In the Spring of 2006, the Centre of Law in Aid of Development and Canadian American Research Centre for Law and Policy were amalgamated, creating the Transnational Law and Justice Network (TLJN) at Windsor Law.
Members of this research, advocacy, and networking consortium use law as a tool to research, teach, and work with various communities in pursuit of social justice. The network includes several international members; local members include law professors Reem Bahdi, Sujith Xavier, Patricia Galvão Ferreira, Shanthi Senthe, Vasanthi Venkatesh, Sara Wharton, Valarie Waboose, and several law student interns.
"As individuals and as a network, we aim to make positive contributions to social justice and the world around us,” says Prof. Bahdi, TLJN director.
Last year, TLJN added litigation to its social justice toolkit. The TLJN team has partnered with civil society organizations like Amnesty International and the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to consider how the federal courts determine when civil society organizations can participate in legal proceedings.
“We argued that the rules are confusing and not in keeping with national standards,” notes Dr. Xavier, who along with Bahdi, helped draft the pleadings. Last summer, MITACS awarded Jesse Toma, TLJN’s advocacy intern, a Research Training Internship Award to work on a guide for civil society organizations wanting to share their expertise with Canadian courts.
TLJN has also refocused its efforts around public education. Last month, the network launched a new and improved online presence including a website and Twitter handle. The website was created by TLJN outreach intern J’Davia Noel, cover art painted and digitized by former law student Sahar EL-Kotob (JD 2020), and logo designed by the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. Noel also developed the network’s anti-Black racism resource webpage, which highlights resources relevant and useful to the struggle for equality and liberation with special emphasis on North America.
TLJN works in partnership with Windsor Law's Migrant Farm Worker Legal Clinic. In association with Justicia for Migrant Workers, Dr. Venkatesh and her students advocate to support migrant farm workers, especially during the pandemic. Among their efforts, Venkatesh’s team is developing a legal education website for migrant farm workers.
Each year, the network also organizes several speakers’ series. The Boundaries, Borders and Intersections speakers’ series highlights under-explored or pressing developments in law and legal practice. This year, TLJN has partnered with Researchers, Academics, Advocates of Colour for Equity in Solidarity (RAACES) to focus on anti-Black racism through a series of speakers in March. And Prof. Senthe’s Sports Law Speaker Series provides students a cross-border and international perspective on sports organizations and operations, athlete management, and other legal considerations.
In addition, TLJN organizes an annual conference to highlight unresolved transnational law and social justice issues. A book from the 2018 Decolonizing Law conference is expected in May, while another about Canada and Saudi Arabia is also in the works. This year, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, TLJN’s conference will examine national security and human rights.
For more information about the Transnational Law and Justice Network, visit its website.