She attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a B.A. in 1967 and an LL.B. in 1970. In 1964 she graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in classical piano. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1972 and practiced civil and criminal litigation until 1976 when she was appointed to the Ontario Family Court at the age of 29, the youngest and first pregnant person appointed to the judiciary in Canada. She was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1992.
She was the sole Commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, creating the term and concept of "employment equity". The theories of "equality" and "discrimination" she developed in her Report were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in its first decision dealing with equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1989. The report has been implemented by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, Northern Ireland and South Africa. She subsequently served as Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (1984 to 1989), Chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission (1989 to 1992), and Boulton Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill University (1988 to 1992). She also served as a commissioner on the Ontario Human Rights Commission; as a member of the Ontario Public Service Labour Relations Tribunal; as Co-Chair of the University of Toronto Academic Discipline Tribunal; as a member of the Premier's Advisory Committee on Confederation; and as Chair of the Study on Access to Legal Services by the Disabled.
She has written over 90 articles and written or co-edited four books. She was made a Senior Fellow of Massey College in 1989, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1997, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. She has given, among others, the Harlan Lecture at Princeton, the Ryan Lecture at Georgetown, the Winchester Lecture at Oxford, the Anderson Lecture at Yale, and was the Bullock Chair at the Hebrew University, the Mackenzie King Distinguished Visiting Professor at Harvard, the Floersheimer Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Cardozo, a Distinguished Visiting Faculty at the University of Toronto Law School, and Bright International Jurist in Residence at the University of Hawaii School of Law.
She was a judge of the Giller Literary Prize; Chair of the Rhodes Selection Committee for Ontario; director of the Institute for Research on Public Policy; moderator of the English Language Leaders’ Debate in 1988; a member of the Canadian Judicial Council’s Inquiry on Donald Marshall, Jr.; Program Chair of the Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference; Chief Rapporteur in Halifax and Co-Chair in Vancouver of the 1992 Renewal of Canada Conferences; Trustee of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada; Governor of the International Board of Governors of the Hebrew University; and Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute.
Justice Abella has been active in Canadian judicial education, organizing the first judicial seminar in which all levels of the judiciary participated, the first judicial seminar in which persons outside the legal profession were invited to participate, the first national education program for administrative tribunals, and the first national conference for Canada's female judges.
Justice Abella was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law; the Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario); the International Justice Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation; the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews; the Honourable Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award; and the Bora Laskin Award for Distinguished Service in Labour Law. She has 35 honourary degrees.
Justice Abella was born in a Displaced Person's Camp in Stuttgart, Germany on July 1, 1946. Her family came to Canada as refugees in 1950. She is the daughter of Jacob and Fanny Silberman. She is married to Canadian historian Irving Abella and they have two sons, Jacob and Zachary, both lawyers.
Barak began his association with the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University as a law student in 1955, going on to become a faculty member and a Dean of the Faculty in 1974-1975. As an Attorney General and Justice of the Supreme Court, Barak continued to teach at the Faculty, and he regards the Faculty not only as his Alma Mater but also as his intellectual home. It was thus only natural that upon Barak's retirement from the bench, the Faculty decided to honor his commitment and devotion to the Hebrew University and his contributions to Israeli law and society through the establishment of the Aharon Barak Center for Interdisciplinary Legal Research.
He has published broadly in his principal areas of research and is the author of Law’s Religion: Religious Difference and the Claims of Constitutionalism (University of Toronto Press, 2015). His work has appeared in multiple edited collections and in legal and interdisciplinary journals such as: Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence; Law, Culture and the Humanities; McGill Law Journal; Osgoode Hall Law Journal; ICON; and the Journal of Comparative Law. He is the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and is an associate editor for the Hart Publishing series Constitutional Systems of the World. He is also co-editor of The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies, published by UBC Press in October 2008. He received the 2010 Canadian Association of Law Teacher’s Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled “The Abiding Presence of Conscience: Criminal Justice Against the Law and the Modern Constitutional Imagination.”
Professor Berger is active in professional and public education, is involved in public interest advocacy, and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada. While at UVic Law, Professor Berger twice received the Terry J. Wuester Teaching Award, and was awarded the First Year Class Teaching Award; he received the Osgoode Hall Law School Teaching Award in 2013. He was awarded the Canadian Association of Law Teacher’s Prize for Academic Excellence in 2015.
Professor Berger convenes the Osgoode Colloquium in Law, Religion & Social Thought.
An international human rights lawyer, he has served as counsel to prisoners of conscience including Andrei Sakharov and Natan Sharansky (Soviet Union), Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Egypt) and, more recently, imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, and the imprisoned Baha'i leadership in Iran. He was also a member of the International Commission of Inquiry On the Fate and Whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg, which was reported in June, 1990.
Among his recent honors, he was the first Canadian recipient of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation’s Centennial Medal; the first recipient of the Roméo Dallaire Award for Human Rights Leadership; was elected 2014 Canadian Parliamentarian of the Year by his colleagues; and received the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Inaugural Human Rights Award. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian award.
