CrimSL at the 2018 LSA Conference

June 11, 2018

Miikwa-Colour_500The 2018 meeting of the Law and Society Association (LSA), ‘Law at the crossroads,’ was held in Toronto from June 7th to 10th. The conference brought together scholars from around the world to a forum for discussion on myriad topics in the areas of legal research, sociolegal studies, criminology, and more. The Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies was well represented, with CrimSL faculty, PhD students, and alumni were among the conference organizers, volunteers, session chairs, discussants and presenters.

Professor Mariana Valverde was program chair for the conference and Centre Director Audrey Macklin was chair of the Local Arrangements Committee. Professor Valverde was also a discussant for two sessions and presented at the Law and Society Association/Canadian Law and Society Association Junior Scholars Workshops on June 6th.

The conference program featured research by many current PhD students at the Centre: “Making Enemies: Military Justice, Civilian Protesters and ‘Treason Against the Homeland’ in Venezuela,” by Giancarlo Fiorella; “The Power and Limits of Judicial Review: Analyzing the Interaction between the Court and the Police Complaints System in Producing ‘Accountability,’” by Jihyun Kwon; “Halfway House Residency, Reentry, and Desistance: The Narratives of Indigenous Ex-Prisoners,” Katharina Maier; “Implicating the state: the production and authorization of Indigenous people’s social histories in Canada, from Indian Agents to Gladue Reports,” by Jacquie Briggs; and “Power and order in a non-traditional prison. The case of Punta de Rieles prison in Uruguay,” by Fernando Avila. “The Queen’s Red Children: Commissions, Law & Empire in Canada,” by Mayana Slobodian was accepted for presentation at the conference, and her presence there was missed by friends and colleagues. The session Kinder, Gentler, More Benevolent: Interrogating the Myth of Canada’s Liberal Settler Colonialism was chaired by PhD student Jacquie Briggs, with CrimSL Professor Catherine Evans and PhD student Mayana Slobodian scheduled as discussants.

Centre faculty also presented research, including “Old Age and Law in the British Empire” by CrimSL Professor Catherine Evans. “Police unionism and ‘lawfare’ in postcolonial India” by CrimSL Professor Beatrice Jauregui; “Property as a Site of Colonial Contestation: The Legal Form and the Legality of Anti-Colonial Protest” by CrimSL Professor Honor Brabazon; and “Police, Politics, and Demobilization: Exploring Policy Feedback Effects in Britain” by Ayobami Laniyonu, who will join the Centre in 2019. Finally, CrimSL Professor Matthew Light was a reader in one of the Author Meets Reader sessions, Recent Socio-Legal Books on Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union.


Congratulations to 2018 LSA Graduate Student Paper Prize winner Ayobami Laniyonu

May 22, 2018

Photo of Ayobami LaniyonuAyobami Laniyonu, who will be joining the Centre in July 2019 as an assistant professor, has been awarded the 2018 Law and Society Association Graduate Student Paper Prize for “Coffee Shops and Street Stops: Policing Practices in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” The Law and Society Association presents this award to the graduate student paper that best represents outstanding law and society research.

From the awards announcement: “This article explores the effect of gentrification and neighborhood change on policing patterns. Ayobami approaches the challenging topic of spatial implications of the postindustrial policing hypothesis. Analyzing recently released quantitative data from New York City, Ayobami tests the implications of the extant research, finding a strong and positive association between gentrification and Stop-and-Frisk police stops. His article emphasizes the importance of spatial dimensions in the analysis of urban policing. Ayobami’s work was nominated by Professor Mona Lynch.” Laniyonu wrote a blog post discussing the research published in this prize-winning paper for the Urban Affairs Forum.

Laniyonu is currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research scientist at the Center for Policing Equity. His research explores the impact of the criminal justice system on political behavior and the impact of urban revitalization on policing practices.

This prize, and the other 2018 LSA awards, will be presented at the International Meeting in Toronto on Thursday, June 7 at 1:30 pm. Congratulations to Ayobami and to all of the award winners!


