Sexual Violence Policy Review – External Review Panel Members

Joanna Birenbaum is a litigator in Toronto with over two decades of expertise in gender equality and sexual violence. Her diverse practice in these areas includes constitutional litigation, civil sexual assault claims, employment law, human rights and workplace investigations, representing complainants in sexual history and records applications in criminal sex assault proceedings, defending malicious prosecution and defamation claims targeting women who have reported sexual violence, and Supreme Court of Canada appellate advocacy. Joanna also prosecutes for a regulated health college in Ontario and advises institutions and employers on sexual violence policies and procedures. Joanna was a 2014-2015 McMurtry Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School and adjunct faculty at Osgoode (2014-2017). In addition to her private practice, Joanna is the President of Watershed Legal Projects. Joanna has published in the area of sexual violence including the book, co-authored with Professor Karen Busby, “Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints” published by Thomson Reuters (March 2020).

Elaine Craig is a Professor of Law at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University and Research Director of Watershed Legal Projects.  She teaches and researches in the areas of sexual assault law, constitutional law, evidence law, law and sexuality, and feminist legal theory.  She received her doctorate in law from Dalhousie University.  She also holds a master’s degree in law from Yale University, a bachelor’s degree in law from Dalhousie Law School and a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Alberta.  She has published articles on sexual assault law, the criminal regulation of sex work, censorship, sexual minority equality, feminist legal theory and queer legal theory and is the author of two books: Troubling Sex: Towards A Legal Theory of Sexual Integrity and Putting Trials on Trial: Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession.

Maria Dugas is a Professor of Law at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Professor Dugas earned her Juris Doctor at the Schulich School of Law in 2015 and articled at Nova Scotia Legal Aid, then completed her Masters of Law in 2018. She is a recipient of the James Robinson Johnston Graduate Studies Scholarship and was the first African Nova Scotian to clerk at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. She joined the faculty at the Schulich School of Law in 2018.  She teaches and researches in the area of critical race legal theory, criminal justice, and intellectual property law.  She is the author of numerous articles including research focussed on racism, sexism and misogyny in sports, and race and culture assessments in the sentencing of African Canadian offenders.