(September 2014) Advocate on behalf of women and girls in prison to receive honorary doctorate from Law Society

Law Society of Upper Canada –  For Immediate Release Sept. 16, 2014

Media Advisory

Advocate on behalf of women and girls in prison to receive honorary doctorate from Law Society

Toronto — A long-serving advocate for women and girls in prison will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from the Law Society in September.

Kim Pate, C.M., will receive the honorary degree at the Call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall on September 19, 2014. Ms. Pate’s biography follows below.

“The Law Society is extremely pleased to present an honorary LLD to Kim Pate in recognition of her extraordinary advocacy work on behalf of women and girls who have been criminalized or incarcerated. Her work has resulted in positive social change to marginalized women in Canadian society and progressive reforms to the criminal justice system,” says Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor.

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.

The Law Society will call more than 225 new lawyers to the Bar of Ontario at the September ceremony.

Media please note: Upon arrival at Roy Thomson Hall, please check in at the media desk. On-site interviews and photos may be arranged in advance. Please confirm your attendance in advance by contacting Lisa Hall at 416-947-7625 or

Lisa Hall
Communications Manager
The Law Society of Upper Canada
Osgoode Hall
130 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON M5H 2N6
Biography of Kim Pate, C.M.

Kim Pate, C.M., is a leading advocate for the rights of some of Canada’s most victimized, marginalized and criminalized — women and girls who are incarcerated or who have been in prison.

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 currently or have been imprisoned, including members of some of the most vulnerable groups in society.

Pate has been active on matters such as The Arbour Inquiry (1996), which investigated events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario. More recently, she has been involved in the inquest into the death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith while Smith was in prison.

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).

She is a part-time common law professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. On July 1, 2014, Pate began a one-year term as the Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law.

She has authored many articles in academic journals, such as Canadian Woman Studies and Journal of the Institute of Criminology. 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).

Pate is the recipient of many awards and honours. Most recently, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for advocating on behalf of women who are marginalized, victimized or incarcerated, and for her research on women in the criminal justice system (June 2014).

Among her other honours, Pate received the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Equality Award (2010), the Canadian Bar Association’s Touchstone Award for furthering equality in the legal community in Canada (2009), and the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship (2006).

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