Joanna Birenbaum

Joanna Birenbaum is a leading lawyer in the area of gender equality and sexual violence. Her two decades of experience in these areas includes constitutional litigation, civil sexual assault claims, advising institutions on sexual violence policies and practices, workplace investigations, representing complainants in sexual history and third party records applications in criminal sex assault proceedings, defending malicious prosecution and defamation claims targeting women who have reported sexual violence, and prosecuting sexual abuse professional discipline cases. Joanna was the legal director of a national women’s equality organization and the acting legal director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, which serves marginalized and racialized populations of women that have survived violence.

Joanna’s publications in the area of sexual violence include her most recent book, co-authored with Professor Karen Busby, “Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints” published by Thomson Reuters (March 2020).

Joanna was the Chair of two previous CCLISAR Independent Review Panels of University sexual violence policies and practices, which can be found online.

Joanna has acted as counsel for various equality-seeking interveners at the Supreme Court of Canada including in Platnick v Bent 2020 SCC 23 (anti-slapp motions), R v. Nur 2015 SCC 15 (mandatory minimum sentences), R v. J.J. and R v. Kirkpatrick (2021 equality issues in sexual assault law) and R v. Quesnelle 2014 SCC 46, and R v. D.A.I. 2012 SCC 5 (access to justice for sexual assault survivors).

Joanna is Ontario counsel for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, representing the NCTR in the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Fontaine 2017 SCC 47, on issues related to the preservation of the records and history of residential schools under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

In 2021, Joanna was awarded the President’s Award by the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, recognizing her leadership and substantial contributions to the legal community. Joanna was a 2014-2015 McMurtry Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School and was adjunct faculty at Osgoode (2014-2017) teaching Law, Gender and Equality and co-directing Osgoode’s Feminist Legal Advocacy clinical program. In addition to her private practice, Joanna is the Director of Capacity Building for CCLISAR (Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Law Response).

Angela Campbell

Angela Campbell is a full professor at McGill Faculty of Law. She researches and teaches in the areas of family law, health law, criminal law, successions law and feminist legal studies. Professor Campbell is also Associate Provost (Equity & Academic Policies) of McGill since 2015.

As Associate Provost, Professor Campbell led the process to establish McGill’s initial Policy against Sexual Violence in 2016 and its comprehensive review in 2019. She is responsible for training and education at McGill, including the university’s mandatory online sexual violence education module, It Takes All of Us. Professor Campbell also oversees the Office of Mediation and Reporting at McGill, which addresses all reports of sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination.

Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at McGill, Professor Campbell clerked for The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci at the Supreme Court of Canada, and taught at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law (Common Law). She earned her B.A. (Hons), B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees from McGill University. She completed her LL.M. at Harvard Law School as a Frank Knox fellow and Langdon H. Gammon fellow.

Her research has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, La Fondation du Barreau du Quebec, La Chambre des Notaires du Québec, and the Foundation for Legal Research. She is currently one of the researchers in the project Accès au Droit et à la Justice. Professor Campbell is co-directing Section 9 of the project which concentrates on access to justice for the youth. She is also the author of Sister Wives, Sex Workers and Surrogates: Outlaws by Choice? (Ashgate 2013). Most recently, she has published on sexual violence courts and has provided evidence to government bodies on this matter.

Professor Campbell was awarded the John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award (2011) and Graduate Law Students’ Association’s Graduate Teaching Award (2015).

Professor Campbell supervises graduate and postdoctoral students working on topics germane to family law, criminal justice, the child and law, feminist theory, successions, women’s health and reproductive rights, disability and legal pluralism.

Carissima Mathen

Carissima Mathen, LSM is full professor of law at the University of Ottawa. Originally from Montreal, she holds degrees from McGill, Osgoode Hall and Columbia University Law School. Prior to becoming a full-time academic she was Counsel and, later, Director of Litigation for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) undertaking equality rights litigation before the Supreme Court of Canada and other courts. She was involved in numerous path-breaking decisions, including several in sexual assault: R v Ewanchuk, R v Darrach and R v Mills.

Professor Mathen is an expert in Canadian constitutional and criminal law. She has authored several books, including the award-winning Courts Without Cases: The Law and Politics of Advisory Opinions (Hart, 2019). She is the Editor of the leading casebook, Canadian Constitutional Law 6th Edition (forthcoming, Emond). Her work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Law Foundation of Ontario. Currently, she leads a research team applying legal data analytics (LDA) to Supreme Court decisions.

Professor Mathen’s scholarship spans all areas of constitutional law, as well as criminal law, legal pedagogy and feminist legal theory. Her work has appeared in various journals including The Supreme Court Law Review, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, National Journal of Constitutional Law, Canadian Bar Review, and Queen’s Law Journal. In 2018, the Law Faculty recognized her work with the Award for Excellence in Legal Research.

Professor Mathen has published numerous op eds and is regularly cited in national media. In 2016, she received the Law Faculty’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations and, in 2018, the University of Ottawa’s Media Relations Award (Commentary). She is committed to public education and legal literacy. She is a recipient of the Law Society Medal, one of the highest honours bestowed by the Ontario bar.