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Dalhousie Law Journal

Authors

April Burney

Keywords

Supreme Court of Canada, African Canadians, black, racism, judges, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, bias, courts

Abstract

The contrasts, in form and substance, were stark. In form, I was a black woman in a wheelchair, pleading before an all-white, able-bodied and almost all-male Supreme Court of Canada. The usually empty public galleries in the Ottawa courtroom were filled with people of colour, who had come from across the country to witness the hearing of this landmark case. On their entrance, the nine white judges, dressed in their staid, black robes made an almost audible gasp as they were met with this colourfully clad, intently silent band of people of colour.

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