Dr. Lori Chambers

Adjunct, Chair, Professor
+1 (807)-343-8010ext. 8218
Ryan Building 2021
After class or by appointment.
Academic Qualifications: 

BA Honours, McMaster University, 1988

MA, McMaster University, 1989

PhD, University of Toronto, 1993

Date joined Lakehead: 
August, 1999
Previous Teaching/Work: 

I have written books on marital property law, the historical legal treatment of unwed mothers, the legal history of child adoption in Ontario, and, most recently, legal responses to women who fight back against domestic abuse. I teach courses about: contemporary feminist theory; the history of gender/women and the law; gender-based violence; gender, crime and criminality; feminist action for social change; and gender and sport.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, class of 2021. 

Research Interests: 

I am currently engaged in multiple research projects related to gender-based violence.

Dr. Angela Hovey, Dr. Susan Scott, Lakehead Orillia, Social Work, and I are completing a quantitative study of police response data with regard to intimate partner violence. This project is funded by both SSHRC and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Also with Drs. Hovey and Scott, I am working on a project on harm reduction based approaches in shelters. This project recently won the Community Engaged Research Award, Lakehead University.

Dr. Nadia Verrelli and I have just completed a book on the Supreme Court Case, R. v. Ryan, in which a severely abused woman attempted to hire a hit man to kill her husband. The book is titled, No Legal Way Out: R. v. Ryan, Domestic Abuse and The Defence of Duress. 

Dr. Verrelli and I have also completed an historical study of R. v. Whynott, an early case in which a woman who killed her husband in the context of abuse was acquitted by a jury.

Finally, with Dr. Verrelli, I am currently writing an alternative feminist judgment for Cotton v. Berry. In a previous article, we critiqued this decision in which a father's unsupervised time with his children was expanded, only for him to shortly thereafter murder both children while exercising this access. In this feminist re-visioning of the case, we aim to provide a model for recognizing coercive control and its risks for children. All my projects with Dr. Verrelli are funded by SSHRC. 

Dr. Jodie Murphy-Oikonen, Dr. Karen McQueen, Ainsley Miller (Ph.D. candidate) and I have just completed a project in which we interviewed women who have experienced sexual violence and were not believed by police. We also interviewed police officers who process sexual violence cases. This project is funded by SSHRC.  

This group has recently received new funding from SSHRC for a project exploring the specific experiences of sexual and gender minority victims of sexual violence who report to police and other formal support agencies. 

Select Publications


Chambers, L. and Sangster, J. (eds). Essays in the History of Canadian Law Volume XII: New Perspectives on Gender and the Law (Osgoode Society for Legal History and the University of Toronto Press, manuscript reviewed and approved, forthcoming 2023).

Verrelli, N., and Chambers, L.  No Legal Way Out: R. v Ryan, Domestic Abuse, and the Defence of Duress (University of British Columbia Press for the Landmark Cases in Canadian Law Series, 2021).

Chambers, L.  A Legal History of Adoption in Ontario, 1921-2015. (University of Toronto Press/Osgoode Society Press, 2016).

Chambers, LMisconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969. (University of Toronto Press/Osgoode Society Press, 2007).  Recipient of Alison Prentice Award as best book in Canadian Women’s History, 2008. Nominated for the Legislature Award, 2013.

Chambers, LMarried Women and Property Law in Victorian Ontario, (University of Toronto Press/Osgoode Society Press, 1997).  Recipient of Alison Prentice Award as best book in Canadian Women’s History, 2000.

Articles in Journals

Gerrits, B., Verrelli, N., and Chambers, L.   “From Pride to Lies: English-Language Print Media Coverage of Supreme Court of Canada Decisions on Women’s Defensive Violence”, forthercoming, Journal of Canadian Studies, 2023.   

Murphy-Oikonen, J., Chambers, L., McQueen, K., and Miller, A.  “Investigative Challenges: Police Experiences of Responding to Sexual Assault”, Police Practice and Research: https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2022.2154210.   

