) provide a fascinating window into the period's changing norms on child custody law and process, and reveal an inconsistent espousal of feminist critiques in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJustice Bertha Wilson
Subtitle of host publicationOne Woman's Difference
EditorsKim Brooks
Place of PublicationVancouver
PublisherUBC Press
ISBN (Print)9780774817325
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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