Research Program 

As Research Director, I have commissioned four papers designed to provide the Review a sense of the available literature on a number of topics of relevance to its work. The papers do not necessarily represent the views of the Review and anyone can provide comments on the papers either to me or to Judge Epstein. Although each paper is substantial, all four also have an executive summary of their main findings and themes.


Professor Kyle Kirkup of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law has written a paper “Relations Between Police and the LGBTQ2S+ Communities”. It examines the history of both over policing in using criminal law against LGBTQ2S+ Communities and under policing in terms of failing effectively to respond to violence against those communities. It examines a variety of possible reform better to respect equality rights in policing.


Professor Sulaimon Giwa of the School of Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Chair of Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University and Michael Connors Jackman of the University of Vienna have written a paper: “Missing Persons and Police Interactions with People who Identify as LGBTQ2S+” which examines intersectionality including migration status and racialization faced by South Asian, Middle Eastern, Black, and Indigenous people as related to policing.


Another paper written by Professor Laura Huey of Western University and Director, Canadian Society of Evidence Based Policing provides a scan of research available in Canada about missing persons investigations. It is called: “An Absence of Evidence: Mapping the Evidence/Gaps, Themes and Other Issues with Canadian Research on Missing Persons”.  It finds only 16 Canadian studies and concludes that none of them “tells us anything about what actually works in relation to prevention, investigation, societal and institutional responses to the issue. Instead, public policy and practice in this area remains largely driven by “common sense,” untested “best practices”, institutional beliefs and personal opinion.”


Another paper by Doctor Karen Shalev-Greene who is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons and the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. It is called: “Missing Persons: Identifying Best Practice, Training and Research Needs”. It considers the definition of who is a missing person and the need to consider missing persons investigations to be a priority and linked to a wide range of criminal investigations. It also considers the organization of missing persons investigations within police services, training in missing persons investigations.  risk assessment and ratings, case management and communications with those who report a person missing. Like Professor Huey’s paper, Dr. Shalev-Greene’s paper also considers future research needs.


I hope these papers are of assistance to those in the community who are interested in the Review’s work and to the Review itself. Please do not hesitate to contact me at should you have any comments or concerns.


Kent Roach, C.M., F.R.S.C.

Research Director, Missing Persons Review and

Prichard-Wilson Chair n Law and Public Policy,

University of Toronto.