Real or fake? U of T law students work with Amnesty International to verify conflict zone videos

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

U of T's DVC working group pictured at the Hong Kong summit. (From left) George Ghabrial, Sara Bolourchian, Amitpal Singh, Milica Pavlovic and Aaqib Mahmood (photo by Alice Tse)
U of T's DVC working group pictured at the Hong Kong summit. (From left) George Ghabrial, Sara Bolourchian, Amitpal Singh, Milica Pavlovic and Aaqib Mahmood (photo by Alice Tse)

By Romi Levine

Hassan M. Ahmad

SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
The New Immunity for Transnational Corporate Human Rights Violations
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Hassan M. Ahmad is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and recently returned from the University of Cambridge where he was a visiting scholar at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Hassan's doctoral thesis explores the liability of multinational corporations in domestic courts pursuant to human rights violations in the Global South. Specifically, he analyzes the role governments play in shielding private corporations from liabiliy for alleged abuses abroad.

Recognized by the American Society of International Law as a "New Voice" and by the American Society of Comparative Law as a "Young Comparativist," Hassan's research interests have focused on doctrinal gaps in domestic and international law, particularly as they relate to access to justice issues for marginalized groups. His work has appeared in, among others, the Annual Proceedings of the American Society of International Law (ASIL)Berkeley Journal of International Law (online), Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Issues in International Criminal Justice, and the Pace International Law Review. He has presented his research at the following venues: European Society of International Law, Law and Society Association, American Society of International Law, American Society of Comparative Law, Yale Law School, the University of Cambridge, UC Berkeley, and the International Criminal Court. His legal commentary has been featured in media outlets such as the Toronto Star, CBC News, CBC Radio as well as local television, radio, and newspaper outlets. 

Hassan teaches an international law course in the Law and Society program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He also teaches an introductory course on Canadian law to graduate law students at the University of Toronto. He has guest lectured in various law and undergraduate classes at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. He previously co-instructed an International Criminal Law course and related moot at Osgoode Hall. 

Prior to commencing his doctoral research, Hassan was a civil litigator appearing before trial and appeal courts as well as administrative tribunals. In addition, he worked at the International Criminal Court where his research contributed to the court's first decision on command responsibility. He also served as a judicial extern for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Hassan continues to litigate select public interest cases including a several-week hearing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Al-Turki v. HMQ Ontario). He also supervises law students in applications to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. 

LL.M., UC Berkeley School of Law (highest honours)
J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School
M.A. (Economics), University of Toronto
B.Sc (Biomaterials), UWO (gold medalist)
B.A., Ivey Business School, UWO (distinction)
Awards and Distinctions
Canada Graduate Scholarship in Honour of Nelson Mandela
Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, SSHRC
Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, SSHRC
Nathan Strauss Q.C. Graduate Fellowship In International Law
O’Brien Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (Declined)
University of Toronto Doctoral Fellowship
“New Voice” in International Law - American Society of International Law
"Young Comparativist" - American Society of Comparative Law
William K. Coblentz Civil Rights Fellowship
The Honourable Ian Scott Public Interest Fellowship
Professional Affiliations
Visiting Scholar, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge
Adjunct Professor (International Law), Wilfrid Laurier University
Instructor (Canadian Legal Methods), University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
Board Member, International Law Section, Ontario Bar Association
Founding Member, International Refugee Assistance Project, Osgoode Hall Law School
Supervising Lawyer, International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto
Fellow, Philippe Kirsch Institute
Mooting Instructor (International Criminal Law), Osgoode Hall Law School
Selected Publications

Articles & Book Chapters

Hassan M. Ahmad, "The Jurisdictional Vacuum: Transnational Corporate Human Rights Claims in Common Law Home States" (2020) Am. J. Comp. L. (forthcoming)

Hassan M. Ahmad, "The Missing Forum for Corporate Human Rights Violations in Africa" in Business and Human Rights Law in Africa (eds. D. Olawuyi & O. Abe, forthcoming 2020). 

Hassan Ahmad, Context at the International Criminal Court” (2017) 29 Pace Int’l L. Rev. 132.

Andrew Roman, Jonathan Heeney and Hassan Ahmad, “Class Actions In Canada: Conflicting Purposes and Unpredictable Outcomes” (2013) 9 Canadian Class Actions Review.

Hassan Ahmad, “The Treatment Action Campaign and the Three Dimensions of Lawyering: Reflections from the Rainbow Nation” (2013) 10 J Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS 17-24. 

Hassan Ahmad, “Equal Liability for all Members of a Joint Criminal Enterprise? Lubanga Continues the Deficiencies of the ad hoc Tribunals” (2012) 2 Issues in Int’l Criminal Justice 46.

Conference Proceedings

Hassan Ahmad, “Context at the International Criminal Court” in Conflict, Accountability, and Justice (2017) ASIL Annual Proceedings.  

Hassan Ahmad, “Traversing the Rule 76 Terrain: Strategizing the Simplified Procedure” (2017) OBA Institute Proceedings.

Book Reviews

Hassan M. Ahmad, The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2019), 57 Can YB Int'l L (2020). 

Hassan Ahmad, Complicity in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2016), 16 J. Int’l Crim Just 491 (2018).

Hassan Ahmad, The Environmental Law of Environmental Impact Assessment  (Cambridge University Press, 2010) 49 Osgoode Hall LJ (2012). 


Elsadig Sheikh et al., “Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration,” Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley, 2017. 


Hassan Ahmad, Courts are handcuffed on corporate human rights abuses abroad, The Conversation, 2019

Hassan Ahmad, For Corporate Liability, Look to Judges, Not Politicians, Canadian Lawyer, 2019

Hassan Ahmad, Tribunals should consider Charter claims, Law Times, 2018

Hassan Ahmad, The Charter, the Great Protector, Law Times, 2017

Hassan Ahmad, Bombs alone won't crush ISIS. What could? IPolitics, 2016.

