Members of the Human Rights Expert Panel

The Human Rights Expert Panel is composed of the following members:


Edward Béchard-Torres

Edward Béchard-Torres is a law professor at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, Toronto Metropolitan University. His research centers on comparative constitutional law, socio-economic rights, and their relationship to corporate and commercial law. He was previously a Scholar in Residence at New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. He holds law degrees from McGill University and the University of Cambridge. From 2015-2016, he served as a law clerk to Justice Suzanne Côté at the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition to being a member of the Barreau du Québec, Professor Béchard-Torres has also practiced litigation at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and at IMK LLP in Montreal, appearing before various levels of court. In 2018, he assisted the amici curiae in the landmark Vavilov and Bell administrative law appeals before the Supreme Court. He is from Montreal and is Venezuelan-Canadian.

Catherine Dauvergne

Catherine Dauvergne is the eighth dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Professor Dauvergne has been working in the area of refugee, immigration, and citizenship law over the past quarter of a century.  For a decade she held the Canada Research in Migration Law.  In 2012, Professor Dauvergne was named a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation in recognition of her contributions to public discourse in Canada. She has written three books that take a broad perspective on the theoretical underpinnings of these areas of law, including considering how human rights principles and discourses fit into a migration and citizenship framework. Sheis also an editor or co-author of four other volumes, including Canada’s immigration and refugee law casebook.  Much of her work engages feminist critique of the law, and the place of women in immigration, refugee, and citizenship laws. Professor Dauvergne is currently a research collaborator with colleagues Ben Goold and Efrat Arbel on the SSHRC funded project Finding a Place for Rights: An Independent Evaluation of the Impact of the Beyond the Border Initiative on Human Rights at the Canada-US Border.

Lucie Lamarche

Lucie Lamarche (Barreau du Quebec, 1978; Doctorate in International Law from the Université libre de Bruxelles, 1994) is a professor in the Department of Law at the Université du Québec à Montréal and an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She received the postdoctoral Jean Monnet Fellowship (1998), the Christine Tourigny Award of Merit for social justice from the Barreau du Québec (2002), the Centrale des syndicats du Québec Award of Merit (2006) and the Pierre Dansereau Award for a researcher’s social engagement (Association canadienne française pour l’avancement des savoirs (ACFAS) (2016)). She has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2016. As the Gordon F. Henderson Chair from 2007 to 2013, she directed the Human Rights and Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. Professor Lamarche also sits on the board of directors of Quebec’s Ligue des droits et libertés de la personne.

Samantha Peters

Samantha Peters (they/she) is a human rights lawyer with a background in labour and employment law. Samantha Peters engages in work at the intersection of law, education and policy, ranging from law reform initiatives to legal education to legislative research, including serving in the augural role of Black Legal Mentor-in-Residence/Mentor Juridique pour la Communauté Noire at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. Presently, Samantha is the Director of Legal Initiatives and Public Interest at Black Femme Legal which is a Black femme led organization offering a toolkit in support of Black queer and trans women, femmes and gender expansive folks across the 2SLGBTQI+ community in Ontario experiencing intersecting forms of discrimination and/or harassment in their workplace. Samantha Peters also served as a member of the City of Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) Council Advisory Body where she provided advice to City staff and City Council on identified priority issues to support the elimination of barriers and inequities experienced by 2SLGBTQ+ communities in accessing City of Toronto programs and services. Samantha holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law with specializations in Public Law, and Dispute Resolution & Professionalism.  She is also a LLM candidate at Queen's University Faculty of Law, specializing in Political and Legal Thought.

Yvonne Peters

Yvonne Peters practiced human rights law in Winnipeg for 30 years. She served on the Manitoba Human Rights Commission Board of Commissioners from 2001 to 2017, holding the position of Chair from 2014 to 2017.

Ms Peters is an active participant in the Canadian cross disability rights community and has served as legal counsel on key disability rights test cases. She played a leading role in the implementation of regulated midwifery in Manitoba and was the project manager for the development of a free-standing birth center in Winnipeg. Yvonne currently serves as the president of the Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg and is a member of the Winnipeg Folk Festival Board of Directors.

Jo-Anne Pickel

Jo-Anne Pickel is an adjudicator on the Refugee Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) where she decides appeals filed by persons claiming refugee status in Canada. Prior to her appointment to the IRB, Ms Pickel was a Vice-Chair at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario where she heard and relayed decisions on human rights complaints filed under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Before becoming an adjudicator, she was a partner at a Toronto labour law firm. She holds a civil and a common law degree from McGill University and a doctorate in law from the University of Toronto. She is member of the Bar of Ontario. Jo-Anne has an abiding interest in the place of constitutional rights in efforts to seek social change.

Brenda Young

Brenda Young is a proud Anishinaabe-Kwe who cherishes her privilege of being a mom. Through the years, her passion to address inequities resulted in public service to boards and committees committed to race relations, anti-bullying, mental health, and women’s issues. She continues to serve on the Legal Aid Ontario Aboriginal Issues Advisory Committee, the Law Society of Ontario Equity Advisory Group, and is a part-time member with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

As a lawyer, Ms Young has devoted her career to understanding human rights and seeking solutions that respect human rights. She has examined human rights systems within the provincial, national, and international fora. She participated as an Indigenous Fellow with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and was also a recipient of the Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship.

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