Peter A Allard School of Law

Walter S. Owen Lecture 2024

Event Description

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Laverne Jacobs

Laverne Jacobs is a full Professor at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law and a former Associate Dean (Research & Graduate Studies). She teaches, researches and writes in the areas of disability rights law, administrative law, human rights law, and administrative justice. Her work is characterized by an interest in the everyday work of the administrative justice system and in the lived experiences of the people who use it. Dr. Jacobs has held public appointments on boards, committees and tribunals.  She has published and presented widely in her fields, both in Canada and internationally. Dr. Jacobs is the recipient of a number of awards including the Canadian Bar Association Touchstone Award (2021) and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) Academic Excellence Award (2022).

Dr. Jacobs founded and directs The Law, Disability & Social Change Project,  a research and public advocacy centre at Windsor Law that works to foster and develop inclusive communities. She also currently serves as Co-Director of the Disability Rights Working Group at Berkeley Law’s Center for Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Income Security Advocacy Centre and the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice.

In June 2022, Professor Jacobs was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by countries that have ratified it. UN CRPD Committee members are independent experts selected from countries around the globe. Dr. Jacobs is the first-ever Canadian to be elected to serve on the United Nations CRPD Committee, and her election is historic for that reason.

About the Lecture

The Walter S. Owen Chair in Law, the first endowed chair at the law school, was established in honour of The Hon. Walter S. Owen, O.C., Q.C., LL.D., K. St., one of Vancouver's most prominent lawyers, businessmen and philanthropists. Among his many services to the legal profession and the public, he was President of the Canadian Bar Association (1958-59), Treasurer of the Law Society of British Columbia (1964-65), and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia (1973-78). He died in 1980, and the campaign to fund the Walter S. Owen Chair, which was already underway at that time, culminated in the formal establishment of the Chair in 1982.

The Walter S. Owen Lecture is a public expression by the Visiting Professor who holds the Chair, of the Faculty's wish to commemorate Mr. Owen, and to thank those whose contributions enabled the Chair to be endowed.


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