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.

Mgbeoji, Ikechi

Following five years of practice in civil litigation specializing in Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Law, Professor Mgbeoji enrolled in the graduate program of Dalhousie University where he graduated, summa cum laude, with an LLM in 1999. A recipient of the Governor-General’s Gold Medal for the highest academic standing at the graduate level in Dalhousie University, he undertook his doctoral research in Patent Law, graduating, summa cum laude, in 2001. Throughout his academic career, Professor Mgbeoji has won numerous academic awards, scholarships and fellowships including the Killam Scholarship and the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft Award.  His teaching and research interests are in Patent Law, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, International Law on the Use of Force, International Environmental Law, Biotechnology and Law, Comparative Intellectual Property Law, Indigenous Peoples, and Anthropology. Professor Mgbeoji is the author of two books – Collective Insecurity: The Liberian Crisis, Unilateralism, & Global Order and Patents and Indigenous Peoples – and he is the co-author of Environmental Law in Developing Countries: Selected Issues. Prior to joining Osgoode in July 2003, he taught at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law.

McNeil, Kent

Kent McNeil is an Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught from 1987 to 2016.  His research focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.  In 2007, he received a Killam Fellowship to pursue this research. In 2019, he was the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan H. Robert Arscott Chair at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, his alma mater.

In addition to his academic work, Professor McNeil has acted as a consultant for numerous Indigenous organizations and has been an expert witness in court cases in Canada and Belize. He is currently working on sovereignty issues in relation to the European colonization of North America and the development of international law in this context.  He will be pursuing this research as a Fulbright Canada Distinguished Chair in International Area Studies at Yale University in 2021-22.

Johnson, Tom

A member of the Osgoode Hall Law School faculty since 1987, Professor Tom Johnson has served as Co-Director of the Schulich and Osgoode joint JD/MBA Program, Director of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Business Law, Director of the Osgoode Business Clinic, and Co-Director of Osgoode’s LLM Program in Bankruptcy and Insolvency.

Professor Johnson’s areas of teaching include contract law, commercial law (secured transactions, bankruptcy and insolvency, capital market regulation and international business transactions), international development and project finance.  He is a recipient of the Osgoode Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Johnson has more than 25 years of experience as a consultant to the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, working on access to finance and land tenure reform projects in developing countries.  In that role he has advised governments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Geva, Benjamin

Dr. Benjamin Geva is a Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He specializes in (domestic, comparative and international) commercial, financial and banking law, particularly in payment and credit instruments, fund transfers, electronic transferable transport documents, letters of credit, electronic banking, central banking, money & currency, digital currencies, and assets, and the regulation of the payment system. He obtained his LLB (cum laude) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1970) and his LLM and SJD at Harvard, and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1982. He has been on the Osgoode faculty since 1977. He practised with Blake, Cassels and Graydon in Toronto and is now (part-time) counsel with Torys where he is a member of the Payments and Cards Practice Group.

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) until 2020, a comparative law text on Bank Collections and Payment Transactions (Oxford: OUP, 2001), a monograph on The Payment Order of Antiquity and the Middle Ages – A Legal History (Oxford and Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2011), and a text co-written with Dr. Sagi Peari on International Negotiable Instruments (Oxford: OUP, 2020).  As well, he is the founding editor in chief of the Banking and Finance Law Review (BFLR) (1986- 2018) and is now Chair of its Advisory Board.

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, Melbourne and Sydney 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 in Hamburg (Germany), as well as a Senior Global Research Fellow at the Hauser Global Visitors Program at New York University School of Law, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Vienna (Austria), and Visiting Scholar at the International Trade Law Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, (the substantive secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in Vienna).

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, Serbia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and Sri Lanka. For UNCITRAL he has been working on electronic transferable transport documents.  Both  in Canada and  the United States and  also in the international arena he has been either a member or an observer in legislative committees and drafting working or study groups in the areas of personal property security, securities transfers, letters of credits & independent guarantees, and payment laws.

His current research is on digital currencies and assets, payment and settlement laws and systems,  electronic transferable transport documents, and a text on General Principles of Canadian Law on Negotiable Instruments and Payment Transactions (to be published by Irwin Law)

Farrow, Trevor C. W.

Trevor C.W. Farrow, AB (Princeton, politics), BA/MA (Oxford, jurisprudence), LLB (Dalhousie), LLM (Harvard), PhD (Alberta, politics), is a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is currently the Associate Dean (Research & Institutional Relations) and formerly the Associate Dean (2014-2016) and Associate Dean (Academic) (2018-2019). He is the Chair of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice and was the founding Academic Director of the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, and was the Director of the York Centre for Public Policy and Law. Professor Farrow’s teaching and research focus on the administration of civil justice, including access to justice, legal process, legal and judicial ethics, advocacy and globalization. His scholarship is published widely in Canada and around the world. He has led and collaborated on numerous major research projects, including a $1 million SSHRC CURA grant – the “Costs of Justice” – for which he was the Principal Investigator. Professor Farrow was formerly a litigation lawyer at the Torys law firm in Toronto and has received teaching awards from Harvard University and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Research Interests: access to justice; legal process and dispute resolution; professional and judicial ethics; advocacy; legal education; political theory and globalization.

