We met with Professor Graham Hudson just four days after he defended his PhD thesis in October and found a humourous man who was full of relief and smiles.
Read on to get to know one of our researchers and his thoughts on his thesis, Ryerson, the Law Research Centre and how it feels to be the lead guitarist in the band Kitchen City Orphans.
… On His PhD
“It was a long process, a bit scary and I just defended on Monday, October 1 2012. I went through a three-hour grilling session, but it was all worth it. Regarding the topic of my PhD…Well, I kind of combined two topics. I looked at national security post-9/11. To be more exact, I was interested in security certificates, which are these interesting little documents that the Minister of Public Safety and Minister of Citizenship Immigration Canada issue against non-Citizens, who they allege to be terrorists or national security threats. Once they do that, they can indefinitely detain these individuals and can try to deport them. I was interested in looking at the human rights dimensions, as well as the security dimensions and wanted to know how these, at times competing, values interact. And the second component to my thesis was introducing comparative human rights to the discussion, for example how do the international community or other countries interact with these issues? So, that was that, 277 pages of those topics!
But in the end, I felt optimistic and encouraged. I found that the Canadian courts have really changed their attitudes since 2007! A lot still needs to be done, but we might be moving into the right direction.”
… On How His PhD Affects His Teaching
“In general, I would say that it is not my PhD that affects my teaching, but the other way around. Teaching made me confident enough to face the panel and most importantly to get rid of the jargon, this academic stuff that is often used to sound special.”
… On His Education
“I started at York University with a double major in history and philospohy, mainly because I have an attention deficit disorder and when you study philosophy you have to have your head in the clouds – so it was a match made in heaven. After, I got my JD at University of Toronto and graduated in 2005. I decided not to practice law and stay in school, because I am masochist. So, I went to Queen’s for a Masters and then I went to Osgoode for my PhD.”
… On Ryerson
“It is absolutely amazing. First of all I have to talk about the [Criminal Justice and Criminology] department. I came into an environment of total friendliness, where colleagues want to see you succeed. Ryerson itself is neat for having so much diversity and a lot of interesting perspectives from a lot of different parts of the world. Every day feels fresh because of it.”
… On the Law Research Centre
“It has been nice to be given the attachment to law, since there is no law school per se. I was worried that I would not have anyone to talk to in my kind of nerdy way. But I have met people through that. The events are terrific and the speaker and lunch series are so important, too. But most importantly, it is the interaction with students that makes it vital. Such tremendous work! We are going to have to keep doing what we are doing!”
… On Future Projects
“Yes, there are a couple. For one, I am collaborating with Prof. Emily Vandermeulen on the Bedford cases, which are the cases where the Ontario court system overturned provisions in the Criminal Code prohibiting prostitution. We are just about to finish the article and are hoping to have it published in our first-choice academic journal. And second, I am starting to shift gears away from terrorism towards international criminal law, which I think is becoming very, very important as Canada is more and more taking a role in enforcing international criminal law.”
… On Music
“It is therapy for me more than anything else. I don’t even know what to add…It gives me energy and it is a great way to connect with people in an intuitive and emotional way. So it is very different from my academic writing and it definitely got me through law school. I am not even ashamed that I am into country and jazz, so I joined a band called Kitchen City Orphans. We have a few shows in Toronto, we also play fundraisers and it would be incredible to tour the East coast. Soon, we will put up songs on the website - but again, I have to warn you, it is country music.”
Find more information on Prof. Hudson here http://www.ryerson.ca/criminaljustice/faculty/hudsong.html