Murphy-Oikonen, J., Chambers, L., Miller, A., and McQueen, K.  “Sexual Assault Case Attrition: The Voices of Survivors”, Sage Open: https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440221144612.   

Murphy-Oikonen, J., McQueen, K., Miller, A., and Chambers, L.  “Gatekeeping: Police Culture, Discretionary Processes, and Empathy in Response to Sexual Assault”, Crime and Delinquency: https://doi.org/10.1177/00111287221143944

Hovey, A., Scott, S., Chambers, L., and Rye, BJ.  “Repeated Domestic Violence Police Calls: A Closer Look at Three Case Situations”, Partner Abuse, 14 (1) (January 2023): https://doi.org/10.1891/PA-2022-0011. 

Hovey, A., Rye, BJ., George, E., Scott, S., and Chambers, L.  “Impact of Presence of Children in Police Response to Intimate Partner Violence Calls”, Child Maltreatmen 28 (3) (2023): https://doi.org/10.1177/10775595221147315

Gerrits, B., Verrelli, N., and Chambers, L.  “Understanding Women Who Try to Kill their Abusers: Print Media Coverage of R. v. Ryan”, Canadian Journal of Communications 46 (3) (2021), 523-534. 

McQueen, K., Murphy, J., Miller, A., and Chambers, L.  “Sexual Assault: Women’s Voices on the Health Impacts of Not Being Believed”, BMC Women’s Health, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-021-01358-6

Murphy, J., Chambers, L., McQueen, K., Hiebert, A., and Miller, A.  “Sexual Assault: Indigenous Women’s Experiences of Being Disbelieved by Police”, Violence Against Women, April 14, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org.10.1177/10778012211013903

Murphy, J., McQueen, K., Miller, A., Chambers, L., and Hiebert, A.  “Unfounded Sexual Assault: Women’s Stories of Not Being Believed by Police”, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, December 11, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org.10.1177/0886260920978190.

Roth, J., and Chambers, L. “Transversal and Postmodern Feminist Praxis: Exploring the Use of Theory in Identifying Effective Anti-Islamophobic Discourse Strategies Online”, Atlantis 40 (1) (2019), 1-17.

Chambers, L.  “Fanning the Flames: Racism in Government Recommendations for the Prevention of Deaths by Fire in First Nations”, submitted to Canadian Journal of Native Studies 38 (2) (2019), 25-42.

Hovey, A., Roberts, C., Scott, S., and Chambers, L.  “Understanding the Landscape of Substance Use Management Practices in VAW Shelters across Ontario”, Journal of Family Violence (2019): DOI: 1007/s10896-019-00056-0.

Toombs, E., Drawson, A., Chambers, L., Bobinski, T., Dixon, J., and Mushquash, C.  “Building Community Resiliency: A reflexive approach to empirical work with Canadian First Nations communities”, International Journal of Indigenous Health 12 (2) (2018): https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj.

Chambers, L., Zweep, D.,  and Verrelli, N.  “Paternal Filicide and Coercive Control: A Review of the Evidence in Cotton v. Berry, University of British Columbia Law Review 51 (3) (2018).

Stinchcombe, A., Kortez-Miller, K., and Chambers, L.  “Physical and mental health inequalities among aging lesbian, gay, and bisexual Canadians: results from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)”, Canadian Journal of Public Health, 2018.

Alaimo, L., Chambers, L. and Puddephatt, T.  “Images of Marie Curie: How Reputational Entrepreneurs Shape Iconic Identities”, Engaging Science, Technology and Society, 4 (2018): http://www.estsjournal.org.

Chambers, L.  “Boil-Water Advisories and Government (In)Action: The Politics of Indigenous People and Potable Water in Pikangikum First Nation”, Journal of Canadian Studies, 51 (2) (spring 2017), 289-310.

