Berger, Benjamin L.

Professor Benjamin L. Berger is Professor and York Research Chair in Pluralism and Public Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. In 2020 he was elected as a Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Berger served as Associate Dean (Students) from 2015-2018. He holds an appointment as Professor (status only) in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto and is a member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Socio-Legal Studies at York University. Prior to joining Osgoode, he was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, and was cross-appointed in the Department of Philosophy, at the University of Victoria, where he began teaching in 2004. He holds a JSD and LLM from Yale University, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar and a SSHRC doctoral fellow. He earned his LLB and the Law Society Gold Medal from the University of Victoria, and was awarded the Gold Medal in Arts and the Governor General’s Academic Medal for his BA (Hons) studies at the University of Alberta. In 2002-2003, Professor Berger served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada.

His areas of research and teaching specialization are law and religion, criminal and constitutional law and theory, and the law of evidence.  He has published broadly in these fields and his work has appeared in leading legal and interdisciplinary journals and edited collections.  He is the author of Law’s Religion: Religious Difference and the Claims of Constitutionalism (University of Toronto Press, 2015), is a general editor of the Hart Publishing series Constitutional Systems of the World, and served as Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society from 2014-2018. He is also co-editor of multiple edited collections, including Religion and the Exercise of Public Authority (Hart, 2016) and The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies (UBC Press, 2008). He has been a principal investigator or collaborator on multiple research grants and has received awards for his scholarly work, including the 2010 Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled “The Abiding Presence of Conscience: Criminal Justice Against the Law and the Modern Constitutional Imagination” and, in 2015, the CALT-ACPD Prize for Academic Excellence.

Professor Berger is active in judicial, 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.

Professor Berger convenes the Osgoode Colloquium in Law, Religion & Social Thought and is the Academic Program Director of the Osgoode Professional LLM in Criminal Law and Procedure.

Research Interests: Law and Religion; Criminal and Constitutional Law and Theory; the Law of Evidence; Legal History; Judgment and the Judiciary; Law and the Humanities.

Boittin, Margaret

Professor Boittin is the author of The Regulation of Prostitution in China: Law in the Everyday Lives of Sex Workers, Police Officers, and Public Health Officials, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Based on ethnographic observation, interviews, and surveys, the book examines how the regulation of prostitution shapes both the lives of female sex workers and the frontline police officers and public health officials who are responsible for implementing the laws and policies that govern sex work in China. Boittin also conducts research on the regulation of human trafficking and forced labor. She has carried out randomized controlled trials examining rights awareness campaigns on labor abuse of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, and on attitudes and behaviors pertaining to human trafficking vulnerability of both the general population and police officers in Nepal.  Her research has been supported by the US Department of Labor, USAID, Humanity United, and the National Science Foundation.  She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and her JD from Stanford. Her articles have been published in Law & Society Review, Law & Policy, and American Political Science Review.

Tanguay-Renaud, François

Professor François Tanguay-Renaud has been a professor at Osgoode since 2008. He is currently the Program Director of the Osgoode Certificate in the Laws of Emergency, and of the Professional LLM in Canadian Common Law. From 2012 until 2021, he was Director of York’s Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security  (a position he shared with Professor Heidi Matthews from 2018 to 2021). He is also one of the founders and first Director of York’s Juris Doctor/Master of Arts (JD/MA) combined program in law and philosophy, and a former Associate Dean Research, Graduate Studies, and Institutional Relations.

Professor Tanguay-Renaud holds degrees in both civil and common law from McGill University, where he was both a Loran Scholar and a Greville-Smith Scholar. He also studied at the National University of Singapore, and completed his graduate work (BCL, MPhil, DPhil) at the University of Oxford, where he was in turn a Rhodes Scholar, holder of the Studentship of the Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Law, as well as doctoral fellow of the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) and of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Prior to joining Osgoode, Professor Tanguay-Renaud was a Lecturer in Law at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. He also served as a law clerk to Justice Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and worked with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and the Asian Network for Free Elections in Thailand, as well as with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Since starting at Osgoode, he has held Visiting Professor appointments at the University of Minnesota Law School (Robina Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice), the University of Oxford (H.L.A. Hart Fellow), the National University of Singapore, the University of Toronto Centre for Ethics and Faculty of Law, Massey College, and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU). He currently also holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy of McMaster University.

