Long-serving women’s rights advocate fêted
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A long-serving advocate on behalf of imprisoned women and girls will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from the Law Society at Friday’s Call to the Bar ceremony in Toronto.
Kim Pate, C.M., who most recently was involved in the inquest into the death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith while Smith was in prison, will receive an LLD honoris causa at the upcoming Roy Thomson Hall ceremony.
“The Law Society is extremely pleased to present this honorary degree to Kim Pate in recognition of her extraordinary advocacy work on behalf of women and girls who have been criminalized or incarcerated,” Treasurer Janet E. Minor said.
“Her work has resulted in positive social change to marginalized women in Canadian society and progressive reforms to the criminal justice system.”
Since 1992, Pate has served as executive director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which provide support and advocacy for women and girls who are incarcerated or who have been in prison.
Pate has also been active on matters such as The Arbour Inquiry (1996), which investigated events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario.
A teacher and a lawyer by training, Pate received her B.Ed P.D.P.P., at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Education (1981) and then earned her LLB from Dalhousie University, Faculty of Law (1984).
In 2007, she received her M.Sc.Dip (Forensic Mental Health) from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia (2007).
Pate was recently appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her advocacy on behalf of women and girls who are marginalized, victimized or incarcerated, and for her research on women in the criminal justice system (June 2014).
Pate is a part-time common law professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
On July 1, she began a one-year term as the Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law.
Pate has acted as a mentor and guide to women and law students, and additionally, served on the advisory board of the National Women’s Legal Mentoring Program (2002-13).
The Law Society confers LLDs, honoris causa, in recognition of outstanding achievements in service and benefit to the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice.
Honorary LLD recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the new lawyers attending the Call ceremonies.
More than 225 new Ontario lawyers will be called to the Bar on Friday.