CrimSL PhD student collaborates on open-source investigation of political violence

May 14, 2018

Screenshot from the navigable three-dimensional digital platform that shows a model of the safe house and the environment of El Junquito around itSince early this year, CrimSL PhD student Giancarlo Fiorella has been collaborating with the Bellingcat Investigation Team and Forensic Architecture on an open source investigation into the events that lead to the death of Óscar Pérez in a raid on a safe house in El Junquito, Venezuela on January 15, 2018.

On May 13, 2018, the team published a report, in English and Spanish, researched and authored by Fiorella and Aliaume Leroy, of the Bellingcat Investigation Team, which describes the investigation so far. Fiorella and Leroy also published an op-ed in the New York Times appealing to members of the public to help with the investigation by getting in touch with videos, photos and details from El Junquito the morning of the raid.

The team is using open-source forensics—collecting, identifying, verifying, and plotting in space and time available media online to reconstruct a narrative—and have located about 60 pieces of evidence, including tweets, videos, and photos from citizens, security forces, and Pérez himself, and leaked audio of police radio communications, within a navigable three-dimensional digital platform that shows a model of the safe house and the environment of El Junquito around it.

Fiorella, whose research interests centre on political violence in Venezuela, protest policing, and social movements, wrote that “working on this report made me gain a new perspective on the incredible work that Venezuelan journalists are doing, in the most adverse conditions possible. We could not have concluded this report without their tireless efforts to uncover the truth and reveal it to others.”

A note for prospective students: the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies does not have a program in forensic studies. You can learn more about the University of Toronto Mississauga undergraduate forensic science program from their website or by contacting their office at 905-828-3726.


More CrimSL news >>


Criminological HighlightsCriminological Highlights is designed to provide an accessible look at some of the more interesting criminological research that is currently being published. Its focus is on research that is policy relevant. It is produced by a group of about a dozen academics and professional librarians including faculty from the University of Toronto and nearby universities and doctoral students at the University of Toronto. The project is directed by Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner.

In the Current Issue (Vol 17, No 3), we ask:

  1. Does pretrial detention for people accused of minor crimes contribute to public safety?
  2. What approach to reducing firearms deaths might work?
  3. How are youth justice policies and health care needs linked?
  4. When homicide rates suddenly spike, should we be worried?
  5. How do former prisoners get jobs?
  6. What are some of the necessary conditions that one should look for in youth justice treatment programs?
  7. What kinds of jobs in a community might help reduce recidivism among those being released from prison?
  8. Are youths who have been found guilty of homicide offences especially dangerous when they are released into the community?

Special Issues:

  1. Research on Public Confidence in the Criminal Justice System
  2. The Effects of Imprisonment: Specific Deterrence and Collateral Effects
  3. Issues related to Harsh Sentences and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: General Deterrence and Incapacitation
  4. Sex Offenders and Society’s Responses to Them
  5. Understanding the Impact of Police Stops

Browse our complete Archives

Our Land Acknowledgement


On March 23, emeritus Centre professors Anthony Doob & Rosemary Gartner presented a report called “Understanding the Impact of Police Stops” to the Toronto Police Services Board.

Download their report here!

Peter Rosenthal — adjunct professor of law and professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Toronto — wrote a Toronto Star op-ed about their presentation: “Compelling report must end harmful carding practice by police.”

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undergraduateGraduateThe Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies is a research and teaching unit at the University of Toronto. Founded in 1963 by Professor John Edwards, the Centre’s faculty and students study crime, order and security from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches. With backgrounds in sociology, history, law, psychology, philosophy and political science, the faculty are actively engaged in Canadian and international criminological research.

The Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies offers a graduate program for masters and doctoral students. The undergraduate Criminology and Sociolegal Studies Program is administered through the Woodsworth College. The Centre’s library (the Criminology Information Service) houses the leading Canadian research collection of criminological material, consisting of more than 25, 000 books, journals, government reports, statistics and other documents.