Osgoode launches legal research service for developing countries

On May 11, York’s Osgoode Hall Law School will launch the International Legal Partnership (ILP), a non-profit organization in which students provide free legal research services to developing countries.

Under the direction of Osgoode professors and international law experts Craig Scott and Charles Gastle, students will gain valuable international experience by providing global-policy research and legal research assistance to developing countries. It is the first service of its kind in Canada.

The partnership aims to help developing countries enhance economic, social and cultural rights through the rule of law. Its goal is to help developing countries respond to regulatory issues, such as negotiating and implementing multilateral treaties, and enable the exchange of information about legal research and policy development.

ILP’s first project, to be announced at the launch, will focus on developing a national judicial institute in Kenya and improving legal transparency and access to justice in East Africa.

ILP founders Craig and Gastle have gathered an impressive roster of patrons and advisers, including:

  • Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian minister of foreign affairs;
  • Barbara McDougall, former Canadian minister of foreign affairs;
  • Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario;
  • Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada secretary-general;
  • Clarence Dias, International Centre for Law in Development president;
  • Robert Sharpe, Ontario Court of Appeal judge;
  • Lawrence Herman, former head of the economic and treaty law section in the legal bureau, External Affairs Department;
  • Rana Khan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees legal officer;
  • Valerie Hugues, former director of the World Trade Organization’s appellate body secretariat;
  • Aly Alibhai, senior counsel for the Department of Justice Canada’s international legal programs;
  • Sharon Williams, former ad litem judge, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The launch takes place May 11 at 6pm at the Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas Street West in Toronto. To attend, contact ilpcommunications@osgoode.yorku.ca.