Waitzer, Edward J.

Edward J. Waitzer was the inaugural Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance, a joint appointment between Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business at York University from 2007 to 2020.  Previously, he was the Falconbridge Professor of Commercial Law (20052006) and served as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode.  He teaches a range of courses including Business Associations, Corporate Governance, Investor Protection, Mergers & Acquisitions and an “Art of the Deal” seminar.

He was Chair of Stikeman Elliott LLP from 1999 to 2006 and is a senior partner whose practice focuses on complex business transactions, public policy and governance matters.  He has previously served as Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission (and of the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions) and as Vice-President of the Toronto Stock Exchange.  He has written and spoken extensively on a variety of legal and public policy issues and has served as director of a number of corporations, foundations, community organizations, editorial boards and advisory groups.

He currently serves as Vice-Chair of a major Chilean public company.

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

Mossman, Mary Jane

Professor Emerita Mary Jane Mossman joined the faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1976-77, after several years as a faculty member in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. At Osgoode, she served as Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, Chair of Faculty Council, and Director of the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, as well as numerous positions on Boards and committees at York University. Her research interests focus on women lawyers/legal professions; family law and economic dependency; property law and trusts; and access to justice and legal aid.

She has authored numerous scholarly articles and reports for governments and other organizations, and has been a Visiting Professor at a number of universities in Canada, the United States, Australia, France and Japan. In 2006, she published The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender, Law and the Legal Professions (Hart Pub 2006); and is currently authoring a study of women lawyers in Ontario 1890s to 1960s, as well as other writing projects. Her co-authored books include Families and the Law (2nd Captus ed 2015); Property Law: Cases and Commentary (3rd ed Emond Pub 2014); and Reconsidering Knowledge: Feminism and the Academy (Fernwood 2012).

Professor Mossman was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for work with the Vanier Institute of the Family (2012); the Lexpert Zenith Award: Leadership for Change (2012); appointment as “University Professor” at York U (2007); the Bora Laskin Fellowship in Human Rights (SSHRC 2007); the Ontario Government Leadership in Faculty Teaching  Award (2007); an honorary doctorate by the Law Society of Upper Canada (2004); the Award of Excellence of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers (2004); the Medal of the Law Society of Upper Canada (1990); the Supporter of the Year award by the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped (1988); and the CBAO Distinguished Service Award (1987).

She has received research grants from SSHRC and the Canadian Bar Association Foundation for Legal Research, and was appointed the Gordon Henderson Chair in Human Rights (University of Ottawa 1995) and the Walter L Gordon Fellowship (York University 2004). She was admitted as a Barrister in New South Wales in 1975 and a member of the Bar of Ontario in 1977; and served as junior counsel in an Australian appeal to the Privy Council in 1978. From 1979-1982, she was on leave from Osgoode as the first Clinic Funding Manager for the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, and she has provided ongoing support to community legal clinics, including serving on several clinic Boards. Since 1997, she has chaired the Administrative Committee of the Unifor/CAW Legal Services Plan.

Research Interests: Women Lawyers/Legal Professions; Family Law/Economic Dependency; Property Law/Trusts; Legal Aid/Access to Justice

D’Agostino, Giuseppina

Professor Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino is a law professor, lawyer, public speaker, board director and recognized international scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University specializing in intellectual property (IP), technology and innovation law and policy. She joined Osgoode in 2006 and is regularly called by Canadian and foreign governments for advice, has testified before Parliament and is a widely published author, regularly serves as a consultant and is a cited authority at the Supreme Court of Canada and in various media. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Intellectual Property Journal.

Professor D’Agostino brings her creativity and passion to trailblaze new initiatives and to serve in new roles as Founder and Director of the globally-recognized IP Osgoode, the award-winning, IPilogue, the IP Intensive, the IP Innovation Clinic, the first legal clinic of its kind helping inventors and start-ups across Canada and, more recently, founded the AI-powered IP Innovation ChatBot allowing underrepresented groups and the general public greater access to IP information.

She began her legal career as an Associate in a large Toronto law firm and was later recruited into the Canadian Government by the Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) as a Senior Policy Analyst working on copyright policy. She serves on the Board of Directors of Alectra Inc. and Chairs its GRE&T Centre Advisory Committee advancing innovation and sustainable energy solutions. She held an Order in Council Appointment at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection where she served as Trustee, and currently sits on its Art Advisory Committee.

Professor D’Agostino is Co-Chair of the York University AI & Society Task Force, is appointed to the City of Vaughan Smart City Task Force and is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). She spent her last sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Prof D’Agostino is the recipient of various tri-council grants, honours and awards and is currently working on the second edition of Copyright Law (with Prof David Vaver, Irwin Law). Her peer-reviewed articles and her three books Copyright, Contract, Creators: New Media, New Rules, The Common Law of Intellectual Property: Essays in Honour of Professor David Vaver and Leading Legal Disruption: Artificial Intelligence and a Toolkit for Lawyers and the Law (with A Gaon and C Piovesan) are widely available.

She holds a Masters and Doctorate in Law (University of Oxford) with distinction, an LLB (Osgoode Hall Law School), an HonBA, summa cum laude, in English and Political Science and a specialization in French (York University), is an ICD.D from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario (2001 call).

Should you be interested in working with Prof D’Agostino on any of her research projects, please feel free to get in touch with her directly at gdagostino@osgoode.yorku.ca

Research Interests: Intellectual Property, data governance & ownership, Innovation law & policy,  emerging technologies (ie Artificial Intelligence, IoT, robotics, 3D printing, Blockchain etc)