A social justice lawyer, environmental law specialist, an international law expert and a leader in investment industry regulation will each spend a term or part of a term at Osgoode Hall Law School as McMurtry Visiting Fellows. While at Osgoode, the Fellows will mentor students and lawyers engaged in experiential education initiatives. Fellowship holders may also teach and get involved with the law school’s mooting and lawyering programs, participate in research projects, deliver public and faculty lectures and assist with institutional projects in their areas of expertise and interest.
The recipients of the 2014-2015 McMurtry Fellows were announced by Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin (LLB ’92) on Friday.
Joanna Birenbaum is a social justice lawyer with diverse advocacy experience in constitutional equality rights and theory, statutory human rights, international human rights, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and violence against women.
From 2008 to 2012, Birenbaum was the legal director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), which role included appearing as counsel for LEAF at the Supreme Court of Canada in equality rights and criminal law appeals, drafting expert submissions to House of Commons standing committees, guest lecturing and media relations.
Birenbaum’s practice at Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP specializes in equality and human rights; professional discipline and regulation; employment law; and criminal law, civil litigation, research and policy development relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, women’s rights and access to justice.
She recently appeared as co-counsel for the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic at the Supreme Court of Canada on the privacy and equality rights of sexual assault complainants. On behalf of the YWCA Canada, she developed and taught a national legal information curriculum designed to improve access to justice for Aboriginal women experiencing family violence.
Birenbaum will be working with Osgoode’s Institute for Feminist Legal Studies to develop an experiential program in domestic violence and feminist law reform.
David Estrin is a senior environmental law specialist whose distinguished environmental law career has combined litigation, policy and strategic advice, teaching and writing. A Gowling Lafleur Henderson senior partner and head of its Toronto Aboriginal Practice Group, he has for more than 40 years advised corporations, government agencies, environmental organizations, Aboriginal communities and law firms in Canada and the USA in all facets of environmental matters.
A founding director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association who also served as its first general counsel and directed Canada’s first public interest environmental law clinic, he is currently chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Environment Committee as well as co-chair of the IBA President’s Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights.
Named to the 2013 Best Lawyers in Canada list, Estrin has been counsel in most of the major hearings under Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act and in all levels of court in Ontario, Alberta and at the federal level. A frequent university lecturer, the Canadian Bar Association established the David Estrin Prize in 2006 for best scholarly essay in environmental, energy or resources law by a Canadian law student to honour his achievements.
Dahlia Saibil earned her LLM in international law with a focus on international human rights law from Georgetown University in 2007. She received her LLB in 2001 from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Sciences in psychology at York University.
Saibil began her career in Toronto as an assistant crown attorney where she specialized in domestic and sexual violence crimes. She then worked as a policy adviser at the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat before joining the United Nations in 2010.
While at the United Nations, Saibil worked at UN Women and the United Nations Development Program where she managed programs and advised on policies addressing violence against women and HIV/AIDs, access to justice, and gender equality and women’s empowerment.
At the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, Saibil practised international law and worked to enhance the accountability of UN officials within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention of the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Susan Wolburgh Jenah is president and Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), a position she has held since the regulator was established in June of 2008.
Wolburgh Jenah was appointed President and CEO of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) in June 2007. In that role, she was responsible for leading the merger of the IDA and Market Regulation Services Inc. (RS) to form IIROC.
Before joining the IDA, Wolburgh Jenah served as vice chair of the Ontario Securities Commission from 2004-2007 and as acting chair of the commission from July to November 2005. Prior to her appointment as Vice Chair, she served as General Counsel and Director of International Affairs, representing the Commission on various Committees of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Wolburgh Jenah has a BA from the University of Toronto and a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1982. In June 2004, she graduated from the inaugural Directors Education Program offered by the Rotman School of Business and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and holds an ICD.D designation.
She currently serves on the board of directors of IIROC, the board of directors of the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, and on the advisory board of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law. She is also the chair of the International Forum for Investor Education (IFIE).
She previously served on the Board of Directors at the ICD (2004-2011), as a Director on the Commission’s Investor Education Fund (2004-2006), as a member of Canada’s Accounting Standards Oversight Council (2004-2007), on the Dean’s Advisory Council for Osgoode Hall Law School (2007-2009), and on the advisory board of the Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI) National Steering Committee on Financial Capability (2007-2010).
The McMurtry Visiting Clinical Fellowship honours Osgoode alumnus R. Roy McMurtry (LLB ’58, LLD ’91), the former Attorney General and Chief Justice of Ontario, and the 12th chancellor of York University.