Hassan Ahmad, The UN Security Council’s Role in Determining Crimes of Aggression, Berkeley Journal of International Law Blog, 2015.

Andrew Roman & Hassan Ahmad, Class action certification for indirect Purchaser Claims: The Sun-Rype And Pro-Sys Decisions of The British Columbia Court Of Appeal, CCH Competition Law Blog, 2011.

Research Interests
Business Corporations
Comparative Law
Critical Legal Theory
International Law
Judicial Decision-Making
Law and Globalization
Legal History
Private International Law
Tort Law and Tort Theory
Committee Members
Bhavani Raman (Dept. of History)
Elizabeth Acorn (Dept. of Political Science)

Prof. Mayo Moran writes "The Macron Report and how we right history’s wrongs"

Friday, December 21, 2018

In a commentary in the Globe and Mail, Prof. Mayo Moran looks at the role of museums in debates about the restitution of cultural objects seized during colonialism, and points to Canadian examples where such objects have been returned to First Nations ("The Macron Report and how we right history’s wrongs," December 21, 2018).

Read the full commentary on the Globe and Mail website, or below.

The Macron Report and how we right history’s wrongs

By Mayo Moran

December 21, 2018

Leah West

SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Protecting Rights in the Digital Age: The Application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Cyberspace
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Leah West is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law. Leah practices and studies national security law, and her current teaching and research interests explore the application of criminal, constitutional and international law to state conduct in cyberspace, and the role of gender in counter-terrorism. She joined the faculty at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University as a Lecturer of National Security and Intelligence in July 2019. 

Leah regularly lectures and engages with the media on her areas of research interest, and has testified before the Senate Committee on Security and Defence. She is actively involved in the organization of the Canadian National Rounds of the Phillip C Jessup International Law Moot. She is also a founding editor of the Intrepid Blog ( 

Leah previously served as Counsel with the Department of Justice in the National Security Litigation and Advisory Group where she appeared before the Federal Court in designated proceedings and the Security Intelligence Review Committee.  Before being called to the Ontario Bar in 2016, Leah clerked for the Honourable Justice Mosley of the Federal Court of Canada.

Prior to attending law school, Leah served in the Canadian Armed Forces for ten years as an Armoured Officer. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as a Junior Operations Officer where she developed the Female Engagement Strategy. 

University of Toronto, SJD Candidate (2018-Present)
University of Ottawa, LLM- International Humanitarian and Security Law (2018)
University of Toronto, JD (2015)
American Military University, MA - Intelligence Studies (2012)
Royal Military College of Canada, BA (Hons)- Politics
Awards and Distinctions
Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) Initiative Doctoral Award + Supplement (2020-21)
Canadian Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela (2019-2022)
McCain Institute National Security and Counterterrorism Fellow (2019-2020)
Aspen Security Forum Scholar (2019)
PEO Scholar Award (2019)
University of Toronto Faculty of Law Doctoral Fellowship (2018-2019)
CDAI Nichola Goddard "Game Changer" Award (2017)
University of Ottawa Anti-Terrorism Law Fellowship (2016-2018)
University of Ottawa Admission Scholarship (2016)
Women in Defence and Security Memorial Scholarship (2014)
Royal Military College "Sword of Honour" (2007)
Canadian Defence Association Profession of Arms Award (2007)
CIS Academic All Canadian (2005, 2006, 2007)
Professional Affiliations
Member in Good Standing- Ontario Law Society
Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society
Canadian Bar Association
Ontario Bar Association
Selected Publications

Papers in refereed Publications

with Craig Forcese,  "Building New Haystacks: Information Retention and Data Exploitation by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service" (2019) 57 Alberta Law Review 175. 

“Canada’s Civilian Cyber Warriors and the International Legal Implications of a “Strong Secure and Engaged Cyber Policy,” Feb 2019, CDA Institute Vimy Paper Vol 41.

“Cyber Force: The International Legal Implications of the Communication Security Establishment’s Expanded Mandate under Bill C-59” 16 Can. J. L. & Tech. 381- 416.

“The Problem of Relevance: Intelligence to Evidence Lessons from UK Terrorism Prosecutions” (2018) 41:4 Manitoba Law
Journal 57-112.

with Craig Forcese, “Killing Citizens: Core Legal Dilemmas in the Targeted Killing of Canadian Terrorist Fighters Abroad”
(2017) 54 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 134-187


Forthcoming Publications

with Craig Forcese, National Security Law, 2nd Ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2020)

“Watchful Eyes: Review and Oversight in Canada” in Stephanie Carvin, Thomas Juneau and Craig Forcese, eds, The Canadian Security and Intelligence Community (forthcoming).

with Craig Forcese, “Judicial supervision of counter-terrorism laws in comparative democracies” in Ben Saul ed, Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism, 2nd Ed (forthcoming Edward Elgar: North Hampton).


Research Interests
Canadian Constitutional Law
Charter of Rights
Comparative Law
Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Feminist Analysis of Law
Immigration and Citizenship Law
International Law
National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law
Committee Members

Think Locally, Act Globally: Challenging Canada's Human Rights Record at the UN

Monday, July 9, 2018

IHRP panel

(L) Samer Muscati, Director, International Human Rights Program; Shalini Konanur, Executive Director, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO); Amanda Dale, Executive Director, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic; Angela Wong, Staff Lawyer, Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC); and Monette Maillet, Director General, Canadian Human Rights Commission.


By Jenny Mao, 3L