We hear about terrible acts of violence every day: stories of mass shootings, gang hits and tragedies borne of domestic disputes all over North America. But what leads some individuals to commit violent acts? Is it something we’re all capable of or are some people wired differently? Some believe easy access to guns and other weapons is the problem and that better gun control laws are required. Others suggest we need to focus on identifying violent people before they act. How can our society better understand the root causes of violence and take steps towards eradicating it?
This event took place on December 3, 2012, at the Pinnacle at the Pier Hotel in North Vancouver.
Susana da Silva, BA’02 – Video Journalist, CBC Vancouver
Janine Benedet, LLB’93 – Associate Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law; Director, Centre for Feminist Legal Studies
Richard Konarski, Officer in Charge, Mission RCMP Detachment
Stephen Porter, MA’94, PhD’98 – Professor of Psychology; Founding Director, Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science & Law (CAPSL), UBC’s Okanagan Campus
Edward Taylor, Director, School of Social Work; Associate Dean, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC’s Okanagan Campus
Susana da Silva joined the CBC team in 2005. She has spent the last year anchoring CBC Vancouver’s Late Night News and now is happy to be back in the field reporting. She is a VJ which means she often shoots and edits her own stories. She has a Political Science Degree from UBC and a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from BCIT. This UBC Dialogues topic is one that is right up her alley, as over her 7 years with the CBC she has covered many of those acts of violence that have prompted discussions like this one.
Janine Benedet joined Peter A. Allard School of Law as an Associate Professor in 2005. This appointment represents a return not only to her alma mater but also to the city that she has always considered home. Her first stop after her L.L.B. graduation was a clerkship with fellow UBC alumnus Justice Frank Iacobucci at the Supreme Court of Canada. That was followed by graduate studies – leading to both an LL.M. and an S.J.D. – at the University of Michigan, where she also did some teaching as a Visiting Faculty Fellow. She practiced labour law in Toronto from 1997 to 1999, and was a member of faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School from 1999-2005. She is a member of the bar in both Ontario and British Columbia.
Professor Benedet’s areas of teaching expertise include criminal law, labour law, administrative law, professional responsibility and anti-discrimination law. Her current research focuses on sexual violence against women, including prostitution, pornography and sexual assault. She is currently researching reforms to Canada’s prostitution laws that would support prostitution abolition, as well as the criminal law’s treatment of capacity and voluntariness to consent to sexual contact.
Inspector Richard Konarski has been a member of the RCMP since 1977. He has had a range of experience in Detachments throughout British Columbia, policing from an isolated four-person Detachment in Port McNeill to the RCMP’s largest municipal Detachment in Surrey. He has worked in a variety of functions including general duty policing, serious crime investigations, and polygraph. He has spent over a decade enhancing the RCMP’s response to domestic violence investigations. He was the Operations Support Officer with the Langley RCMP from November 2005 to June 2011 where he successfully implemented the Langley Domestic Violence Pilot that introduced a victim-centred, safety-focused, evidence-based investigational process. The practices in that pilot have been incorporated into the Solicitor-General’s mandatory domestic violence e-learning, as well as forming the core of the revised RCMP “E” Division (BC) Violence in Relationships Policy.
Inspector Konarski completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University (SFU) in June 1993 with a major in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. He completed his Master of Arts degree from SFU in February 2003. His Master’s thesis examined the criminal justice response to domestic violence and the phenomenon of recanting victims. Inspector Konarski is now a doctoral candidate at SFU and he is pursuing his PhD in the topic area of risk assessment in domestic violence investigations.
Inspector Konarski is presently the Officer in Charge of the Mission RCMP Detachment.
Dr. Stephen Porter received his Ph.D. in forensic psychology at UBC and currently is a researcher and consultant in the area of psychology and law. After working as a prison psychologist, Dr. Porter spent a decade as a professor at Dalhousie. In 2009, he transferred to UBC-Okanagan where he assumed a position as a professor of psychology and the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science & Law (CAPSL). Dr. Porter has published numerous scholarly articles on psychopathy and violent behaviour, deception detection, and forensic aspects of memory with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). As a registered forensic psychologist in British Columbia, Dr. Porter is frequently consulted by Canadian courts and has been qualified as an expert witness in various areas, including “dangerousness and risk for violence” and “memory and the factors involved in credibility assessments”. He has been consulted by police in serious crime investigations and provides training in deception detection and psychopathy to law enforcement, mental health professional groups, government agencies, journalists, trial judges, and other adjudicators. He proudly hails from Deer Lake, NL.
Recent awards include an operating grant (2010-2013) from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), a discovery grant (2010-2015) from the Natural Sciences and Engineer Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The Porter Lab was also awarded the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Leader’s Opportunity Fund (2010). Dr.Porter is a co-author (with Lawrence Wrightsman) of the textbook Forensic Psychology: A Canadian Perspective (Thomson Nelson), second edition being released in 2013.