He was awarded prestigious competitive grants among others by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Foundation of Legal Research of the Canadian Bar Association and has written extensively in his areas of expertise, including a monograph on Financing Consumer Sales and Product Defences in Canada and the US (Toronto: Carswell, 1984), a treatise on the Law of Electronic Funds Transfer (New York: Matthew Bender, 1992, kept current with annual updates, since 1997 with contributors), a comparative law text on Bank Collections and Payment Transactions (Oxford: OUP, 2001), and a monograph on The Payment Order of Antiquity and the Middle Ages — A Legal History (Oxford and Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2011. As well, he is the founding editor in chief of the Banking and Finance Law Review (BFLR).
He held visiting positions, in the United States at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the University of Utah and Northwestern University as well as in the summer program of Duke University in Hong Kong; in Israel at Tel Aviv University; in Australia in Monash, Deakin and Melbourne Universities; in Singapore at the National University of Singapore, in Germany in the University of Hamburg, and in France at the faculté de droit et de science politique d’Aix-Marseille. He has been a Visitor at the law faculties of Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England and at Max-Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law, Hamburg, Germany, as well as a Senior Global Research Fellow, at the Hauser Global Visitors Program, New York University School of Law.
Under the IMF technical assistance program he has advised and drafted key financial sector and payment systems legislation for the authorities of several countries, particularly, on missions for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Haiti, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Cambodia, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and Sri Lanka. Particularly in Canada but also in the United States and in the international arena he has been on legislative committees and drafting working groups in the areas of personal property security, securities transfers, letters of credits & independent guarantees, and payment law.
His current research is on the bank money, bank deposits, negotiable instruments & funds transfers, and payment and settlement systems.
Ian is the former Master of McLaughlin College. He is also the Coordinator of the Graduate Diploma in Justice System Administration. Now partly retired, he continues to teach courses in Canadian public law, ethics in the public service, the Charter of Rights, ethics and administrative law, and theoretical perspectives in public law.
He has been coordinator of York's undergraduate program in public policy and administration, as well as the undergraduate director in the political science department. He was an associate dean in the Faculty of Arts from 1997 to 2000. He has been associate director of York's MPA Programme, and co-director of the professional development LLM programme in administrative law.
He is a member of the executive of the Collegium for Practical Ethics, and from 2003 to 2004, he was Chair of the York University Senate.
From 1976 to 1987, Dr. Grunis taught at the Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University. In the years 1981-1988, he also maintained a full-time private practice. In September 1988, Dr. Grunis was first appointed to the bench, sitting for eight years as a judge in the Beer-Sheba District Court, followed by a further six years in the Tel-Aviv District Court.
In April 2002, Dr. Grunis was given a one-year appointment to the Supreme Court of Israel, and in June 2013 he was appointed as one of its fifteen permanent Justices. In February 2012, he became President (Chief Justice) of the Supreme Court, serving until his retirement in January 2015 (upon reaching the mandatory age). Dr. Grunis currently lives in Tel Aviv with his wife Rina Meshel-Grunis (a former judge in the Tel-Aviv District Court). He has three daughters and two grandsons.
He has been a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, a Senior Advisor at the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa, and a Legal Research and Writing Lecturer at Osgoode. His research and teaching interests include Constitutional Law, Public Law, and Equity and Trusts, particularly the areas of freedom of conscience and religion.
His recent published works include papers on division of powers in freedom of expression cases, freedom of conscience and whistleblowing, freedom of religion, dialogue theory, noise by-laws, election financing laws and prisoner’s voting rights; he also contributed a chapter to the State and Citizen casebook on Public Law (Emond-Montgomery, 2006, 2nd ed., 2011).
Meital has an S.J.D. (2009) and an LL.M. (2005) from University of Toronto. Prior to her graduate studies Meital served as a law clerk to Justice Asher Grunis of the Israeli Supreme Court, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel.
Meital teaches in the fields of Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law.
Meital’s research focuses on the issues of discrimination, and minority rights within multicultural societies (especially language rights and religious freedom), including rights of minorities within minorities.
Among her recent publications are: "The Right to Culture, the Right to Dispute, and the Right to Exclude: A New Perspective on Minorities within Minorities" 28 RATIO JURIS 521-539 (2015); "Taking Language Rights Seriously" 25 KING'S LAW JOURNAL (Hart Publishing) 231-254 (2014); "Philosophy of Language Policy" in Bernard Spolsky ed., The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy 37-58 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) (With Denise Réaume); "What Are Offences to Feelings Really about? A New Regulative Principle for the Multicultural Era, 30(4) OXFORD JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 695 (2010); “On the Intrinsic Value of Arabic in Israel - Challenging Kymlicka on Language Rights” 20(1) THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF LAW & JURISPRUDENCE 143-172 (2007).
