Smith, Adrian A.

Professor Adrian Smith joined the Osgoode Hall Law School faculty in July 2018 as Associate Professor and will serve a term as Academic Director of Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS), teaching the intensive seminar in poverty law.  He arrives from Carleton University’s Department of Law and Legal Studies where he enjoyed cross-appointment to the Institute of Political Economy and the Institute of African Studies.  Prior to his appointment in 2011, he completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA, Honours) in Political Science and History at Western, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) at Osgoode, and doctoral studies at McGill Faculty of Law, for which he received a SSHRC ‘CGS’ Doctoral Scholarship.

His areas of interest broadly relate to law, political economy and development.  He researches the regulation of labour in colonial and settler colonial contexts, including temporary labour migration in Canada.  He also has interests in popular legal education in social movements, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and visual legal studies — among other areas.  His research projects have taken him to northern Africa, western Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Australia, Mexico and throughout the U.S. and Canada.  He has been privileged to work with youth environmental justice activists from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, and has undertaken research in relation to renewable energy in the territory of Batchewana First Nation, near Sault Ste. Marie.  He is a researcher in the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories” in partnership with the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) and Mining Watch Canada (led by Professor Shiri Pasternak).

Professor Smith’s work can be found in a range of journals and edited collections.  He is co-editor of Unfree Labour? Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada (PM Press, with Professor Aziz Choudry).

While at Carleton, Professor Smith taught Regulating Work in the Global Economy, Settler Colonialism and Belonging In Canada (Research Methods), Historical Perspectives on Law and Society, Law and Development, and Labour Law.  For two years he also co-taught the core doctoral seminar in political economy.  Following his term at PCLS, he will teach labour law.

Professor Smith is a youth basketball coach, with Toronto Triple Threat Basketball Club and Ontario Basketball’s Summer Development and Centre for Performance (CP) Programs.

Research Interests: regulation of labour, law and development, critical political economy approaches to law, temporary labour migration, racism, settler colonialism, social movements and 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

Imai, Shin

After he became a lawyer in 1980, Shin Imai practised at Keewaytinok Native Legal Services in Moosonee and later had his own practice in the areas of human rights, refugee law and indigenous rights. He joined the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 1989 to work on the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution programs and to initiate justice projects in indigenous communities.

He was appointed to faculty at Osgoode in 1996 and is currently a director of the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project. He has served as Academic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services, the Director of the Intensive Program on Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments, Director of Clinical Education, and Co-director of the Latin American Network on Research and Education in Human Rights (RedLEIDH).

Imai was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at the Law School in 2004 and 2007, and the University-wide Teaching Award in 2010.

Research Interests: Canada’s extra territorial obligation to regulate Canadian mining companies in Latin America, Aboriginal law in Canada, and clinical legal education