Annual Conference 2010


Saturday, February 27, 2010

8:30am – 5:30pm

Hart House at University of Toronto

7 Hart House Circle (near Museum subway)

(see poster attached)




9:00am – 10:30am:

What has my Citizenship Done for Me Lately? Asserting Repatriation Rights

Speakers: Raoul Boulakia, Olivia Chow, Yavar Hameed and others.

Resisting the Right: Kenney’s Attacks on Immigrant Rights

Speakers: Chris Ramsaroop, Aviva Basman and Karin Baqi.

10:45am – 12:15pm

Movement Legal Defence: Then and Now

Speakers: Irina Cleric, Alan Sears, Bob Kellerman, Joel Kupferman and others.

Israel/Palestine, International Law and the Impact of the Goldstone Report

Speakers: Sijuth Xavier, Michael Lynk, Mark Arnold and Mazen Masri

Security Certificates: The End of an Era?

Speakers: Barb Jackman, Hassam Almrei, and Paul Copeland.

1:30pm – 3:00 pm

Mining and Rights Abuses: Three Legal Strategies for Change

Speakers: Murray Klippenstein, Catherine Coumans and others.

Indigenous Struggles for Sovereignty: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Speakers: Norman Matchewan, David Nahwegahbow, and Shiri Pasternak.



Spakers: Vicki Monague, Anne Ritchie-Nahuis, Steve Ogden, Jeff Monague, Chris Reid, and Peter Rosenthal
Registration fee:

Pay What You Can (Suggeste: $40, $15 for Students)

Wheelchair Accessible. Free Childcare available on site from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Advance Notification Appreciated)

More information: 416-964-8126 or

2008 Law Union AGM

Annual General Meeting

Thursday, October 16th, 2008


Friends’ Meeting House

60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto

(Closest subway: St. George)

Social Gathering to Follow

Non-members Welcome!

Law Union Annual Conference 2008

Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29

Read more for full schedule…


Alex Neve, Secretary General for Amnesty International Canada (English Speaking):

“The insecurity of human rights: Canadian law and practice in the ‘War on Terror’”


Bloor Street United Church

300 Bloor Street West at Huron (2 blocks east of Spadina subway)

$10 (students $5, unwaged PWYC)

After: socialize at the Fox & Fiddle Pub, 280 Bloor Street West


***Please Note New Location!***

Hart House, University of Toronto

7 Hart House Circle (Museum subway), Second Floor

Wheelchair accessible – Childcare available

9:00 – 10:30

Right to Housing: Making it Legally Binding

Peter Rosenthal: Lawyer, Roach Schwartz & Associates
John Fraser: Program Director, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
Tracy Heffernan: Staff Lawyer, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario

Chair – Jennifer Ramsay, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario

Canadian Mining: Resisting Exploitation at Home and Abroad

Eric Gillespie: Lawyer, Cunningham & Gillespie
Charis Kamphuis: Law student, Osgoode Indigenous Intensive Program
Mining Watch Canada

Chair – Ryan White, Law Student

10:45 – 12:15

Police Chases: Any Justification? A Debate

Bob Kellermann: Criminal defence lawyer
Howard Morton: Criminal defence lawyer and former Chair, Special Investigations Unit
Pam McConnell, City councillor & member, Police Services Board
George Cowley Director of Legal Services, Toronto Police Service
Mike Abbott: Director of Uniform Administrative Services, Toronto Police Association
John Sewell, Toronto Police Accountability Coalition

Chair – Paul Copeland: Lawyer, Copeland Duncan

Walking Our Talk: Legal Practice that Reflects our Politics and Values

Juan Carranza: Civil lawyer and founder, Carranza Barristers and Solicitors,
Gitanjali Lena: Criminal defence lawyer and sole practitioner
Amy Wah: sole practitioner, administrative law

Chair – Mac Scott: Immigration consultant, Carranza Barristers and Solicitors

International Solidarity: The Role of Lawyers in Grassroots Struggles

Amina Sherazee, Barrister and Solicitor
Amparo Torres: Colombian labour activist and refugee
Moira Gracey: Lawyer, Carranza Barristers & Solicitors

Chair – Mike Leitold: Lawyer, Roach Schwartz & Associates

1:45 – 3:15

Environmental Refugees: The New Exodus

Laura Westra: Professor Emerita (Philosophy) University of Windsor; Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Ottawa Law School
Amina Sherazee, Barrister and Solicitor
Sima Sahar Zerehi: Status Now Campaign

Chair – Mac Scott: Member, No One Is Illegal; Immigration consultant, Carranza Barristers and Solicitors

Feminist Criminal Law: Theory and Practice

Marlys Edwardh: Criminal defence lawyer, Ruby & Edwardh
Justice Rebecca Shamai, Ontario Court of Justice
Diane Oleskiw: Criminal defence lawyer, Scott & Oleskiw

Gitanjali Lena, Sole Practitioner

Chair – Adriel Weaver: Criminal defence lawyer, Ruby & Edwardh

3:30 – 5:00

Plenary Session – Choice, Access and Women’s Activism:

Abortion Rights Twenty Years after Morgentaler

Judy Rebick: Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University; author of Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution
Kathleen Howes: Staff Lawyer, CAW Legal Services Plan; Past President, Catholics for a Free Choice, Canada
Irina Ceric: Steering Committee Member, Law Union of Ontario; Board Member, Choice in Health Clinic

Chair: Tanya Gwen Thompson, student-at-law, Ruby & Edwardh

Fees: $35 for all panels ($10 students, unwaged PWYC) or $10 per session ($5 students, unwaged PWYC)

Registration begins at 8:30am; Law Union memberships available at the door.

