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Joanna Birenbaum

Joanna Birenbaum

Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP

Counsel

JBirenbaum@upfhlaw.ca

Joanna Birenbaum is an experienced litigator in Toronto. Her diverse civil and administrative practice includes over eight years prosecuting in the area of regulated health, as well as defending clients in professional discipline proceedings. She also appears regularly in the criminal courts representing sexual assault complainants in records and sexual history applications, as well as acting as counsel for interveners in appellate cases involving sexual assault law. Joanna is recognized for her expertise in gender equality and sexual violence. Her extensive experience in this area includes constitutional litigation, civil sexual assault claims, employment law, human rights and workplace investigations, defending malicious prosecution and defamation claims targeting women who have reported sexual violence, and Supreme Court of Canada appellate advocacy. Joanna has acted as counsel for various interveners at the SCC including in Platnick v Bent (2020 SCC 23), R v. Nur 2015 SCC 15, R v. Quesnelle 2014 SCC 46, and R v. D.A.I. 2012 SCC 5. Joanna was a 2014-2015 McMurtry Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School and was adjunct faculty at Osgoode (2014-2017) teaching Law, Gender and Equality and co-directing the Feminist Legal Advocacy clinical program. In addition to her private practice, Joanna is the Director of Capacity Building for CCLISAR (Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Law Response). Joanna has published in the area of sexual violence including her most recent book, co-authored with Professor Karen Busby, “Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints” published by Thomson Reuters (March 2020). Her other publications include: Joanna Birenbaum, Kelly Gallagher Mackay, “From Equal Access to Individual Exit: The Invisibility of Systemic Discriminatio n in Moore” (2013) 10 JL & Equality 93-112; and Joanna Birenbaum, Isabel Grant, “Taking Threats Seriously: s.264.1 Threats as a Form of Domestic Violence” (2012) 59 Criminal Law Quarterly 206-236.