Barbara Jackman

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Barbara Louise Jackman (born 1950) is a Canadian lawyer specializing in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on cases involving national security, domestic and international human rights issues, torture and other cruel or unusual punishment, allegations of membership in and/or support of terrorist organizations, the rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s responsibilities under international treaties. She has been described as being one of Canada's most effective advocates for immigration and refugee rights.[1][2]

Jackman received her undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor in 1972, her LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1976, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1978. She has been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by the Law Society of Upper Canada in June 2007,[3] and by the University of Windsor in June 2010.[4]

She is actively involved in law reform, and has provided evidence before Standing Committees on Citizenship and Immigration of the House of Commons of Canada[5][6] as well as proceedings before the Senate of Canada regarding the Anti-terrorism Act, S.C. 2001, c.41, the Canadian special advocate system, and the effects of Canadian law on people involved in national security status proceedings, including Hassan Almrei, Adil Charkaoui, Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub.[7] She has also authored several publications which speak to issues of reform of the Canadian refugee determination system.[8][9][10][11]

Significant cases[edit]

Jackman is in private practice, and has acted on behalf of parties or intervenors in a number of leading Charter of Rights cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as other landmark cases concerning other aspects of immigration and refugee matters. In recent years, she has been heavily involved in proceedings relating to national security issues, including security certificates and the Arar[12] and Iacobucci[13][14][15][16] Commissions of Inquiry, regarding the actions of Canadian officials leading to the detention and torture of Maher Arar,[17] Ahmad El-Maati,[18] Muayyed Nureddin and Abdullah Almalki in Syria and Egypt.

She has also argued several seminal motions related to stays of deportation at the Federal Court of Appeal, which are included in the Court's Common List of Authorities[19] Some of Jackman’s more recent high-profile cases include representing Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub, detained under Canada’s controversial security certificate legislation, as well as representing former British MP George Galloway after he was forbidden to enter Canada in March 2009.


  1. ^ "Barbara Jackman awarded the 2008 Sidney B. Linden Award". Legal Aid Ontario. 
  2. ^ "THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ANTI-TERRORISM: A colloquium". University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. 
  3. ^ "LL.D.s awarded along with LL.B.s at 2007 Call to the Bar Ceremonies". Ontario Lawyer's Gazette. 
  4. ^ "UWindsor welcomes five honorary degree recipients at spring convocation". University of Windsor. 
  5. ^ "Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, re study on all aspects of the refugee determination system and illegal migrants, February 10, 2000". Parliament of Canada. 
  6. ^ "Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, re Bill C-50, May 12, 2008". Parliament of Canada. 
  7. ^ "Proceedings of the Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act, May 30, 2005". Parliament of Canada. 
  8. ^ Barbara Jackman. Canada's Refugee Crisis: Planned Mismanagement?. page 321: Institute for Research on Public Policy (1988). ISBN 978-0-88645-080-9. 
  9. ^ Ron Poulton and Barbara Jackman. Detention of asylum seekers: The Canadian Perspective. page 113: Springer (1988). ISBN 978-90-411-0546-2. 
  10. ^ Barbara Jackman. Preventing Deportation. Law Society of Upper Canada, Department of Continuing Education (2008). ISBN 9780887592553. 
  11. ^ Barbara Jackman, Avvy Go, Andrew Brouwer. Refugee reforms trade fairness for haste. Toronto Star (2010). 
  12. ^ "Security Intelligence and the Right to Know panel discussion". The Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security. 
  13. ^ "Iacobucci inquiry faces challenge". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 
  14. ^ "Torture Scandal: The stories of Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Maher Arar". 
  15. ^ "Secrecy could undermine torture inquiry: lawyers". The Canadian Press. 
  16. ^ "Federal officials contributed indirectly to torture of Canadians: report". CBC News. October 21, 2008. [dead link]
  17. ^ MacCharles, Tonda (January 27, 2007). "I wish I could buy my life back". The Toronto Star. 
  18. ^ "Ahmad Abou El Maati: Chronology". 
  19. ^ "Federal Court Common List of Authorities".