The Philippe Kirsch Institute is the educational division of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ). The Kirsch Institute is overseen by CCIJ staff members, with generous assistance from our Legal Fellows and interns.

Legal Fellows

Hassan Ahmad PKI

Hassan Ahmad, 2017-Present

Hassan is a civil and commercial litigator in Toronto with Loopstra Nixon LLP where he has appeared before all trial and appeal courts in Ontario as well as the Federal Court of Canada. Prior to his current role, Hassan served as a judicial clerk for Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji in the Trial and Appeals Chambers of the International Criminal Court where he assisted the Court in the appeal of The Prosecutor v. Bemba.

Hassan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School where he was an editor for three years on the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, won the top oralist award at the International Criminal Court moot and was awarded the Ian Scott Public Interest Fellowship. He completed his LL.M at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a William K. Coblentz fellow and graduated with a certificate in international law. While at Berkeley, Hassan was a judicial extern for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Hassan’s masters thesis entitled “Context at the International Criminal Court” was chosen to be presented at the annual conference of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) as part of the “new voices” panel recognizing rising academics in international law. His thesis will be published in the Pace Journal of International Law at the end of 2017.

Since returning to Canada, Hassan has been a guest lecturer in the International Criminal Law course at Osgoode Hall and also guest lectured in refugee law at Osgoode Hall and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Hassan serves as a volunteer lawyer for Pro Bono Law Ontario and mentors law students as part of Osgoode Hall’s mentoring program. He has also spent time in Beirut, Lebanon with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) filing resettlement applications for Syrian refugees.

Heather CohenHeather Cohen, 2015-Present

Heather joined the Kirsch Institute as a Business and Human Rights Fellow in the fall of 2015. She had previously volunteered for the CCIJ. Heather is a Legal and Policy Associate at ICAR with a concentration on corruption and remedy. She is a Canadian-trained lawyer called to the Bar of Ontario.

Prior to joining ICAR, Heather worked as a legal fellow for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She has also worked as a legal consultant for Peacebuilders International, a non-profit offering youth restorative justice programming. Heather began her legal career at a large international law firm. Her litigation successes include written submissions to the Supreme Court of Canada, defending an individual from a billion dollar claim in a two month trial on Toronto’s Commercial List, and initiating a Syrian refugee sponsorship pro bono program. Heather’s publications have focused on international, securities, and corporate corruption law, as well as responsible investing. She is also a member of the board of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR), overseeing their friend of the court work.

Heather obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Toronto with an exchange to the University of Amsterdam where she completed an internship with the Zupljanin defence team at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) from McMaster University. Heather is conversational in Spanish.

Michael Huynh

Michael Le Huynh, 2014-Present

Michael is a public law lawyer in Toronto. He is a litigator with Bellissimo Law Group handling Federal Court cases. He is also the legal member of the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board. He previously served as Research Officer and Counsel at the Ontario Legislature and Counsel with the Business and Regulatory Law Division of the federal Department of Justice. In Montreal he worked in policy development at the Centre for Genomics and Policy.

Michael also directs his efforts towards non-profit initiatives advocating for vulnerable populations. As its inaugural Director, he helped lead the startup of The Philippe Kirsch Institute. He also serves on the Boards of the Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and Access Alliance – two organizations that provide, respectively, free legal and primary healthcare services to Toronto’s immigrant and refugee communities. Michael holds Civil Law and Common Law degrees from McGill and a M.Sc. in Molecular & Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto.

Connie Pauchulo

Constanza Pauchulo, 2016-Present

Constanza Pauchulo practiced as a civil litigator at Lenczner Slaght LLP in Toronto for several years, where she managed a broad range of litigation matters, including public and administrative law, employment law, regulatory matters, and complex commercial disputes. Currently, she is completing a legal internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, following which she will commence a Masters in Public International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

During law school, Constanza was a student caseworker in the Immigration and Refugee Division of Parkdale Community Legal Services and spent a summer in the Philippines assisting a non-government organization in the area of child protection law. Constanza remains committed to applying her skills and knowledge toward the advancement of various social justice projects. While practicing in Ontario, she provided pro bono legal services to the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program and the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project.

Constanza earned her JD from Osgoode Hall Law School, prior to which she completed an MA in Social and Political Thought at York University. Her graduate work focused on human rights theory and refugee and forced migration studies.

Lise RivetLise Rivet, 2016-Present

Lise Rivet is Director of Pedagogy and Professional Training for the Law Practice Program at the University of Ottawa. She is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and has taught Immigration and Refugee Law, International Criminal Law, as well as legal writing workshops. She also taught law at a French post-secondary establishment in Ottawa prior to joining the unique and innovative Legal Practice Program. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 2007, and has held various positions at Justice Canada, which is now Global Affairs Canada, at a children’s aid society, and completed her articling at the Federal Court of Canada.