Party Saturday night – location TBA at conference

For more information: 416-964-8126; lawunionconference @

Law Union Annual Conference 2007

February 9 & 10th, 2007
Event to be held at two locations: Friday night Keynote Session will be held at Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor St. West, at 7:00 p.m. Arrive early to register. Saturday sessions will be held at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, U of T, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Justice for a Dying Planet: Law & the Climate Crisis
Atmospheric levels of CO2 are higher now than at any time in the past 420,000 years. This is an evening about “climate justice.” What is the problem? What are the fights that are underway (what fights need to happen!)? What are the solutions – what can the legal profession do – what can a motivated community do?
Gord Perks, Toronto City Councillor
Keith Stewart, Manager, Climate Change Campaign, WWF-Canada
Don Goldberg, Senior Attorney, Centre for International Environmental Law, Washington, D.C.

SATURDAY PANELS 9:00am-5:00pm:

International Law and Canada’s Participation in Afghanistan
Chair: Irina Ceric, PhD candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School, Law Union of Ontario
Speakers: Michael Mandel, Law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, founding member of Lawyers Against War, and author of How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity
Angela Joya, PhD candidate in political science at York University, CUPE 3903 member, Member of fact-finding mission to Afghanistan to take place in Spring 2007.
Lauryn Oastes, Independent Consultant, International Human Rights, Development, and Gender Equality, Women For Afghanistan

Let the People Decide: The Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform Presents an Historic
Opportunity for Change
Chair: Wayne Smith, Member, Fair Vote Canada
Speakers: George Thomson, Chair, Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform
Matthew Certosimo, lawyer, Assembly member
Kael Deverell, member, Students’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

On the Backs of Our Children: Chocolate, Other Comforts, and Child Labour
Chair: Dyanoosh Youssefi, Barrister and Solicitor, Criminal Defence Counsel
Speakers: Carol Off, Journalist, CBC radio’s As It Happens, Author of Bitter Chocolate
Anita Sheth, Senior Analyst, Advocacy Policy and Research, Save the Children
Donna E. Young, Professor of Law, Albany Law School
Steve Benedict, Director, International Department, Canadian Labour Congress

Challenging Police Misconduct in Ontario (a roundtable discussion)
Chair: Jackie Esmonde, Barrister and Solicitor, Roach, Schwartz and Associates, Law Union
Speakers: Bob Kellermann, Barrister and Solicitor, Law Union of Ontario, on the human rights and privacy rights implications of police use of “Form 208s” to record information about members of the public.
Lora Patton, staff lawyer at CLASP, on the criminalization of school behaviour and the increased involvement of police officers in schools.
Dyanoosh Youssefi, Barrister and Solicitor, Law Union of Ontario, on Bill 103, the proposed new police complaints procedure and the ongoing challenge of establishing an independent and fair police complaints procedure.
Julian Roy, senior lawyer at Falconer Charney, on civil litigation strategies for challenging police misconduct, including how to identify and litigate a winning case.
Peter Rosenthal, Barrister and Solicitor, Roach, Schwartz and Associates, on the benefits and pitfalls of using the inquest process to challenge the police use of force which may have resulted in death.
Magaly San Martin, Community Legal Worker at Parkdale Community Legal Clinic, on using the Small Claims Court as a strategy to challenge police misconduct.

Precarious Employment: Gaps in the Law and Strategies for Fighting Back
Chair:Sherry Liang, Member, Canadian Labour Code Review Advisory Panel
Speakers: Tracy Heffernan, Staff Lawyer, Kensington Bellwoods Community Legal Services
Karen Dick, Organizer, Workers Action Centre
Dr. Cynthia Cranford, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Environmental Law: Issues and Updates
Chair: Sarah Dover, Barrister and Solicitor, Campaigner, environmental justice
Speakers: Shawn Patrick Stensil, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada
Dayna Nadine Scott, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School
Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence Canada
David McRobert, In-House Counsel & Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

International Solidarity and Human Rights from the Philippines to Colombia
Presentation and discussion on how we can effectively work as allies with grassroots movements in other countries, and yet remain conscious of the effect of racism and imperialism on mainstream perceptions of global issues and struggles
Speakers: Mike Leitold, Barrister and Solicitor, Roach Schwartz & Associates, recently completed a human rights fact finding mission with other Canadian volunteers in the Philippines
Jeffrey House, Barrister and Solicitor,

Organizing Movement and Movement Lawyers
An informal roundtable to discuss the relationship between lawyers/legal workers and movements for social change.
Chair: Mac Scott, Immigration Consultant, Carranza Barristers and Solicitors, Ontario Coalition
Against Poverty, No One Is Illegal, Law Union of Ontario
Facilitators/speakers: Matthew Behrens, Organizer, Toronto Action for Social Change, Campaign to Stop Secret Trials
Amina Sherazee, Immigrant Rights Lawyer, Downtown Legal Service
Barbara Jackmam, Immigrant Rights Lawyer, Jackman and Associates
Zainab Amadhy, Organizer, Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
John Clarke, Organizer, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Chris Harris, Youth Coordinator, Black Action Defence Committee
Howard Morton, Barrister and Solicitor, Law Union of Ontario
Sima Zerehi, Organizer, No One Is Illegal

PLENARY: The Duty to Consult Aboriginal People: Step Forward or Colonialist Trick?
Chair: Shin Imai, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Opening and Closing Remarks: Murray Klippenstein, Barrister and Solicitor

Conference fees: $10.00 for Friday night keynote ($5.00 for students and unwaged), $35.00 for the Saturday panels ($10.00 for students and unwaged) or $10.00 per single session ($5.00 for students and unwaged)