The Centre for Constitutional Law and Legal Studies is pleased to have the following Centre Associates:
Joanna Baron is executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a legal charity that protects constitutional freedoms in courts of law and public opinion. Previously, she was the founding National Director of the Runnymede Society and a criminal defence litigator in Toronto. She studied classics at St John’s College in Maryland and New Mexico and law at McGill University.
Peter L. Biro is the founder of Section 1 (www.section1.ca), a democracy and civic engagement think-tank. He is a passionate advocate for democracy, civil liberties, human rights and wildlife conservation. He is a lawyer, educator, writer, businessman and community leader and is Chief Executive Officer of Newcon Optik. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Chair Emeritus and Past-Chair of the Jane Goodall Institute, Member of the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation Circle For Hope, Ambassador for CITIZN INC., and Chair of the Advisory Board of AVAIL. Peter was previously a partner at two distinguished full service “Bay Street” law firms and was, for two decades, a leading member of the litigation and employment bars in Ontario. He has served as a Governor of the University of Haifa and as President of Canadian Friends of Haifa University. Peter has degrees in political theory from the University of Guelph (Hons. B.A.) and McMaster University (M.A.) and law degrees (LLB and BCL) from McGill University. He is the Editor of Constitutional Democracy Under Stress: A Time for Heroic Citizenship (Mosaic Press), and of The Notwithstanding Clause at 40: Canadian Constitutional Democracy at a Crossroads (forthcoming).
After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a B.Comm (Hons), David Chatterson worked for a bank and framed houses before accepting an offer to work for the Federal Government in Ottawa. He spent the next three decades working on anti-dumping and countervail investigations, trade policy research and trade dispute resolution, and international trade negotiations. He worked in Ottawa and abroad with two postings to Tokyo and one to the OECD in Paris. David was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen in 2009 and as Canada’s Ambassador to South Korea and North Korea in 2011. During his career David worked mostly on public policy analysis, development and implementation, worked closely with Ministers and their political staff, and was motivated by the desire to obtain positive outcomes for Canadians. He subsequently moved to Kelowna where he has been busy building a house, touring the region by motorcycle and kayak, writing occasional op-eds and teaching a few courses at UBCO.
Jill Dougans practices as a trial lawyer in Vancouver, Surrey and Kelowna. Her practice has included personal injury law, insurance law, employment law and general litigation. She has been a mediator and roster member of MediateBC since 2003. Jill enjoys teaching and for five years she taught a 4th year Political Science course on contemporary law at UBCO. She is also a skills coach with the Justice Institute of BC in their Conflict Resolution program. Since 2016, Jill has been a member of the discipline tribunal for the Law Society of BC. She is also a member of the organizing committee for the UBCO Roger Watts Debate. Jill spends time with family and friends in Kelowna and Vancouver and when she has any free time she’ll be on her bike or skiing.
Jessica Fleming is based in Edmonton and is currently developing a broad litigation practice. She is bilingual and bijural, having obtained a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Civil Law from the Université de Montréal. In 2019, Jessica completed a Master of Laws degree from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as the Law Society of Alberta’s Viscount Bennett Scholar. Prior to entering legal practice, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Chief Justice Marc Noël of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Honorable Russell Brown of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Xavier Foccroulle Ménard
Xavier Foccroulle Ménard holds a B.C.L. and an LL.B./JD from McGill University Faculty of Law and an LL.M. in legal theory from the University of Toronto. He is an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in Montréal, and has previously worked in Paris for a top-tier law firm and clerked with the Honorable Gregory Moore at the Superior Court of Québec. He generally publishes on legal theory, banking and finance law, and constitutional law.
Peter A. Gall is widely recognized for his expertise in general civil litigation, administrative law and constitutional law, as well as in labour and employment law. He has acted as counsel before various administrative tribunals and at all levels of the courts. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in numerous landmark constitutional law decisions, including: References re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11; Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University, 2018 SCC 32; Health Services and Support – Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn v. British Columbia, 2007 SCC 27; and Stoffman v. Vancouver General Hospital,  3 S.C.R. 483. He has authored numerous articles on administrative, constitutional and labour law, some of which have been cited and quoted by the Supreme Court of Canada. As a regular guest speaker in Canada and abroad, he has been a keynote speaker at the Stanford lectures for Canadian Judges. He has served as the associate editor of Administrative Law Reports and is a former contributing editor of Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Cases. He has been an adjunct professor at Stanford University, University of Victoria and University of British Columbia Law Schools, and was a visiting scholar at the Stanford Law School in 2004.
Marvin P. Geekie
Marvin Geekie’s practice includes immigration law, dispute resolution and commercial litigation, along with personal injury litigation. He also has extensive trial experience in both the Provincial and Supreme Courts of British Columbia and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court. As a member in good standing of the Canadian Law Society, Marvin is authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to represent his clients in all immigration matters. UBCO has been lucky to have him teach about issues in contemporary law in the Political Science program in Kelowna.
