Lise Gotell has resigned from her current position as Chair of LEAF’s Board of Directors, effective October 31, 2018.  She has given sterling service to LEAF for many years, as a Director, as Co-Chair of the Law Program Committee and as National Chair.  Her leadership will be much missed.  

Gotell is an internationally renowned scholar in gender and law, based in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta.  Her resignation as LEAF Chair will give her more time to devote to her new appointment at the university as Landrex Distinguished Professor. As holder of this prestigious research chair, she has taken up a rigorous research program designed to address the justice gap experienced by survivors of sexual assault in Alberta, a province with one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the country. A key objective of her work will be to “foster strategies that address Alberta survivors’ needs for participation, voice, validation, and vindication and offender accountability”, including restorative justice. 

Gotell’s expertise on legal and policy responses to sexual violence and the treatment of sexual assault survivors within the criminal justice system has made a vital contribution to LEAF’s extensive recent work in these areas, including the enquiry into the conduct of provincial court judge Robin Camp, the illegal jailing of Angela Cardinal, a sexual assault complainant; and the dehumanization of Cindy Gladue in the criminal trial of the man responsible for causing the injury that led to her death. Gotell’s important work will continue to influence academic and activist thought on these issues throughout Canada and internationally.

LEAF’s new Chair is Dr. Elizabeth Shilton, whose experience with LEAF includes many years of service as a board member, Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the Law Program Committee.