NDAs: A Toxic Bargain

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Today’s episode addresses the increasingly contentious and much-discussed issue of non-disclosure agreements in terminations for sexual misconduct. NDAs, as they are known, are sometimes justified as being in the interests of the victim – in fact, as the first part of this podcast reveals in a discussion with Julie on the defamation case against her, NDAs are commonly used by universities to quietly “pass-the-trash” to other schools, which then hire persons fired for sexual harassment and other misconduct with no knowledge of their history. Moreover, victims are sometimes pressured to sign an NDA as a “gag”, as the story of Dr. Emma Chapman, an astrophysicist at Imperial College London, and a member of the UK-based 1752 advocacy group, illustrates. Finally, Julie talks to Connor Spencer, chair of the national student group lobbying to address sexual violence cover-ups in universities across Canada, about how students view NDAs. This episode is being released on the day of a court hearing in Julie’s case against the University of Windsor insurer. Julie is presently being represented pro bono by the wonderful Natalie MacDonald. If you are interested in contributing to this cause, you can find a GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/EndNDAs. In other news: former Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin has written an article in Lawyers Daily summarizing some of the important discussions that took place at the Annual Summit of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters; the Law School Admissions Council announced last week that they will be implementing a new initiative to increase access to legal education, and access to law school more specifically; a recent article from the CBC analyzed the appointments of judges from 2016 to 2018, and noted that Canada's judiciary is gradually becoming more diverse; NSRLP is collecting survey data from self-represented litigants who have been labeled as “vexatious”, or been subject to a court restriction order; and finally, last week NSRLP published a blog post written by Honourable Robert Bauman, Chief Justice of British Columbia. For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/ndas-a-toxic-bargain/ Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Ali Tejani; promotion by Moya McAlister and Ali Tejani.

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