Debra Parkes

Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies
Room 452
Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Canada, R3T 2N2
tel: 204.474.9776
fax: 204.474.7580
email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

+ Teaching & Research Areas

Constitutional and Human Rights Law

Criminal Law

Employment Law

Prisoners' Rights

Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

Sentencing & Penal Policy

Equality Rights

+ Curriculum Vitae

Download CV

+ Biography

Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (2013-present)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (2007-present)

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (2001-2007)

English Language Editor, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (2009-present)

President, Canadian Law & Society Association (2007-present)

Vice-President, Canadian Law & Society Association (2004-2007)

President, Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba (2005-2007)

LL.M. (Columbia, 2001); LL.B. (British Columbia, 1997); B.A. (Trinity Western, 1993)

Associate, Gowling LaFleur Henderson LLP, Toronto (1998-2000)

Law Clerk, British Columbia Supreme Court (1997-1998)

Member of the Ontario Bar (1999-2005) and the Manitoba Bar (2005-present)

+ Selected Publications

Copies of selected papers can be accessed on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at

  • “Women and Wrongful Conviction: Concepts and Challenges,” (2015) 11:3  International Journal of Law in Context 219 (with Emma Cunliffe)

  • “Ending the Isolation: Introduction to the Special Volume on Human Rights and Solitary Confinement,” (2015) 4:1 Canadian Journal of Human Rights vii.

  • "The Punishment Agenda in the Courts," (2014) 67 Supreme Court Law Review 589-616.

  • "Colonialism, Systemic Discrimination and the Crisis of Indigenous Over-incarceration: Challenge of Reforming the Sentencing Process," in Elizabeth Comack, ed., Locating Law: Race/Class/Gender/Sexuality Connections, 3rd ed. (Toronto: Brunswick Books, 2014) 116-140 (with David Milward).

  • "The 'Great Writ' Reinvigorated? Habeas Corpus in Contemporary Canada," preface to James Oldham, "The DeLloyd Guth Visiting Lecture in Legal History: Habeas Corpus, Legal History, and Guantanamo Bay," (2013) 36 Manitoba Law Journal 351-360.

  • "From Smith to Smickle: the Charter's Minimal Impact on Mandatory Minimum Sentences," (2012) 56 Supreme Court Law Review (forthcoming).

  • "Ipeelee and the Pursuit of Proportionality in a World of Mandatory Minimum Sentences," (2012) 33:3 For the Defence 22-27.

  • "Political Protest, Mass Arrests, and Mass Detention: Fundamental Freedoms and (Un)Common Criminals," (2011) 22(2) Journal of Prisoners on Prisons 155-170 (with Meaghan Daniel).

  • "Gladue: Beyond Myth and Toward Implementation in Manitoba," (2011) 35 Manitoba Law Journal 84-110 (with David Milward).

  • "The Justice System" and other collaborative authorship in Esyllt Jones & Adele Perry, eds., Peoples' Citizenship Guide: A Response to Conservative Canada (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring, 2011).

  • "The Rand Formula Revisited: Union Security in the Charter Era," (2010) 34 Manitoba Law Journal / 61 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 223-242.

  • "Contextualizing Criminal Defences: Exploring the Contribution of Justice Bertha Wilson," forthcoming in Kim Brooks, ed., Looking Forward: The Contributions of Justice Wilson (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009) (with Isabel Grant).

  • "Listening to their Voices: Women Prisoners and Access to Justice in Manitoba," (2008) 26 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 85-119 (with Kathy Bent, Tracy Booth & Tracey Peter).

  • "Counting Outsiders: A Critical Exploration of Outsider Course Enrolment in Canadian Legal Education," (2008) 45 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 667-732 (with Natasha Bakht, Kim Brooks, Gillian Calder, Jennifer Koshan, Sonia Lawrence & Carissima Mathen).

  • “A Prisoners’ Charter? Reflections on Prisoner Litigation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” (2007) 40 U.B.C. Law Review 629.

  • “Precedent Unbound? Contemporary Approaches to Precedent in Canada,” (2007) 32 Manitoba Law Journal 135.

  • “Time for Accountability: Effective Oversight of Women's Prisons,” (2006) 48 Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 251, with Kim Pate.

  • “Are Women’s Rights Worth the Paper They’re Written On? Collaborating to Enforce the Human Rights of Criminalized Women,” (with Gayle Horii and Kim Pate) in Elizabeth Comack and Gillian Balfour, eds., Criminalizing Women: Gender and (In)justice in Neo-Liberal Times (Halifax: Fernwood Press, 2006).

  • “Targeting Workplace Harassment in Quebec: On Exporting a New Legislative Agenda,” (2004) 8 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 423.

  • “Ballot Boxes Behind Bars: Toward the Repeal of Prisoner Disenfranchisement Laws,” (2004) 13 Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review 71.

  • “Queering Legal Education as a Project of Theoretical Discovery,” (2004) 27 Harvard Women’s Law Journal 89, with Kim Brooks.

  • “Baby Steps on the Way to a Grown-Up Charter: Reflections on Twenty Years of Social and Economic Rights Litigation,” (2003) 52 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 279.

  • “Moving from the Back to the Front of the Classroom,” (2003) 2 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 67, with Kim Brooks.

  • “Prisoner Voting Rights in Canada: Rejecting the Notion of ‘Temporary Outcasts,’” in Christopher Mele and Teresa Miller, eds., Civil Penalties, Social Consequences (New York: Routledge Press, 2005)

+ Current Research Projects

  • Prison Transparency Project, SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, $195,000 over three years (Co-investigator) with Dawn Moore (Principal Investigator) and Co-investigators Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Gillian Balfour, Joane Martel, and Sarah Turnbull,

  • Prisoners' Rights in Punitive Times: Investigating Prison Complaint and Inspection Systems, SSHRC Standard Research Grant (Principal Investigator), $87,000 over three years

  • Disabling Poverty and Enabling Citizenship: Examining Exclusions and Identifying Opportunities for the Full Participation of Canadians with Disabilities, SSHRC Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) Grant, $1,000,000 over five years (Co-Investigator), with Yvonne Peters and Michael Prince (Principal Investigators) and Co-Investigators Lucie Dumais, Ernie Lightman, Yves Vaillancourt, and Jon Douglas Willms