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Lakehead scholar receives CBA research grant

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 1:13 PM | By John Chunn


Assistant professor Miriam Cohen in the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is the first person at Lakehead University to receive a competitive research grant from the Canadian Bar Association’s Law for the Future Fund.

Cohen, who’s based at the university’s Thunder Bay campus, was recently awarded $23,500 to create a database comparing human rights decisions from across Canada.

“The idea for this project came during my own research, when I often found it challenging to access cases concerning human rights in different jurisdictions,” said Cohen. “To deliver and improve human rights in Canada we must inform, educate and discuss. Yet, access to accurate, timely and high-quality information on human rights doctrine and practice in Canada is not widely available,” she said, adding that she hopes her research will change that.

Cohen’s project includes the creation of an accessible research database on leading human rights decisions from tribunals across Canada and a scholarly article analyzing the case law on equality rights. “My project will bridge the knowledge gap in human rights law in Canada by offering relevant and timely treatment of key human rights cases across the country, and draw some comparative analysis of how provinces align or diverge in their decisions on the interpretation of human rights, and what challenges lie ahead,” she said.

Cohen’s research project aims to create a database with leading human rights cases, organized by theme, from jurisdictions across Canada. The goal is to provide a user-friendly tool for judges, practitioners, scholars, teachers and students to access and learn about human rights in Canada, from a comparative perspective. The database will be open-access and free of charge.

At the second stage, Cohen will use the database to compare and contrast human rights law in different jurisdictions in Canada and provide the results of this analysis in an article, drawing on lessons from a comparative perspective and making recommendations for future development.