Successful Grants Archive

Stepan WoodProfessor Stepan Wood received a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant - 2011.  The research project is title  "Competing, Coordinating, Co-opting...? Interactions in Transnational Business Regulation".  Three leading universities (York University, Arizona State University and the London School of Economics), a prominent research centre (The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy), and the world's leading association of social and environmental standards inititatives (the International Social and Environmental Accreditations and Labelling Alliance) are partnering to fill this gap by supporting an international research network on interactions in transnational business regulation, conducting collaborative interdisciplinary research, creating policy-relevant knowledge across academic and non-academic sectors, and mobilizing that knowledge in support of innovative and effective policy solutions. 


Dayna ScottCommunity Forum on Pollution and Action ~~Aamjiwnaang First Nation ~~ February 10-11, 2011

The Health and Environment Committee of the Aamjiwnnaang First Nation, in partnership with Professor Dayna Scott and several other researchers, will host the innovative "Community Forum on Pollution and Action" in Sarnia on February 10 and 11, 2011. The forum will include a keynote address by George Poitras of Mikisew Cree First Nation on Mobilizing Indigenous Youth for Environmental Justice. The Forum will feature speakers, workshops and break-out  sessions focused on community mobilization and knowledge-sharing for Aamjiwnaang community members, including youth, neighboring First Nations, and allies in relation to environmental justice organizing  around pollution, environmental health and legal remedies.

Please consult the website for updates, location and agenda: For other questions, please contact the project coordinator Sarah Wiebe at: 613.301.3055 or

This event has been made possible by generous grants from the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Dreamcatcher Foundation.

Professor Lisa Philipps, Successful SSHRC

On October 25, 2010 Osgoode will be hosting a 3-day workshop with faculty from Jindal Global Law School on Global North and Global South Perspectives on Transnational Governance: An Indian-Canadian Conversation. The workshop will facilitate collaborative research that bridges North-South perspectives on transnational governance, and will contribute to knowledge about Canada-India legal relations. This objective will be advanced through sustained dialogue between globally minded scholars with expertise in related fields of law, but who understand their fields from different vantage points rooted in their South Asian or North American experience.

Additionally, on October 27, 2010, Osgoode will participate in a public post-workshop event entitled: Accessing India. The event will explore topics related to foreign direct investment and mining in the context of India and Canada. The event is hosted and sponsored by Bennett Jones  LLP in downtown Toronto.

This workshop, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), will be followed up by a 3-day workshop at Jindal Global Law School, India in March 2011.

Professor Peer Zumbansen is the recipient of the 2010-2011 York-Massey Fellowship. The YMF is awarded on an annual basis and allows a York faculty member to spend the academic year within the intellectual community at Massey College, one of Toronto’s finest refuges for scholarly collaboration and research. The College is housed in a beautiful building designed by Ron Thom and was established in 1963 as a unique environment for residing students (“junior fellows”) and faculty (“senior fellows”) as well as for distinguished scholars and eminent members of society beyond the academic world.

Professor Zumbansen is a Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Transnational Economic Governance  and Legal Theory and has been at Osgoode Hall Law School since 2004. Since 1 July 2010, he is the co-director of York’s European Union Centre of Excellence. During his fellowship at Massey, he is working on a book project concerned with the evolving governance challenges of business regulation from the perspective of ‘corporate social responsibility’ in a global context. On Monday nights, 6-8 pm., he is convening a Reading Seminar entitled “Legal Theory and Global Governance”, which is addressed at students in law, sociology, political science and philosophy. The Seminar meets in the Colin Friesen Room at Massey College and is open to everyone.

Professor Stephanie Ben-Ishai - Successful SSHRC

The  primary goal of our project is to investigate the nature and extent of the debts owed by the poor. We will begin by documenting, for the  first time, the extent to which debt levels have risen in the lower parts of the Canadian distribution of income and the extent to which increased borrowing has led to overindebtedness. The available survey evidence cannot capture the nuances of individual  debt profiles and,  therefore, the next and most important phase of our  project will  involve a series of semi-structured interviews with low-income people who are deeply in debt. We hope to learn how they came to owe what they owe and whether or not the relevant federal and provincial legislation has helped them resolve their debt problems. Preliminary research suggests that debts to government — including, for example, student loans, tax debts and overpayments from transfer programs — are disproportionately represented among the debts of the poor. The third component of our research program will take us outside the Canadian context to look more globally at the legal implications of the democratization of debt. At present, each country has its own set of  debt resolution procedures and these procedures can be quite different from each other. We will compare the treatment of poor debtors in several European countries in order to develop a set of “lessons learned” for dealing with overindebtedness among the poor. 