Lise is a graduate of the French Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa and holds a Master’s degree in International Law from the University of Kent (UK). She also holds a degree in Management Economics and a Bachelor’s of Education from the University of Ottawa.

Miekela Singh

Miekela Singh, 2016-Present

Miekela is an associate analyst in Sustainalytics’ Toronto office, where she reports on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators in the financial industry. She joined Sustainalytics because of her deep interest in responsible investing and the compliment of her business and human rights background. Miekela is also committed to engaging with the law to provide justice seeking measures in order to promote ethical business practices. To this end, she provides pro-bono legal services through the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project.

Miekela is called to the bar in Ontario and previously worked with a global law firm. While completing her JD at the University of Ottawa, Miekela was an intern at the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and contributed to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) with publications about solitary confinement in Canadian prisons. Prior to law school, Miekela completed her MSc at the London School of Economics in Global Governance with a focus on global civil society and social movements.

Reem Zaia PKIReem Zaia, 2017- Present

Reem is an Associate lawyer at Henein Hutchison LLP. Her practice focuses on criminal, regulatory, and appellate litigation. She recently attended the University of Toronto (LL.M.) to write a thesis on domestic intelligence sharing and privacy. Reem is also a graduate of the University of Ottawa (J.D., B.Soc. Hons.).

As the recipient of the Nathan Strauss Q.C. Fellowship in Constitutional Law, Reem’s LL.M. scholarship focused on criminal, national security, and constitutional law in the context of terrorism prosecutions. She has published or co-published several articles in the Canadian Criminal Law Review, the Criminal Law Quarterly, the University of British Columbia Law Review, and the Marquette Sports Law Review. Concurrent to her LL.M. studies, Reem practiced constitutional and administrative law with one of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers in Toronto.

Reem served as law clerk to the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa and the Hon. Justice Charles Vaillancourt during the trial of Senator Michael Duffy. Prior to her call to the Ontario Bar, she articled at the Crown Attorney’s Office in Windsor, ON.

In law school, Reem was selected as Canada’s Best Overall Advocate by members of the Advocates’ Society and the American College of Trial Lawyers, after placing first in the national Sopinka Cup criminal law moot competition. She is now a member of the Sopinka Cup Executive and is committed to mentoring mooting students. Reem has also volunteered for the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and Pro Bono Students Canada, conducting a range of research and policy-related work.

Prior to attending law school, Reem served as a Parliamentary Assistant to two Members of Parliament, including the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. She conducted immigration casework for constituents and developed policy reports for the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care on disability law and end-of-life care.

Reem is from Windsor, ON.


Warwick Headshot KirschWarwick Walton, 2016-Present

Warwick is presently a Legal Clerk at ENERCON Canada Inc., a German wind turbine manufacturer. He is passionate about criminal law, mental health advocacy, and diversity in the legal profession. He is also interested in issues surrounding technological development and its impacts on fields such as labour and privacy. Warwick graduated from Carleton University (Combined Hons. B.A. Human Rights and Political Science) and McGill University (B.C.L./LL.B). During his studies he was deeply engaged with many student groups and other initiatives.


Past Contributors

 Louis CenturyLouis Century, Fellow

Louis is a lawyer at Goldblatt Partners LLP in Toronto, where he practises civil and constitutional litigation. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, he was a law clerk to the Hon. Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada. During law school at the University of Toronto, Louis was a student caseworker at Downtown Legal Services where he represented low-income clients in criminal and immigration matters. Louis held positions at the International Criminal Court working for a defence team, at the Canadian Council for Refugees as a research fellow, and at the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights working on appeals. He has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Nairobi.

Jointly with his law degree, Louis completed a Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs, for which he spent one semester studying at Sciences Po in Paris and was the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law and International relations. Louis holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University.

Sam Walker

Sam Walker, Fellow

Prior to joining the Crown Attorney’s office in Ontario, Samuel Walker practiced criminal, regulatory and constitutional litigation at Henein Hutchison LLP. He is a former law clerk to the Hon. Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada, was a Gates Cambridge Scholar, and trained for a year at leading barristers’ chambers in London, England as a Harold Fox Scholar.

Sam is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.), McGill University (B.C.L., LL.B.), and the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, graduating in 2011 with the Clive Parry Prize for receiving the highest standing in the master’s programme in international law (LL.M.). He has published articles and book chapters on topics in criminal law and public international law, including in the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence and Criminal Law Quarterly. Sam has assisted leading counsel in cases before the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and in 2006 spent a year working in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo. He serves as pro bono duty counsel with the Downtown Legal Services clinic and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.