The Colour of Justice

Policing Race in Canada

Overview

The colour of justice in Canada is largely driven by stereotypical assumptions about crime and those who commit it. Over the last few years, the use of race, ethnicity, and religion as indicators of suspicion by the police and security officials has come under scrutiny. The focus, however, has largely been on the American experience. The Colour of Justice provides the first comprehensive look at racial profiling in Canada. Its aim is to foster understanding and reform. The book uses social science evidence, judicial decisions, commission findings, government and police documents, narratives, and media reports to provide the answers to the following questions: When should policing be characterized as racial profiling? Why does it occur? How pervasive is it? What damage does it cause? Is it ever reasonable? How do we stop it?

David M. Tanovich is one of Canada’s leading experts in the area of systemic racism and criminal justice. As a lawyer, he argued the first appellate case to address racial profiling (R. v. Richards). As a law professor at the University of Windsor, he has written extensively in the area of racial profiling and has been invited across Canada to present his research. His work has been cited by Canadian courts, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and academics in both Canada and the United States.

Reviews

"...a fine book. It will make a major contribution to the literature on racial profiling and racism in the Canadian criminal justice system.”

Scot Wortley, Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, and author of “Bias Free Policing”

"'The colour of justice in Canada is White.' With that statement begins a new book by law professor David Tanovich. Blunt first sentence aside, Professor Tanovich is not engaged in an overheated polemic. His book is a well-researched and calmly-reasoned exploration of racial profiling in Canada, which some argue is one of the most important, and controversial, issues facing the criminal justice system in Canada. Professor Tanovich explores the meaning of the phrase, it's history, and the issue of race on how justice is meted out in this country. He knows of what he speaks. He teaches law at the University of Windsor and is an expert in the area of systemic racism and the legal system. He argued the first appellate case to address racial profiling, R v. Richards. The book is called, The Colour of Justice, Policing Race in Canada."

Michael Enright, The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio, June 25, 2006

"...a book that should be read by every legislator, judge and concerned citizen in the country.... The book is rendered in prose that is both lucid and eloquent, and the scholarship in impeccable. Buy this book, read it carefully, and then send a your copy to your MP."

Tom Sandborn, Board of Directors, BC Civil Liberties Association, in Columbia Journal

"...Tanovich takes us through the cases and lays bares the facts. For some readers, his book will be an affirmation of lived experience. For others, it should be the latest in a body of evidence that can no longer be denied. It should spark reform."

Royson James, municipal affairs columnist for The Toronto Star, in Literary Review of Canada, vol. 14, No. 6

"I welcome, and highly recommend, this important contribution to the scarce published material on the meaning, measurement and management of racial profiling in Canada.... This book rightly challenges all in the criminal justice system to help police services maintain and enhance their operational integrity."

William Closs, Kingston Chief of Police

"This is an exceptional book, beautifully written and readable. It will leave a large and important mark."

David Paciocco, law professor and author of Getting Away with Murder

"...for those who are unfamiliar with the topic, this book is an excellent introduction to it. Professor Tanovich brings the material on racial profiling together for the first time in an accessible and easily understood way. He eschews jargon, provides precise definitions of the terminology he employs, and seamlessly weaves together the various strands of his argument. This book is therefore a valuable addition to the expanding literature on racial profiling in Canada."

Dale E. Ives, Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario, in Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, Vol. 22, Dec. 2006

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING RACIAL PROFILING
Chapter 1: What Is It?
Chapter 2: Exposed
Chapter 3: Adjusting Our Lens

PART TWO: HOW PERVASIVE IS RACIAL PROFILING IN CANADA?
Chapter 4: Social Science and Beyond
Chapter 5: The War on Drugs
Chapter 6: The War on Gangs
Chapter 7: The War on Terrorism

PART THREE: MOVING FORWARD
Chapter 8: Litigating Cases
Chapter 9: Rethinking the Use of Race in Suspect Descriptions
Chapter 10: Legislative Reform

Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

Of interest...