His current academic interests span a wide range of subject areas — but notably, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional and public law, emergency law, AI and the law, and public international law — viewed mostly through the lens of analytical legal theory. He is editor of Rethinking Criminal Law Theory: New Canadian Perspectives in the Philosophy of Domestic, Transnational, and International Criminal Law (with James Stribopoulos, Hart Publishing, 2012), From Morality to Law and Back Again: Liber Amicorum for John Gardner (with Michelle Madden Dempsey, Oxford University Press, 2023), and has published articles in leading journals such as Ethics, Legal Theory, Res Publica, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy, the UBC Law Review, the Asian Yearbook of International Law, as well as in many leading edited collections.  He currently holds an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for a research project on “Reconceiving Procedural Fairness” in light of the advent of Artificial Intelligence (with Vincent Chiao).

Professor Tanguay-Renaud regularly teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, emergency law, the philosophical foundations of criminal law, jurisprudence, and the rule of law. He was the recipient of the Osgoode Hall Law School Teaching Award in 2017, and of the Osgoode Hall Law School Faculty Service Award in 2020.

Research Interests: Theory of criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional and public law, international law, and associated areas of political and moral philosophy; the regulation of state surveillance; artificial intelligence and the law (with a focus on criminal law); emergencies and the law; jurisprudence; the rule of law; collective, corporate, and state responsibility; war ethics; Canadian, American and South Asian constitutional law and politics.

Scott, Craig M.

As of July 2021, Professor Craig Scott is serving as the Associate Dean (Academic) of Osgoode.

Professor Scott’s teaching and research have been primarily in the fields of public international law and private international law, with a focus on the place of international human rights law in both of these fields. His most recent work draws on all three of these fields, including in the areas of human rights torts across borders, transnational corporate accountability and transitional justice.  He has also written on constitutional rights protection in Canada and abroad. Much of his work has been on the theory and doctrine of economic, social and cultural rights. His work and teaching is strongly influenced by his interests in legal theory and in policy responses to globalization. He is series editor of Hart Monographs in Transnational and International Law, and is Founding Editor of Transnational Legal Theory.

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 (PushpanathanReference 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.  He served in 2020-21 as the Graduate Program Director for Osgoode’s PhD and research-stream LLM programs.

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, he 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.

Proud to be banned for life from Russia, as of August 31, 2022.

Research Interests: Transnational Law, Legal Theory, Law and Social Justice, Democratic Theory and Institutions, Law and the Arts, Constitutional Law

Rehaag, Sean

Professor Sean Rehaag is the Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies and the Director of the Refugee Law Laboratory. He specializes in immigration and refugee law, administrative law, legal process, access to justice, and new legal technologies. He frequently contributes to public debates about immigration and refugee law, and he engages in law reform efforts in these areas. He is also committed to exploring innovative teaching methodologies, with a particular interest in clinical and experiential education. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Academic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services.

Professor Rehaag’s interdisciplinary academic research focuses on empirical studies of immigration and refugee law decision-making processes. He currently holds an SSHRC grant involving new legal technologies, artificial intelligence and quantitative research on Canadian refugee adjudication. He is also pursuing research using experiments to better understand how refugee adjudicators make credibility assessments. In 2013, he received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled “Judicial Review of Refugee Determinations: The Luck of the Draw?”. He publishes yearly statistics on Canada’s refugee determination system. Many of his publications are available open-access on SSRN.

Prior to joining the Osgoode faculty in 2008, Professor Rehaag was a visiting scholar at the Université de Montreal’s Chaire de recherche du Canada en droit international des migrations. He has also been a visiting scholar with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings, a visiting researcher at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and an instructor at the University of Victoria and the Université de Sherbrooke. He holds a doctorate from the University of Toronto, bachelor’s degrees in civil law and common law from McGill University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia.

Research Interests: Immigration and Refugee Law, Empirical Legal Studies, Judicial/Administrative Decision-Making, New Legal Technologies, Legal Process, Access to Justice, Gender and Sexuality