Buchanan, Ruth

Ruth Buchanan joined Osgoode Hall Law School as an Associate Professor in 2006 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2016. Prior to joining the Osgoode faculty, Professor Buchanan taught at the law schools of the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick. Professor Buchanan also holds an ongoing appointment as a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where she teaches in the Melbourne Law Masters program.

Professor Buchanan holds an SJD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an LLB from the University of Victoria and an AB from Princeton University. In 2011, Professor Buchanan founded the Law.Arts.Culture Colloquium, to create a vibrant forum for the discussion of emerging interdisciplinary work on law and humanities. Since that time, Professor Buchanan, through LAC, has hosted more than two dozen speakers, events and installations. She is also a past Director of the Graduate Program (Research), and a past co-Director of the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.

An interdisciplinary legal scholar whose work spans critical legal theory, sociology of law and cultural legal studies, Dr. Buchanan’s scholarship has engaged with a range of topics including NAFTA and labour rights, the WTO and global constitutionalism, social movements and resistance to globalization, Indigenous law and legal pluralism, law and film. She has published widely and collaborates frequently with legal scholars in Canada and internationally. Professor Buchanan co-edited the collections Law in Transition: Human Rights, Development and Transitional Justice (2014) with Peer Zumbansen and Reading Modern Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations (2012) with Sundhya Pahuja and Stewart Motha. She has published widely, including in the Journal of Law, Culture and Humanities; Miami Law Review; Leiden Journal of International Law; Law,Text,Culture; Journal of Legal Education, Nordic Journal of International Law; Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and the Journal of Law and Society. She has been involved in the editorial boards or editorial advisory boards of the Canadian Journal of Women and Law, Journal of Law, Culture and Humanities, Transnational Legal Theory.

In 2015-16, Professor Buchanan was awarded an Osgoode Hall Research Fellowship for her ongoing project, “Visualizing Developments,” which considers the variety of visual mechanisms through which knowledge about development is produced and disseminated by international institutions. Professor Buchanan is also currently writing a book on International Development with Sundhya Pahuja and Luis Eslava as part of the Routledge-Cavendish Critical Approaches to Law series.

Professor Buchanan has taught courses in the areas of: Globalization and Law, Law and Social Change, Trade, Human Rights and Development, Law and Film. In the Osgoode Graduate Program, she has taught the Legal Research seminar and convened the Study Group on Law in a Global Context. Professor Buchanan has supervised many LLM and doctoral students in the areas of law and development, legal theory, legal sociology, or visual legal studies and law and film.

Research Interests: Law and Development, Legal Theory, Law and Film

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

Ben-Ishai, Stephanie

Professor Stephanie Ben-Ishai is a Distinguished Research Professor and Full Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she engages in research and teaching on bankruptcy, contract, commercial law, and financial crises. She has authored or co-authored nine books and more than 50 refereed articles, including seminal and innovative texts on bankruptcy and contract law. She holds her LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, and her LLM from Harvard Law School, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar and SSHRC Doctoral Scholar as well as receiving the American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence on graduation.

Professor Ben-Ishai has been nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in each of her research areas. She has been consulted by private actors, governments and self-regulatory institutions, and served as a Scholar in Residence with the Law Commission of Ontario. Her work has been cited by every level of Canadian court and she has given expert testimony to Canadian and American courts. Professor Ben-Ishai’s research has been consistently funded by research grants, including four major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants as Principal Investigator; other significant grants have been provided by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Law Commission of Canada, Industry Canada, and the Schulich School of Business National Research Program in Financial Services and Public Policy.

An active participant in domestic and international professional committees, research networks and law reform efforts, Professor Ben-Ishai also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of the Insolvency Institute of Canada Law Journal, established in 2011. To date, she has held visiting professorships at eight law schools in four countries, and has served as an INSOL International Scholar, Distinguished Fulbright Fellow, Sprout Fellow in Canadian Studies and the Thomas Feeney Visiting Professor of Business Law. Her research contributions have been presented at conferences around the world to lay audiences, lawyers, judges and academic colleagues from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Professor Ben-Ishai has taught courses across the private law curriculum in multiple formats (online, video conference, seminar, lecture and small group) of varying lengths and intensity across Canada, in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand at the undergraduate law and social science and graduate levels. She also serves as the Academic Director of the Osgoode Business Clinic, which provides legal advice to small businesses which might not otherwise be able to afford legal services.

At Osgoode, Professor Ben-Ishai has held a number of senior administrative responsibilities, including as Director of the graduate programs in Bankruptcy and Banking and Finance Law. She has chaired almost every major Law School committee, including, most recently, the Faculty Recruitment Committee and Faculty Council, served on the University Senate and as a Director of Parkdale Community Legal Services.

Professor Ben-Ishai has supervised graduate level research in bankruptcy, banking, contracts, corporate/commercial law, and financial regulation. She is willing to read novel proposals in this area from strong students interested in working with her.

Research Interests: Corporate/Commercial Law