The prolific scholarship of Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Stephanie Ben-Ishai was honoured with a Distinguished Research Professorship during spring convocation ceremonies for the law school on Friday, June 21.
A Distinguished Research Professor is a member of the faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the University through research and whose work is recognized within and outside of the University.
Ben-Ishai is an accomplished scholar of contracts, bankruptcy and financial distress, the regulation of financial products and its intersection with consumer protection and access to justice. With her primary focus on the intersection of financial distress with legal and policy issues, Ben-Ishai’s most significant contribution is her demonstration of the importance of good social and economic policy for dealing with consumer, corporate and sovereign debt. She has spearheaded research on bankruptcy for the poor in the Canadian context, with her paper in the Osgoode Law Journal the first to address this topic. Situating the topic of debt in a political-economic context that considers housing, consumer and welfare law, the role of women in the economy and reconciliation with Indigenous communities, and offering practical and innovative solutions, Ben-Ishai’s work has had a significant impact on public policy. Following the 2008 recession, she led a team of authors to produce a book outlining a roadmap for the 2009 overhaul of Canadian bankruptcy legislation that continues to shape the development of law in the field.
In addition to her publication record, she also is actively engaged in the wider research community, serving as a conference organizer, a regular conference presenter at leading international law schools and as co-founder and co-editor of the Insolvency Institute of Canada Law Journal.
International recognition for Professor Ben-Ishai as a leading scholar is exemplified by the numerous visiting professorships she has held, including at SUNY Plattsburgh and the University of Florida, and her regular contributions as a speaker at the Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference. Other prestigious recognition includes the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals’ International Scholar Award and the 2016-17 Sproul Fellowship in Canadian Studies at UC-Berkeley.