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Sophie de Saussure

  • Scholar 2017
  • Alumni
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University of Ottawa

    Sophie de Saussure is a legal expert and a doctoral candidate in law at the University of Ottawa and is a member of the Canada Research Chair in Legal Traditions and Penal Rationality. Sophie holds bachelor of law degrees from the Université de Genève and the Université de Montréal, a master's of law in criminal justice from the Université de Lausanne in Switzerland, and a certificate in criminology from the Université de Montréal. She worked as a litigation associate in a major Montréal law firm before beginning her PhD.

    Sophie's main interest lies in penal sociology, in the obstacles to evolution and innovation  in the criminal justice system, and in human rights. Her doctoral work focuses on the sentencing process, particularly the way that it might better take offenders' social ties into account. She has received several scholarships to conduct her research, including the SSHRC's prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. The SSHRC also gave her an honourable mention in honour of Nelson Mandela.

    Convinced of the need to pair her academic work with community engagement, Sophie uses various volunteer activities to engage with her research population. She works with the organization Continuité Famille Auprès des Détenues (CFAD)in Montréal, where she supports in their homework children whose mothers have a criminal record. She also takes part in "Mommy reads to me," a program set up by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada that gives imprisoned women the means to record themselves reading stories for their children. This program helps children and their mothers to maintain links despite being separated.