Jason Gratl is a constitutional and human rights lawyer operating at all levels of Court. He is a civil libertarian and often acts on behalf of marginalized and oppressed individuals and groups, including users of illicit drugs, sex workers, convicts, homeless persons and persons who have had difficulty exercising their right to free expression. Jason’s practice is generalist in the sense that he litigates in the areas of civil, constitutional, administrative and criminal law. His practice is specialized in the sense that he avoids litigating the same case twice, seeks out uncharted territory and special problems. Jason has an MA in philosophy from the University of Waterloo, taught a seminar in public law as adjunct professor at UBC Allard Law School, and is currently engaged in PhD work at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law.
Asher Honickman is a founding partner of Jordan Honickman Barristers, a downtown Toronto law firm. He has a diverse practice that includes civil and commercial litigation or subjects including defamation, insurance, employment law, personal injury law, long term disability law and professional misconduct law, as well as, administrative and constitutional law. Asher has appeared at every level of court in Ontario, along with the Supreme Court of Canada. Asher has co-founded two legal societies, Advocates for the Rule of Law (ARL) in 2014, followed by the Runnymede Society in 2016. ARL has intervened several times before the Supreme Court of Canada, while the Runnymede Society has established chapters in law schools across Canada. In 2020, Asher was the recipient of the prestigious Dan Soberman Outstanding Young Alumni Award (for early-career success) from his alma mater, Queen’s Law. The award recognized that Asher “has become a respected public voice on legal issues.”
Kristopher Kinsinger is the national director of the Runnymede Society and an adjunct lecturer in law at Redeemer University. He received his JD from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2019, where he was the recipient of several scholarships and prizes before completing his articles of clerkship with a national law firm in Waterloo, Ontario. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020, and received his LLM from McGill University in 2021 on a Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and with the Pilarczyk Graduate Award in Law. Kristopher’s research is focussed on fundamental freedoms, constitutional architecture and Canadian legal history. His writing has appeared in periodicals such as The Supreme Court Law Review, Constitutional Forum, and the National Post. Kristopher currently serves on the board of directors of Christian Legal Fellowship and as an officer with the Canadian Bar Association’s Constitutional and Human Rights Section.
Preston Jordan Lim holds an AB from Princeton University, a Master in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University—where he studied as a Schwarzman Scholar—and a JD from Yale Law School. He clerked for the Court of Appeal for Ontario and is currently serving as a judicial law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He has published in the fields of constitutional, administrative, military, and international law.
Derek Ross, LL.B. (Western), LL.M. (Toronto) is Executive Director & General Counsel for Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF), Canada’s national association of Christian lawyers, jurists, and law students. He has acted for public interest interveners in a number of cases involving the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, appearing at all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also appeared before legislative and Parliamentary committees to present on legal and constitutional issues. In 2017, Derek helped found CLF’s annual Academic Symposium on Religion, Law & Human Rights, and has edited/co-edited four resulting collections published as special volumes of Canada’s Supreme Court Law Review. Derek is also editor-in-chief of the Christian Legal Journal, and currently serves as an executive member of the Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section of both the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association.
Amit Singh is a Lecturer at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at the Toronto Metropolitan University and a litigation and international arbitration lawyer working in New York City and London. Amit completed a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Toronto, following which he received a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. During law school, Amit served as Editor-in-Chief of both the Journal of Law & Equality and Indigenous Law Journal, and founded the Yale-Toronto Private Law Theory Discussion group. Amit has eclectic research interests that straddle both public and private law. His published writing explores issues in private law theory, remedies, Aboriginal law, Supreme Court
adjudication, the jurisprudence of revolutionary legality, and more, and appears in journals such as the McGill Law Journal, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence ,and Osgoode Hall Law Journal. He has presented his research at law schools in the United States, Canada, UK, and Israel.
Todd Statham is a chaplain (Christian Reformed) at UBC Okanagan. Since completing doctoral studies at McGill in 2011, he has worked as a lecturer and researcher at universities in Malawi and Germany, and has published both academic and popular articles. A theologian by training, Todd is interested in the legal and social status of religious pluralism and religious freedom in Canada (including on campuses) and also the interplay of theological and secular conceptions of justice and law. Todd lives in Kelowna with his wife, three children and many horses and cats.
David Sutherland has argued constitutional cases at all levels of court in Canada. Since 1983, he has also provided a full range of media law advice to journalists, editors and publishers. Topics he has advised about include libel, hate, obscenity, contempt, copyright law, source-confidentiality, privacy, freedom of information, search warrants and subpoenas directed at the newsroom. He has also given pre-publication advice regarding proposed copy, statutory and discretionary publication bans, access to courts, insurance coverage, preventive measures, claims-handling, industry self-regulation, and related matters. David has been active with regard to civil liberties and human rights, and he has chaired the board of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, an NGO having special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Christine Van Geyn
Christine Van Geyn is a Canadian lawyer, television host and YouTuber. Christine is the Litigation Director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a legal charity that advocates for fundamental freedoms in Canada. She is host of the national broadcast television program Canadian Justice, an opinion show about Canada’s most fascinating legal issues and cases. Christine also hosts and produces Canada’s most popular YouTube channel about constitutional law. Christine has an undergraduate degree in Ethics, Society and Law from University of Toronto, Trinity College, and a JD from Osgoode Hall Law school. She also studied at New York University School of Law. Before joining CCF, Christine practiced commercial litigation, and worked for a Canadian not-for profit.