Co-Directors and Executive Committee

François Tanguay-Renaud, Co-Director

Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Philosophy, York University
BCL, LLB (McGill), BCL, MPhil, DPhil (Oxon.), of the Bar of Ontario

François Tanguay-Renaud holds degrees in both civil and common law from McGill University, where he was both a Loran Scholar and a Greville-Smith Scholar. He also studied at the National University of Singapore, and completed his graduate work (BCL, MPhil, DPhil) at the University of Oxford, where he was in turn a Rhodes Scholar, holder of the Studentship of the Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Law, as well as doctoral fellow of the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture and of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Prior to joining Osgoode, Professor Tanguay-Renaud was a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. He also served as a law clerk to Justice Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and worked with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and the Asian Network for Free Elections in Thailand, as well as with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Many of his professional activities continue to be international in nature. In the summer of 2009, he was a Visiting Professor at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore and, in 2011, he returned to the University of Oxford as a H.L.A. Hart Visiting Fellow. More recently, he was also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto, Massey College, as well as the Robina Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Minnesota Law School. His current academic interests span a wide range of subject areas, such as criminal law, constitutional law, international law, emergencies and law, viewed mostly through the lens of analytical legal theory, as well as related areas of moral and political theory. He is also co-director of York’s Combined JD/MA in Philosophy Program, and a Member of the Editorial Committee for Transnational Legal Theory.

Professor Tanguay-Renaud started his association with Osgoode in 2006 when he came as a visiting scholar to help redesign the mandate of the Centre. He was Associate and then Acting Director of the Centre from July 2009 to July 2012, and was appointed as full Director in July 2012.

Heidi Matthews, Co-Director

Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School,
BA (Mount Allison), BCL/LLB (McGill), SJD (Harvard)

Professor Heidi Matthews researches and teaches in the areas of international criminal law, the law of war, international legal history and political theory. Her work theorizes contemporary shifts in the practice and discourse of the global legal regulation of political violence, with particular attention to history and gender, as well as political, critical and aesthetic theory.

Prior to joining Osgoode, Professor Matthews held a British Academy Newton International Fellowship at the SOAS School of Law, University of London. She served as a law clerk to the judges of the Appeals Chamber at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and as an intern at the Immediate Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Her doctoral dissertation, “From Aggression to Atrocity: Interrogating the Jus in Bello Turn in International Criminal Law” was awarded Harvard Law School’s Laylin Prize. Professor Matthews has been a Fellow of the Institute for Global Law and Policy and a Clark Byse Fellow at Harvard Law School, as well as a Fellow at the Film Study Center, the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Professor Matthews’ current projects include a critical legal evaluation of American, Canadian and British counterinsurgency policy and practice, a reevaluation of the role of international criminal law during the Cold War, and an intellectual and political history of the concept of military necessity in international law. She is also working on a research and documentary film project that examines narratives of Allied sexual violence perpetrated against German women at the end of World War II. Professor Matthews is active in several international research networks, including the Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law and Cold War International Law projects.

Research interests: International Criminal Law; Law of War/International Humanitarian Law; Public International Law; International Human Rights Law; Feminist, Legal and Political Theory; Law and the Arts.

Ruth Buchanan

Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
AB (Princeton), LLB (University of Victoria), LLM (University of Wisconsin-Madison), SJD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Ruth Buchanan joined Osgoode Hall Law School as an Associate Professor in 2006 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2016. Prior to joining the Osgoode faculty, Professor Buchanan taught at the law schools of the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick. Professor Buchanan also holds an ongoing appointment as a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where she teaches in the Melbourne Law Masters program.

Professor Buchanan holds an SJD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an LLB from the University of Victoria and an AB from Princeton University. In 2011, Professor Buchanan founded the Law.Arts.Culture Colloquium, to create a vibrant forum for the discussion of emerging interdisciplinary work on law and humanities. Since that time, Professor Buchanan, through LAC, has hosted more than two dozen speakers, events and installations. She is also a past Director of the Graduate Program (Research), and a past co-Director of the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.

Obiora Chinedu Okafor

Professor & York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies
LLB (Hons), LLM (Nigeria), LLM, PhD (British Columbia)

Professor Obiora Chinedu Okafor joined Osgoode Hall Law School after holding faculty positions at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria, and at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He has served as an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program; a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar at MIT; a Visiting Professor at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France; a Visiting Professor at the St. Augustine International University, Kampala, Uganda; and as the Gani Fawehinmi Distinguished Chair of Human Rights Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Professor Okafor has published extensively in the fields of international human rights law and immigration/refugee law, as well as general public international law (especially with regard to third world approaches to international law). He is the author of The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces, and International Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Legitimizing Human Rights NGOs: Lessons from Nigeria (Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2006); and Re-Defining Legitimate Statehood (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 2000). He has co-edited three books: Legitimate Governance in Africa: International and Domestic Legal Perspectives (The Hague: Kluwer, 1999); Humanizing Our Global Order: Essays in Honour of Ivan Head (University of Toronto Press, 2003); and The Third World and International Order: Law, Politics and Globalization (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2003). He has edited three special journal issues, and published over seventy (70) journal articles, book chapters and other scholarly writings. He is the Editor of the Transnational Human Rights Review, and sits on the editorial advisory board of a number of scholarly periodicals. He is currently working on a SSHRC-funded partnership development research and dissemination project relating to Canadian/Nigerian human rights engagements; and on a project examining the comparative character of refugee rights in Canada and the USA post 9/11. He is also planning to begin a large multi-year study on Canada’s Human Rights Role in Africa (CARRIA); as well as a smaller study of the role of critical third world international law scholars in socio-economic and political praxis under the auspices of the emergent, Osgoode-anchored, Research Network on International Law in the Global South (RENILIGS).