Osgoode student receives Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize 

Osgoode Hall Law School entrance to the Ignat Kaneff building

Maryam Hassan, a graduating student of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Juris Doctor program, and incoming articling student at Henein Hutchison LLP, is a recipient of the inaugural Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize presented by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). 

Maryam Hassan

Hassan is recognized for her work in addressing systemic racism within and beyond the criminal justice system to advocate for marginalized communities.

A prize of $1,000 is presented annually to a graduating law student in every law school in Canada. Hassan is one of 23 graduating students across 23 law schools in Canada to receive the Prize.  

Hassan shared she was honoured to be named Osgoode Hall Law School’s inaugural winner of the Royal Society of Canada’s Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize. She also congratulated this year’s recipients for “their hard work in positively influencing equity and social justice.” 

“I am very grateful for the warm support of my mentors, professors, friends, family, and my St. James Town community for nurturing me, uplifting me, and inspiring me to continue my social justice advocacy,” said Hassan. 

The RSC established the prize in honour of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, a changemaker celebrated for her visionary intellectual contributions and commitment to building equality and equity across Canadian society and beyond. 

During her distinguished career, Abella chaired and authored the Ontario Study on Access to Legal Services by the Disabled in 1983 and was the sole commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, creating the term and concept of “employment equity.” The theories of “equality” and “discrimination” she developed in her Royal Commission Report were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in its first decision dealing with equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1989, which has been implemented by governments around the world. 

In the announcement of the inaugural winners, RSC President Jeremy N. McNeil shared, “we are very proud of the inaugural winners of the Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize, who represent the values of equality and equity we need in our country as we move forward.” 

Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences, and The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The RSC recognizes excellence, advises the government and the larger society, and promotes a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world. 

To learn more about the Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize, visit the RSC website.