Isfahan Merali, B.A., LL.B.
Senior Counsel, Consent & Capacity Board, 2012-Present
Counsel & Deputy Registrar, Ontario Judicial Council & Justice of the Peace Review Council, (Office of the Chief Justice, Ontario Court of Justice), 2016-2017
Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission, 1997-2012
Equity Officer (Senior Position), University of Toronto, 2009-2010
Director (Acting), International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto, 1999-2000
Bimickaway Indigenous Cultural Competence Training, 2018
Indigenous Law Camp, University of Toronto (Cape Croker), 2017
Certificate in Elder Law, Osgoode Hall Law Society, 2018
Certificate in Adjudication, Law Society Tribunal & Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators, 2015
Effective Decisions Writing Certificate, Society of Adjudicators and Regulators, 2009.
Adjudicator Training Certificate, Society of Adjudicators and Regulators, 2009
Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certification, University of Windsor, 2009
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certification, University of Windsor, 2006
Human Rights Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 1999-2000
International Human Rights Certification, Canadian Human Rights Foundation, 1997
Call to the Bar, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 1997
Bachelor of Laws, University of Toronto, 1995
Diploma in Spanish Language Studies, Honours Distinction, Official School of Languages, Barcelona, Spain, 1993
Advanced Diploma in French Studies, Université de Pau, Academie de Bordeaux, France, 1993
Bachelor of Arts with Distinction (Double Major in Canadian Studies & History, Minor in East Asian Studies), University College, 1990
Membership & Service
Bencher, Toronto Region, The Law Society of Ontario: Chair, Tribunal Committee; Chair, Mental Health Working Group; Equity & Aboriginal Issues Committee, Member; Member, Priority and Planning Committee; LL.D. & Awards Committee; Member, (former) Indigenous Review Panel
Tribunal Member, Hearing & Appeal Division, Law Society Tribunal
Trustee, Law Foundation of Ontario
South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, Member & Mentor
Canadian Black Lawyers Association (CABL) Speed Mentoring Event, May 2017
Volunteer Mock Trial Judge, Ontario Law Day Mock Trial, OBA/OJEN Mock Trial Programme for High School Students, April 2017
Volunteer Mock Trial Appeal Judge, Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot, Black Law Students’ Association of Canada, February 2017
Panel Judge, Precedent Setter Award, 2016
Equity Advisory Group, Member, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2009-2015
Osgoode Public Interest Program & The Advocate's Society, Mental Health Law Program, Former Mentor
Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC), Member and Former Member of Bargaining Team (2007-2009) &
ALOC Branch Representative (2006 to present)
Ministry of the Attorney General, Diversity Committee, Former Member
Ministry of the Attorney General, Mentoring Committee, Former Member
Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), Member
Ontario Bar Association, Member (Administrative, Constitutional & Human Rights, Criminal, Family and Elder Law Section Member)
The Advocates Society, Member
Women’s Law Association of Ontario, Member
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Associate Member
Ronald MacDonald House, Sick Children’s Hospital, Former Volunteer
International Human Rights Programme/Women’s Human Rights Website (WHRR), Faculty of Law, Univ. of Toronto, Former Volunteer
Pro Bono Students Canada, Former Project Supervisor & Mentor
St. Albans Boy’s & Girls Club, Former Volunteer
Law in Action within Schools (LAWS), Former Volunteer
Action Canada for Population and Development, Former Board Director
Human Rights Internet, Former Board Director
Horizon Alternative Senior School, Former Co-Chair, School Advisory Council, 2010-2015
Honours & Awards
Community Leader, Federation of Asian Canadian Leaders (FACL) Community Leaders Showcase, 2017
Recipient of Legal Award for Excellence & Leadership, South Asian Bar Association, 2015
Recipient of Trinity-Spadina Community Service Award, 2013
Selected Presentations & Speeches
Panelist, Human Rights Panel, SOAR Adjudicator Training Certificate Course, 2019
Panelist, Leading Change: Leadership Development Bootcamp for Racialized Lawyers, CBA, May 2019
Panelist, A Conversation on Diversity, NCA Network & Toronto Lawyer's Association, March 2019
Opening Remarks, Hispanic Heritage Month Program: Latinas in Leadership”, November, 2018
Opening Remarks, Canadian Black Lawyer’s Association Annual Conference, October 2018
Panelist, Cultural Competence, 6th Annual Human Rights Summit, LSO CPD, December 7, 2017
Speaker, Pro Bono Student Canada Annual Conference (Theme: Indigenous Issues), May 18, 2017
Closing Remarks, Asian and South Asian Heritage Equity Event, Law Society of Upper Canada, "Combatting Islamaphobia", May 9, 2017
Panelist, “Networking Tips for Women Lawyers: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities”, Ontario Bar Association, December 2016
Panelist, “Through the Door and at the Table: Women & Racial Diversity”, The Law Society of Upper Canada & Women’s Law Association of Ontario, September 2016
Moderator and Opening Remarks, “Speaking up for Positive Mental Health Awareness and Support”, The Law Society of Upper Canada, May 2016
Panelist, Diverse Careers for Women in Law, WLAO & The Law Society of Upper Canada, April 2016
Fluent in English, good knowledge of French and Spanish; basic comprehension of Kachi, Catalan and Italian.
Merali, Isfahan, Why am I campaigning for bencher with a running mate? Because it's the most effective way to bring diversity to to the Law Society (Opinion Piece), The Precedent, April 23, 2019, lawandstyle.ca/career/why-am-i-campaigning-for-bencher-with-a-running-mate/
Merali, Isfahan, The inside story of the first female South Asian bencher (Opinion Piece), The Precedent, Fall Issue, http://lawandstyle.ca/law/opinion-the-inside-story-of-the-first-female-south-asian-bencher/
Merali, Isfahan and Oosterveld, Valerie, (eds.), Reaching Beyond Words: Giving Meaning to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001).
Merali, Isfahan, “Advancing Women’s Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights: Effectively using the International Human Rights System” (November 2000) 10 Development in Practice 609-624.
Cook, Rebecca J. & Merali, Isfahan, “The Interpretation and Application of Human Rights by Commonwealth Courts to Reproductive and Sexual Health”, (1999) 23 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 109-117.
Merali, Isfahan, “Advancing women’s reproductive and sexual health through empowerment and human rights” (2001) 23(8) Journal of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, 694-700.
Cook, Rebecca J., Isfahan Merali and Julie Stanchieri, The Application of Human Rights to Reproductive and Sexual Health: A Compilation of the Work of International Human Rights Treaty Bodies, 3rd ed. (Ottawa: Action Canada for Population and Development, 2005).
Anne Carbert, Julie Stanchieri, and Rebecca J. Cook (Updated by Merali, Isfahan, Kibrom Teklehaimanot), A Handbook for Advocacy in the African Human Rights System: Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Health, 2nd ed (Chapel Hill/Nairobi: Ipas, 2006).
El Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos: Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos en Acción (The Inter-American Human Rights System: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Action) produced by the International Programme on Reproductive and Sexual Health Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and Profamilia Legal Services for Women, Bogotá, Colombia, 2001, Vol. I-IV. (compilers: María Christina Calderón, María Isabel Plata, Julie Lemaitre, Julie Stanchieri, Isfahan Merali and Rebecca J. Cook).
Isfahan Merali Bencher, Toronto Region