Adjunct Professor

Michael Battista LL.B. (Queen's) B.A. (Toronto)  has been practicing immigration and refugee law exclusively since being called to the bar in 1992 and has been certified as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration law (Immigration and Refugee Protection) by the Law Society of Ontario since 2003. His legal practice involves representation of clients in all areas of immigration and refugee law with a particular focus on immigration issues for the LGBTQ community, academics, and inadmissibility. Michael is the co-author of two legal textbooks: Family Class Sponsorships in Canadian Immigration Law (2021, Emond) Canadian Family and Immigration Law: Intersections, Developments, and Conflicts (2015, Carswell) and he contributed a chapter on LGBTQ2+ Immigration Issues in LGBTQ2 Law, Practice Issues and Analysis (2020, Emond).

Michael has been adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law since 2003, teaching immigration and refugee law. He also teaches migration policy at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, where he was awarded the inaugural Teaching Innovation Award in 2018.  He served as an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s immigration section and as Litigation Coordinator for the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration Section, receiving the section’s Volunteer Appreciation Award in 2019. His work with CBA has focused on access to justice for unrepresented litigants.

Michael has acted as counsel for interveners such as Amnesty International, EGALE Canada, and Rainbow Railroad in litigation at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Ontario Court of Appeal. From 1999 to 2002, Michael worked with LGBTQ advocacy organizations to expand the family class to LGBTQ families in Canadian immigration law.

Michael served as Chair of Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto, and is the Founding Chair of Rainbow Railroad, an LGBTQ refugee support organization. Michael was awarded membership in the Ontario AIDS Network Honor Roll in recognition of his work on issues related to HIV and immigration. He is also a recipient of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto’s Community Service Award.

Michael is regularly invited to speak on immigration and refugee issues to the media, government standing committees, legal professional bodies, academics, and community groups.