Lorne Sossin served as Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School (2010-2018). Prior to this appointment, he was a Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto (2002-2010). He is a former Associate Dean of the University of Toronto (2004-2007) and served as the inaugural Director of the Centre for the Legal Profession (2008-2010). Previously (1997-2002), he was a faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School, and the Department of Political Science, at York University. His teaching interests span administrative and constitutional law, the regulation of professions, civil litigation, public policy and the judicial process. Professor Sossin was a law clerk to former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada, a former Associate in Law at Columbia Law School and a former litigation lawyer with the firm of Borden & Elliot (now Borden Ladner Gervais LLP).
Dr. Simpson is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and is Chief of Forensic Psychiatry and Clinician Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
He has served in directorial and advisory roles on the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, the International Academy of Psychiatry and Law, and the Canadian Academy of Psychiatry and Law and is a member of multiple Committees of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and the International Journal of Risk and Recovery. He has over 100 refereed papers, book chapters and monographs.
His academic, teaching and research interests are in the area of the interaction of the law and people with serious mental illness (SMI): how we understand pathways to risk, into criminal justice system and for therapeutic intervention and recovery. He is committed to improved understandings, services, outcomes and jurisprudence for persons with SMI who are criminal justice involved. His clinical and service development activities are currently in correctional mental health including in research and in international networks.
Professor Ronda Bessner has been involved in a wide range of areas of the law, including academia, policy work and public inquiries. Bessner’s areas of teaching have been Criminal Law, Evidence, and Children and the Law.
Ronda received her Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and Bachelor of Law (LLB) from McGill Law School and her Masters of Law (LLM) from Harvard Law School. Ronda, together with Susan Lightstone, are the authors of Public Inquiries in Canada: Law and Practice, published in 2017. Ronda is a member of the Consent and Capacity Board.
She is the author of many published articles on child abuse, evidence, criminal law, state intervention in pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS. She has made numerous presentations on these and other subjects at universities, the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, for the Ontario Court of Justice, and at conferences. She has been interviewed on numerous occasions by the media. She was formerly the Assistant Dean (JD) at Osgoode, where she developed and implemented the Academic Success Program.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Richard D. Schneider, B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., LL.B., LL.M., C.Psych. Is a Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice (appointed 2000), Deputy Judge of the Territorial Court of Yukon, and Chair of the Ontario Review Board, and Alternate Chair of the Nunavut Review Board. He was previously a criminal defence lawyer and certified clinical psychologist. Counsel to the Ontario Review Board from 1994 to 2000. Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Criminal Litigation. Private practice was generally limited to the representation of mentally disordered accused. Also, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Named Honorary President of the Canadian Psychological Association in 2002. A great deal of his time has been spent presiding at the Mental Health Court in Toronto [www.mentalhealthcourt.ca]. Major research interests are competency and criminal responsibility. Has published extensively in the area of mental disorder and the law. Recent books include: Mental Disorder and the Law: A primer for legal and mental health professionals (2006, with H. Bloom); Mental Health Courts: Decriminalizing the Mentally Ill (2007, with H. Bloom and M. Heerema); Annotated Mental Health Statutes (2007); The Lunatic and the Lords (2009); Law and Mental Disorder: A Comprehensive and Practical Approach (2013, with H. Bloom); Mental Disorder and the Law: A primer for legal and mental health professionals (2nd Ed., 2017, with H. Bloom); [all published by Irwin Law / www.irwinlaw.com].
Marg Creal is the Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board. Marg served as an Assistant Crown Attorney in downtown Toronto for 27 years during which time she acquired significant experience in mental health issues in the criminal law context. She was a Designated Specialist in mental disorder, appeared regularly before the Ontario Review Board, assisted in the development of and was a designated Crown in Toronto’s Mental Health Court for many years, appeared briefly in Drug Treatment Court, and was a member of MAG’s Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee. Ms. Creal was co-counsel to the Coroner in the Inquest into the death of Ashley Smith and led the evidence in relation to Ms. Smith’s complex and difficult mental health problems. In 2015 Ms. Creal was appointed full-time Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board.
Professor Benjamin Berger is a Full Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and served as Associate Dean (Students) from 2015-2018. He holds an appointment as an Associate Professor (status only) in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto and is a member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Socio-Legal Studies at York University. Prior to joining Osgoode, Professor Berger was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, and was cross-appointed in the Department of Philosophy, at the University of Victoria, where he began teaching in 2004. He holds a JSD and LLM from Yale University, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar, earned his LLB from the University of Victoria, and served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada.
Lucy Costa is Deputy Executive Director of The Empowerment Council, an independent service user rights-based organization in Toronto Canada. She works as a community activist and advocate promoting the rights of mental health service users/survivors as well as encouraging critical analysis about service user inclusion in the mental health sector. She has written a number of articles and blogs, and is co-editor of a forthcoming book entitled, Madness, Violence and Power: A Radical Collection due May 2019 through University of Toronto Press as well as a special edition of the Journal of Ethics and Mental Health on the topic of peer labour and service user inclusion due winter 2018.
B.A., University of Toronto; M.A., University of Chicago; LL.B. McGill University. Called to the Ontario Bar in 2003. Partner at Perez Bryan Procope LLP with focused expertise in administrative and constitutional law, civil litigation and appeals.
Mercedes has represented clients before a range of administrative tribunals and at all levels of court in Ontario, Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. She specializes in mental health/ capacity law, guardianship proceedings, disability rights, police and correctional abuse, elder law and Charter litigation. She has advocated on behalf of clients at hundreds of Ontario Review Board and Consent and Capacity Board hearings and is active in appeals from decisions of these tribunals. She has received numerous amicus curiae appointments from the Ontario Court of Appeal in mental health and capacity appeals.
Mercedes co-instructs the Law and Psychiatry course at Osgoode Hall Law School. As a member and former Vice-Chair of the Mental Health Legal Committee, she has prepared submissions on proposed provincial and federal legislative reform bills. She has been a frequent speaker on capacity, constitutional and administrative law matters at law conferences and continuing legal education programs.
Brendon is a principal lawyer at PooranLaw Professional Corporation. He is involved in most areas of the firm’s practice and regularly provides advice in the areas of wills & estates planning, disability law and corporate law for not-for-profit and charitable organizations. In addition to being a lawyer, Brendon teaches at York University, is the Past-President of Community Living York South and is a founding director of Partners for Planning. He is also a Senior Lawyer Member on the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board.
Pamila Ahlfeld practiced immigration law until 2004 when she joined the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) as a Member initially with the Refugee Protection Division and later with the Immigration Appeal Division. After leaving the IRB, she became an Arbitrator at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). She was also a Member of the Social Security Tribunal (SST). Pamila joined the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) as a Vice-Chair in 2015. She is currently the Acting Associate Chair of the SBT. Pamila holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Mary is currently the Assistant Registrar for both the case administration unit at SBT and the case management team at CFSRB/CRB.
At ALS he helped establish the Community Council – the first urban Aboriginal justice program in Canada in 1992, and in 2001 helped establish the Gladue (Aboriginal Persons) Court at the Old City Hall Courts in Toronto.
Mr. Rudin has written and spoken widely on issues of Aboriginal justice. His book, Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System was released by Emond Publishing earlier this year.
Mr. Rudin also teaches on a part-time basis in the Department of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University. Last but not least, he plays the mandolin and sings with Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, a group that plays regularly in Toronto and has a number of videos on YouTube.