Last updated on: 5/9/2017 | Author:

Debora Parkes, LLM Biography

Chair in Feminist Legal Studies at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia
Pro to the question "Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?"

“On one level, voting is a symbolic, expressive act that demonstrates membership in a community. On another, it is the centerpiece of the democratic political process and the primary way in which citizens participate in changing the governing rules of that community. The loss of voting rights means the loss of both of these functions….

Can the United States learn something from jurisdictions such as Canada with similar legal systems where the idea of prisoners voting has become a reality?

The repeal of prisoner disenfranchisement law will not be the solution to these larger problems, nor will it necessarily affect prisoners’ day-to-day lives appreciably. However, our society’s professed commitment to liberal democratic principles requires that we repeal the laws the treat prisoners as ‘temporary outcasts from our system of rights and democracy.'”

“Ballot Boxes Behind Bars: Toward the Repeal of Prisoner Disenfranchisement Laws,” Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Fall, 2003

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Chair in Feminist Legal Studies, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, 2016-present
  • Associate Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, 2013-2016
  • Editor in Chief, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 2009-2013
  • Associate Professor of Law, University of Manitoba, 2007-2016
  • President, Canadian Law & Society Association, 2007-2010
  • President, Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba, 2005-2007
  • Vice-President, Canadian Law & Society Association, 2004-2007
  • Assistant Professor of Law, University of Manitoba, 2001-2007
  • University Outreach Award, University of Manitoba, 2005
  • Associate, Gowling LaFleur Henderson LLP, Toronto, 1998-2000
  • Law Clerk, British Columbia Supreme Court, 1997-1998
  • LLM, Columbia Law School, 2001
  • LLB, University of British Columbia, 1997
  • BA, Trinity Western University, 1993
  • None found