Burnett, K., Skinner, K., Hay, T., LeBlanc, J., and Chambers, L.  “Retail Food Environments, Shopping Experiences, First Nations, and the Provincial Norths”, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, 37 (10) (summer 2017): https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/reports-publications/health-promotion-chronic-disease-prevention-canada-research-policy-practice/vol-37-no-10-2017/retail-food-environments-shopping-first-nations-provincial-norths.html.

Chambers, L., and Verrelli, N.  “A Missed Opportunity: The Investigation of the RCMP in Matters Related to R. v. Ryan”, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 32 (1) (spring 2017), 117-136.   

Chambers, L., and Burnett, K.  “Jordan’s Principle: The Struggle to Accees On-Reserve Medical Care for High Needs Indigenous Children in Canada”, American Indian Quarterly, (2) (spring 2017), 101-124. 

MacLean, J., Verrelli, N., and Chambers, L.  “Battered Women and Duress: A Critique of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in R. v. Ryan”, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 29 (1) (spring 2017), 60-82. 

Nicholas, J., and Chambers, L.  “In Search of the Monkey Girl: Disability, Child Welfare and the Freak Show in Ontario in the 1970s”, Journal of Canadian Studies, 50 (3) (fall 2016), 639-668. 

Rahmath-Ansari, S., Chambers, L., and Wakewich, P.  “Veiled Women in Canada: Motivations and Experiences”, Women’s Studies International Forum, 58 (September-October 2016), 34-40.   

Book Chapters

Nigro, L,, Chambers, L., and Beaulieu, M.S.  “Women Not Welcome: Martinie v. the Italian Society of Port Arthur”, in Essays in the History of Canadian Law Volume XII: New Perspectives on Gender and the Law, eds. Lori Chambers and Joan Sangster (Toronto: University of Toronto Press/Osgoode Society for Legal History, forthcoming 2023).

Verrelli, N., and Chambers, L.R. v. Whynot (Stafford): The Forgotten Predecessor to R. v. Lavallee”, in Rethinking Feminist History and Theory, ed. Julia Smith and Lisa Paseolli (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2023).

 Andrews, V., and Chambers, L. “Adoptions Records in Ontario: Secrecy and the Movement for Reform”, in Ontario Since Confederation, 2nd edition, ed. James Onusko and Dimitri Anastakis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2023).

Hovey, A., Scott, S., and Chambers, L. “Can Mothers Keep their Children Safe in Domestic Violence Shelters that Implement Harm Reduction Approaches?”. In Mothering on the Edge: A Critical Examination of Mothering Within Child Protection, ed. Brooke Richardson. (Toronto: Demeter Press, forthcoming 2023).

Chambers, L.  “The Law and Unintended Consequences: The Reforms of 1969 and the Rise of International Adoption”.  In The Reforms of 1969, eds. Christopher Dummitt and Christabelle Sethna. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2020).   

Burnett, K., Stettner, S., and Chambers, L.  “Realizing Reproductive Justice in Canadian History”. In Readings in Canadian Women’s and Gender History, eds. Nancy Janovicek and Carmen Nielson. (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019).  

Hay, T., Burnett, K., and Chambers, L.  “’A Tragedy to be Sure”: Heteropatriarchy, Historical Amnesia and Housing Crises in the Canadian North”.  In Understanding Atrocities, ed. Scott Murray.  (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2017).  

Chambers, L.  “Indigenous Children and Provincial Child Welfare: The ‘Sixties Scoop’”. In Aboriginal History in Canada, eds. Kristin Burnett and Geoff Read.  Second edition (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2016).



In the News:

September 7, 2021

Royal Society of Canada will honour two Lakehead...

On Friday, Nov. 19, Dr. Lori Chambers will be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (...


October 18, 2016

Asserting citizenship: Muslim women's...

In Canada, hijab wearing Muslim women have increasingly faced discrimination in the post 9–11 era....