Dr. Elaine Craig and Sunny Marriner are the 2019 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Co-Recipients

Oct 13, 2020Press Release

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is excited to announce Elaine Craig and Sunny Marriner as the 2019 Torys LLP Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award co-recipients.


Elaine Craig

Elaine Craig is an Associate Professor of Law at Dalhousie University.  Through her impeccable research, advocacy and academic writing, including her most recent publication, Putting Trials on Trial: Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession, she has redefined the ethical obligations of defence counsel in sexual assault trials. As well, Elaine successfully affected systemic change by initiating with three colleagues, the review that led to the public hearing and removal of former Justice Camp from the bench, followed by legislation to better educate judges on the pervasiveness of racist and sexist stereotypes in rape trials. Through her dedication and commitment, she has made a profound difference in the lives of women who are traumatized by sexual violence and later retraumatized by our legal system.  Through her research, she provides front-line advocates with concrete information that supports the women we serve.

Sunny Marriner

Sunny Marriner’s career spans more than 20 years of leadership in law reform for criminal justice treatment of sexual assault.  Among her most significant accomplishments is the implementation of the Philadelphia Model of Violence Against Women (VAW) Advocate Case Review to ensure thorough police investigations and accountability,  for which Sunny is recognized as the Canadian expert. This model mandates feminist frontline advocates to review thoroughly and make recommendations on sexual assault and domestic violence investigations that fail to result in charges, including those that police have closed as “unfounded.” Her advocacy to mobilize frontline women’s groups, and to educate the police, government and broader community on the need for police accountability, was the subject of the Globe and Mail’s 2017 expose of “Unfounded” rape allegations by police.


 About the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer – an idealistic young lawyer whose life was cut short by violence on the night of her call to the bar of Ontario on April 11, 1980. In her memory, the Clinic is a multi-disciplinary, front-line service provider that assists more than 7,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation, and language interpretation. Since it was founded in 1985, the Clinic has assisted more than 67,000 women.


Previous Award Recipients

Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Recipients, left to right: Leilani Farha 2013; Geri Sanson 2014, Deepa Mattoo 2015, Fay Faraday 2016, Loly Rico 2017, Dawn Lavell-Harvard 2018

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