Topic: Justice by geography? Exploring spatial variation in official responses to violence in one Canadian province

Presenter: Professor Myrna Dawson - University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Little is currently known about how official responses to violence might vary across jurisdictions both within and between provinces/states or countries. Early research and theory argues, however, that location does matter in understanding how defendants and victims are treated by the courts, primarily drawing attention to urban-rural differences that stem from differing socio-political contexts, court settings, and local legal culture. Beyond this, spatial variation in official justice responses has been limited in socio-legal research despite recognition that courts operate in distinct environments that can impact how cases are processed or disposed. To begin to address this gap, this study examines data on homicides in one Canadian province to examine whether there are differences in how rural and urban courts respond to the killing of women. This research contributes to knowledge on spatial equality and access to justice and lays the groundwork for larger national and international projects examining geographic patterns in justice.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:

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