 Obiora OkaforProfessor Obiora Okafor - Successful SSHRC

The broad objective of this research program is to systematically interrogate Nigerian human rights jurisprudence  for the extent of its receptiveness (or otherwise) to the socio-economic and political claims of poor Nigerians. This project is motivated – in part – by the fact that, given the insights of critical legal scholarship, one cannot simply assume that the  politics or orientation of a given body of human rights jurisprudence is pro-poor; “pro-human rights is not necessarily “pro-poor”. At the same time, one must not overlook the possibility that in certain specifiable contexts such jurisprudence may be able to advance the causes of specific populations of poor people. As such, the project will focus on mapping, expanding, and deepening scholarly understandings of the attitudes exhibited by Nigerian human rights jurisprudence toward claims relating to the poverty, agency and struggles of the relevant population.    

The  project, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for three years (2010-2013), will involve both desk studies here in Canada and field research in Nigeria. This project is the third phase of Professor Okafor’s broader research  program, executed over the last 12 years, on the nature, impact and significance of the human rights struggles of poor people in Nigeria. The two previous phases of this broader research program were also funded by SSHRC.

Allan Hutchinson Professor Allan Hutchinson
-  Successful SSHRC

"A  more noble and demanding portrayal of the duties and responsibilities of the legal professional is required than the 'hired gun' if the society is to meet its obligation to serve the public interest. A  promising, if unlikely source of improved  ethical standards is the literature on the ‘ethics of warfare’. The extensive debate and discussion in the Just War Tradition offer a much richer set of ethical  resources with which to appreciate and evaluate both the ends and means of ethical lawyering than presently on offer.  Although the fit between ethical lawyering and ethical soldiering is far from exact or complete, it does provoke some suggestive and telling ways in which legal ethics and professional responsibility might be re-ordered and reconfigured. Accordingly, the ambitious objective of this particular project is threefold – to offer a thorough critique of existing models of ethical  lawyering; to canvass the literature on the ‘ethics of  warfare’ and tease out its possible applications to lawyering; and to develop some sustained  proposals on how better models of ethical lawyering can be constructed and implemented. Throughout, the ambition will not be to be critical of the legal profession for its own sake or as an end in itself, but to hold the profession up to a more demanding and better image of itself and its public responsibilities".

Obiora OkaforProfessor Obiora Okafor has been honoured with the 2010 CALT Award for Academic Excellence. This Award recognizes exceptional contribution to research and law teaching.





Francois Tanguay-RenaudProfessor François Tanguay-Renaud has been awarded a Hart Fellowship, to be held at University College,  University of Oxford in 2011. This prestigious fellowship is tied to Oxford's Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Law for a three-month period. Information about the Fellowship can be found here.





Shin ImaiProfessor Shin Imai has been awarded the 2010 University-wide Teaching Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of York's great instructors. His name will be engraved on the University-Wide Teaching Award plaques in Vari Hall and will be recognized at Convocation ceremonies. Teaching excellence is assessed based on following criteria: student learning experience, substantive innovation, teaching/learning strategies, professional and curriculum development, mentoring, and demonstration of  ongoing excellence.


Poonam PuriProfessor Poonam Puri has received a Walter L. Gordon Research Fellowship for 2010-2011. The prestigious award, periodically presented by York to recognized scholars at the University to complete ongoing outstanding and innovative research, will allow her to devote the coming year to completing Financial Markets in Crisis: ABCP, the Made in Canada Solution and the Future of Canadian Capital Markets.




Allan HutchinsonProfessor Allan Hutchinson recently opened a series of lectures on Human Rights 'Justice Society' at the Universidad Diego Portales.

More information on the series can be found:

Lectures on Human Rights

Lectures on Human Rights



Harry Arthurs York University President Emeritus and former dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, Professor Harry Arthurs, is part of the 2009 SSHRC: $2.5 million MCRI grant to CRIMT research consortium Building Institutions and  Capabilities for Work and Employment in a Global Era: The Social Dynamics of Labour Regulation (co-investigator).

Professor Arthurs has also been awarded the 2010 Russell Sage Foundation: $35,000 New Approaches to Employment Regulation (jointly with Katherine Stone).