Statement from Canadian Law Deans on anti-Black Racism

Members of the Council of Canadian Law Deans stand in solidarity with all who mourn
and have denounced examples of systemic racism in Canadian and other societies, and,
in particular, violence perpetrated against racialized people in Canada. We recognize
and acknowledge the pain and anguish experienced by many of our racialized students,
staff and faculty, and we are grateful for the leadership of BLSA chapters across the

We know that law schools can play a critical role in dismantling systems of
institutionalized racism in our society. As legal educators we can contribute productively
to the ways in which these issues are addressed in the curriculum and in the legal
system more generally. We want all our graduates to appreciate that racism has no
place in a society governed by the rule of law, and that as members of the legal
profession they must play a role in ameliorating the damage caused by racist practices
in the Canadian legal system. This goal is vitally important because we know that law is
not inherently neutral or progressive; we are regretfully aware that graduates of our
faculties – many of whom have held positions of leadership in Canadian society – have
played significant roles in the development and perpetuation of colonial and
systemically racist policy and practices. This is a history we must work to correct.

We commit to continuing the efforts in each of our law schools to focus on issues of
racism, particularly anti-Black racism, and the role of law in maintaining those systems,
as we teach and learn with our students and as we examine and develop our curricular
offerings. We also commit to finding more opportunities to consider the ways in which
law can be a force for change in unsettling embedded racism. We will seek to advance
the goal of removing racism from the operation of the legal system through the clinical
and extra-curricular opportunities we provide to our students, in our student recruiting
and faculty hiring, in our support for the research communities examining these issues
and in our engagement with the broader legal community.