U of T Law Dean’s Strategic Fund supports scholars from Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Indigenous-led community work

Aug 24, 2022
Jackie Brown smiles, standing in a sunny forest.
JD student Jackie Brown is helping Indigenous communities finance conservation projects. Photo courtesy Jackie Brown

When the University of Toronto and its donors rally together, we can achieve amazing things — like the critical projects supported by the U of T Law Dean’s Strategic Fund in 2022/2023.

The fund allows the Dean to address the most urgent needs of the law school as well as invest in rapidly emerging opportunities. While endowed gifts are invested for the long term, annual funds like this fuel swift action — and have an immediate impact on our vibrant, intellectual community.

U of T Law to welcome master’s students and visiting scholar from Ukraine amid ongoing war

U of T is committed to supporting refugees who have had their education disrupted by conflict or war, including scholars from Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria. 

Four legal scholars from Ukraine will receive financial support towards their Master of Laws at U of T. All four were admitted to the coursework stream in the Business Law concentration.

Visiting scholar Ghizaal Haress, former ombudsperson of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Constitutional law expert Ghizaal Haress served as the first Ombudsperson of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from August 2019 to May 2021. She was the first woman to ever lead a law enforcement institution within the legal sector in Afghanistan. She was tasked with investigating allegations of corruption within the top levels of the Afghan government. Haress was formerly the only female member of the Afghanistan Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Afghan Constitution.

Ghizaal Haress smiling.

Visiting scholar Ghizaal Haress will collaborate on research related to governance of countries in conflict. Photo courtesy of Ghizaal Haress

Haress has taught at the American University of Afghanistan as an Assistant Professor of Law for 10 years. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London, and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Kabul University.

As a visiting scholar, Haress will engage with students and faculty at U of T Law and U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

“I hope that this opportunity will help me engage in academic discourse and collaborate on research endeavours with the scholars and professors at U of T,” says Haress. “I would love to contribute to the community by sharing my experiences from a developing in-conflict country on rule of law and governance.”

Ghizaal Haress smiling.

Visiting scholar Ghizaal Haress will collaborate on research related to governance of countries in conflict. Photo courtesy of Ghizaal Haress

Learning at the forefront of Indigenous-led conservation: JD student Jackie Brown

Second-year JD student Jackie Brown received a stipend and support for travel costs to work in Yellowknife with an Indigenous community-based organization.

She is working on the development of a Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) for the Northwest Territories, with the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, an organization committed to furthering the role of Indigenous Nations in land use planning, conservation, and stewardship.

“PFPs are tools for financing conservation and community development, involving partners from Indigenous and public governments and private philanthropic donors, and support ambitious conservation plans designed and implemented by Indigenous communities,” says Brown.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel to Yellowknife. I am very interested in community self-governance and collective action and look forward to learning from those at the forefront of Indigenous-led conservation.”