Professor Scott has sought to create productive linkages between his academic work and various external commitments, particularly engagement with civil society. On the Canadian scene, he was one of the drafters of the Alternative Social Charter put forward during the Charlottetown constitutional round. He has been closely involved in advising equality-seeking, notably anti-poverty, groups on Canadian Charter of Rights litigation and on preparing interventions before various UN human rights bodies on Canada’s record of treaty compliance. He has been involved in appeals or interventions in the Supreme Court of Canada in major cases which have dealt with the interface of international law and Canadian law (Pushpanathan, Reference re Secession of Quebec, Baker). He advised in the formulation of the statement of claim in the civil lawsuit of Maher Arar against the Government of Canada and provided an expert report on Arar’s travel security during the settlement process.
Professor Scott was closely involved in the development of key aspects of the current South African constitution, beginning with his role advising the African National Congress on these matters while the ANC was still in exile. In 1993-1994, he served as co-counsel for the government of Bosnia in a case before the International Court of Justice, with responsibility for developing arguments on the limits of the powers of the UN Security Council. He has given academic opinions on international law to various governments and international organizations on issues related to such matters as the law of the sea, territorial claims and adjudicative procedures; he has also given opinions to non-governmental organizations and aboriginal government representatives on matters ranging from the legality of economic sanctions on Iraq to inland fisheries jurisdiction to transfer of environmental technology to counter global climate change. More recently, he was heavily involved with the London-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice and with the civil-society truth commission in Honduras known as the Comisión de Verdad, on which he served as a Commissioner.
Professor Scott was a member of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, from 1989 to 2001. He joined Osgoode Hall Law School in 2000 following a term as a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. From 2001 to 2004, he was Osgoode’s inaugural Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). During the 2010-2011 academic year, he was an Ikerbasque Fellow with the Basque Government’s Foundation for Science, based in Bilbao at the Universidad de Deusto. He was Director of the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security from 2006 until the end of 2011.
Prior to starting his academic career, Professor Scott served as law clerk to the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Brian Dickson. He attended the Universities of Oxford and London on a Rhodes Scholarship.
From March 2012 to October 2015, her served as Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth in Canada’s House of Commons, and was the New Democratic Party’s Official Opposition Critic for Democratic and Parliamentary Reform.
Research Interests: Transnational Law, Legal Theory, Law and Social Justice, Democratic Theory and Institutions, Law and the Arts.
Sommer received the degree of J.S.D. and his LL.M. degrees from Yale Law School. Sommer is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for his studies at Yale.
He received his LL.B, magna cum laude, from Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, where he was deputy editor-in-Chief of the Law Review (highest student position).
Dr. Sommer served as Civil and Political Rights Counsel to the Knesset's Law, Constitution, and Justice Committee in its 2005-2006 attempt to draft a constitution for the state of Israel.
Dean Sossin has published numerous books, journal articles, reviews and essays, including Administrative Law in Context, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2013) (co-edited with Colleen Flood); Boundaries of Judicial Review: The Law of Justiciability, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2012); The Future of Judicial Independence(Toronto: Irwin, 2010) (co-edited with Adam Dodek); Civil Litigation (Toronto: Irwin 2010) (co-authored with Janet Walker); Parliamentary Democracy in Crisis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009) (co-edited with Peter Russell); Dilemmas of Solidarity: Rethinking Redistribution in the Canadian Federation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006) (co-edited with Sujit Choudhry and Jean-Francois Gaudreault-Desbiens); and Access to Care, Access to Justice: The Legal Debate over Private Health Insurance in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005) (co-edited with Colleen Flood & Kent Roach).
Dean Sossin served as Research Director for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Task Force on the Independence of the Bar and has written commissioned papers for the Gomery Inquiry, the Ipperwash Inquiry and the Goudge Inquiry. He also serves on the Boards of the National Judicial Institute, the Law Commission of Ontario and is a Vice Chair of the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and Member of the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. Dean Sossin served as Interim Integrity Commissioner for the City of Toronto in 2008-2009, and is currently the Open Meeting Investigator for the City of Toronto.
He was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on April 25, 2013. For the previous five years he served as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in the Toronto Region, where he presided over civil, class action and criminal matters.
Chief Justice Strathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in 1970 and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to pursue graduate studies. He received a Master of Arts degree in International Relations at the University of Toronto in 1971. He attended the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and was awarded the Gold Medal in 1974.
In practice, he specialized in civil litigation, with particular emphasis in Maritime and Transportation Law. He was a partner in the firms of MacKinnon, McTaggart, Campbell Godfrey and Lewtas, and Fasken Martineau Walker before establishing his own firm in 1991. The firm ultimately became Strathy & Isaacs.
He was active in a number of professional organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association (Chair of the Young Lawyers' Division and member of the Executive Committee), the Canadian Maritime Law Association (Vice-President), the Canadian Association of Maritime Arbitrations (Vice-President), and the Canadian Association of Average Adjusters (Chairman). He is the author of two books on marine insurance in Canada as well as numerous papers and articles.
Chief Justice Strathy is married to Elyse Strathy. They have five daughters and four grandsons. He is an enthusiastic, but not particularly talented, squash player, golfer and tandem cyclist.