Friday, June 13, 2014
Mary Eberts

By Lucianna Ciccocioppo / Photo by Alexandra Wong, 2L

The Asper Centre has a new Constitutional-Litigator-in-Residence for the fall 2014: Mary Eberts.

Eberts, a Toronto-based constitutional lawyer and a former faculty member of this law school, will be teaching constitutional advocacy, drawing upon her extensive experience from her public law litigation practice, and from advocating for the Charter rights of her clients. She will also provide mentoring support to clinic students on their case files.

“Our students will learn so much about litigation strategy and the history of advocacy under the Charter from this distinguished and accomplished advocate,” says Cheryl Milne, executive director of the Asper Centre.

Educated at Western University and Harvard law schools, Eberts has appeared as counsel to parties and interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada, Courts of Appeal and Superior Courts in Ontario and other provinces, the Federal Court and Court of Appeal, and before administrative tribunals and inquests across Canada. She was instrumental in securing the present language of section 15 of the Charter, and was one of the founders of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).  Since 1991, she has been litigation counsel to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

“I enjoy working with students as they discover these new areas of law,” says Eberts. “I find it very stimulating to my own thoughts. I like trying to pass on skills that aren’t normally found in books or in didactic learning, so I’m really looking forward to working with students with the case law that is being done at the Asper Centre.”

Her academic career includes the Gordon Henderson Chair in Human Rights at the University of Ottawa (2004-2005) and the Ariel Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the College of Law, University of Saskachewan (2011 and 2012), where she taught courses in test case litigation.  She has received the Law Society Medal, the Governor-General’s Award in Honour of the Persons’ Case, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and several honorary degrees.

Eberts will also be giving a public lecture at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.