Okafor, Obiora Chinedu

Professor Obiora Chinedu Okafor is the Inaugural York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies. He joined Osgoode Hall Law School after holding faculty positions at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria, and at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He has served as an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program; a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar at MIT; a Visiting Professor at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France; a Visiting Professor at the St. Augustine International University, Kampala, Uganda; and as the Gani Fawehinmi Distinguished Chair of Human Rights Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Professor Okafor has published extensively in the fields of international human rights law and immigration/refugee law, as well as general public international law (especially with regard to third world approaches to international law). He is the author of Refugee Law after 9/11: Sanctuary and Security in Canada and the United States (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia Press, 2020); The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces, and International Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Legitimizing Human Rights NGOs: Lessons from Nigeria (Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2006); and Re-Defining Legitimate Statehood (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 2000). He has co-edited three books: Legitimate Governance in Africa: International and Domestic Legal Perspectives (The Hague: Kluwer, 1999); Humanizing Our Global Order: Essays in Honour of Ivan Head (University of Toronto Press, 2003); and The Third World and International Order: Law, Politics and Globalization (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2003). He has edited four special journal issues, and published over one hundred (100) journal articles, book chapters and other scholarly writings. He is a Co-Editor-in-Chief, and was founding General Editor, of the Transnational Human Rights Review, and sits on the editorial advisory board of a number of scholarly periodicals. He is currently leading a major SSHRC-funded partnership development, research and dissemination project covering six countries relating to Canadian/African human rights engagements, and another project on the dissemination of the African Human Rights Action Plan. These projects follow on the recent completion under his leadership of two related, collaborative research and dissemination projects on the African Union’s African Human Rights Action Plan/planning process, and on Canada’s human rights engagements with state and civil society actors in Nigeria.

Professor Okafor received the 2010 Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association of Law Teachers, and has been awarded the Gold Medal for Exceptional Research and Major Contributions to Jurisprudence of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (2013). He has also won Osgoode’s Teaching Excellence Award twice, in 2002 and 2007. His doctoral dissertation at the University of British Columbia received the Governor General’s Gold Medal (the university prize for overall best dissertation).

Professor Okafor has served, since August 2017, as the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity (one of the principal groups of human rights experts who advise and report to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly) and a former Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (a Geneva-based committee of experts elected by the Human Rights Council to serve as its think tank and principal subsidiary organ). In these two capacities, he has authored over ten UN Reports. He has also served as an expert panelist for the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and United Nations Working Group on People of African Descent. And he has worked as a consultant or adviser for several international organizations, government agencies, parliaments, and law firms.

Professor Okafor is the founder and convenor of Osgoode’s Research Seminar Series on International Law in the Global South (ILIGS), and of the Annual York University Oputa Lectures on governance in Africa, which has been held at Osgoode since 2004. Between 2009 and 2011, Professor Okafor chaired the Curriculum Reform Working Group, whose work led to important reforms in Osgoode’s upper-year JD curriculum, including the introduction of the praxicum, and additional upper-year writing requirements. He also founded the international and transnational law intensive program at Osgoode, and engineered Osgoode’s participation in the prestigious International Court of Justice University Traineeship Program.

Research Interests: International Law, International Human Rights, Immigration/Refugee Law, Nigerian Legal Studies

Currently on leave.

Lawrence, Sonia

Professor Sonia Lawrence joined Osgoode’s faculty in 2001. She graduated from the University of Toronto’s joint LLB/MSW program, went on to serve as law clerk to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada, and pursued graduate work at Yale Law School. Her work centers on critical analyses of legal conception of equality.

Sonia has served in a number of administrative roles at Osgoode including Assistant Dean of First Year and Director of the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.  Her current teaching includes a first year public and constitutional law, a seminar in critical race theory, and serving as the academic director/instructor for Feminist Advocacy, a clinical legal education opportunity offered in partnership with the Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto.  In the past she has served as the academic director for Osgoode’s Anti-Discrimination Intensive Program (offered in partnership with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (Ontario), and taught seminars in gender equality, graduate research and research methods, among others. Sonia is serving two terms as the President of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers / Association Canadienne des Professeurs de Droit.

Research Interests: Public Law, Gender, Race, Critical Race Feminism, Feminism, Equality Law, Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Bhabha, Faisal

Faisal Bhabha is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. He also serves as the Faculty Director of the Canadian Common Law LLM degree program. He has researched and published in the areas of constitutional law, multiculturalism, law and religion, disability rights, national security and access to justice. He teaches constitutional law, human rights, legal ethics, and appellate advocacy. Previously, he sat as Vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (2008-2011). He maintains a varied public and private law practice, appearing before administrative boards and tribunals and at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He advises and represents a variety of individuals and public interest organizations in matters pertaining to constitutional law and human rights. He has appeared as an expert witness before Canadian parliamentary committees and served as a member of the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society of Ontario. He has lived and worked in the Middle East and South Africa, and has lectured and taught in many countries. He is currently a senior editor with the International Review of Human Rights Law.

Research Interests: constitutional law; equality and anti-discrimination; administrative law; legal ethics and professionalism; legal process; dispute resolution; legal education