Dr. Dawg

Open thread on Eric v. Lola

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Couple split.JPG

Here’s the text of the Supreme Court decision, split almost perfectly along gender lines, in which common-law partnerships have been effectively relegated to second-class status in Canada.

Here’s a prĂ©cis.

Some of the commentary following this decision goes directly to gender inequality:

Martha McCarthy, a lawyer for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, expressed shock at what she termed a “regressive” decision that flies in the face of reality.

…”Unmarried women in Quebec, and in other provinces in Canada, find themselves - much to their surprise - with less economic resources, as a result of the formality of a marriage license,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Family law is supposed to protect all families, not discriminate on the basis of marital status. This is a most disappointing, confusing result that cries out for legislative action.”

But in 2013, should we continue to assume that the female half of heterosexual domestic unions—in any form—is collectively vulnerable and hence in need of legal economic protection? The Women’s Legal and Education Action Fund, which intervened in the case, had powerful, evidence-based arguments on the real-world principles involved (factum here).

Most domestic partnerships in Quebec are common-law, and are directly affected by the SCC’s split decision. One can predict, after the shock wears off, that a lot of private contracts will be drafted and signed.

But is that where matters should be left? Reader discussion is welcome.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 26, 2013 12:02 PM.

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