Typically, all teaching is challenging but this challenge becomes most apparent when it involves controversy. Teaching invites the process of experiencing the connection between oneself and the “other.” It is also the expression of power and cultural control. Customarily, courses are produced to protect and promote particular perspectives, and their meanings are always negotiated among more powerful participants. Courses that refuse to grapple with controversial topics affirm a certain privilege to particular cultural interpretations by supplying experiences from which inferences are quickly drawn. That is why, when the subject of controversy is taught, the teacher runs the risk of being set apart and relegated to the “margins” whenever specific canons of discipline are questioned. For introducing controversy places a teacher in a vulnerable position by acknowledging that the roles exist and need to be examined.
“The chameleon-like nature of the law-the duplicitous ways in which the law is written, the equivocal way in which it is stated and, therefore, talked about, the hiding of the truth about the resources which are expended in its implementation, the misleading way in which it casts the discretions it purports to take away and to give-its ideological functioning and its capacity to legitimate the illegitimate, all are put under the microscope in this study. It is a timely piece of work. It may make some readers uncomfortable, but it will leave no one untouched.” -H.J. Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus, Osgoode Hall Law School