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Barbara Jackman awarded the 2008 Sidney B. Linden Award

Posted on: Thursday, September 18/08

Legal Aid Ontario's Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Barbara Jackman has been selected as the 2008 recipient of the Sidney B. Linden Award for her commitment to the highest ideals of the legal profession and her tireless advocacy of justice for the most vulnerable in our society.

Barbara Jackman Since she was called to the bar in 1978, Ms. Jackman has earned the reputation of being one of Canada's most effective advocates for immigration and refugee rights. Throughout her 30 year legal career, she has shown a commitment to low-income individuals by defending their causes and by being a tireless advocate of justice and fairness.

Ms. Jackman has "argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous occasions, promoting the rights of the most vulnerable among us and ensuring that immigrants and refugees have access to justice," says Carole Dahan, Director, Refugee Law Office. "I can think of no other person who deserves this honour more."

She has been a director of organizations such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Working Women Community Centre, INTERCEDE, and Defence for Children International. Her commitment to the community is evident through the numerous significant awards she has received from various organizations.

As an international human rights activist, Ms. Jackman's activities include, being a delegate to the Trans-Atlantic Legal Exchange on Refugee Law from 1986-7, and the Northern Ireland Peace Process Fact-Finding Mission in 1995. She was also a representative for the Canadian Council of Churches and monitored Canada's presentation to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1995 and to the Human Rights Committee in 1990 and 1999.

Ms. Jackman has been an instructor in the Bar Admission Program, lecturer at the Faculties of Law at Queen's University, the University of Toronto and at Osgoode Hall Law School. She has also been a lecturer for continuing education seminars on immigration law and practice, Federal Court practice, national security legal issues, and domestic and international human rights for the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association. In addition, she is also the author of various papers and articles and a contributor to four books.

Ms. Jackman is dedicated to the public service and to her community. She works tirelessly taking on ground-breaking cases to bring about changes in the law to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees. She continues to take legal aid cases, is a mentor, as well as, a leader and a member of various community associations.

The Sidney B. Linden award will be presented to Ms. Jackman at a ceremony to be held October 30, 2008.

Legal Aid Ontario created the Sidney B. Linden Award to honour exceptional individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income people in Ontario and given their time, expertise, and/or service to ensuring access to justice. The award is named in honour of Legal Aid Ontario's first Chair of the board of directors, Justice Sidney B. Linden, who has been involved with legal aid for over 30 years and whose distinguished professional career has been characterized by a genuine commitment to issues concerning access to justice.

This year's Sidney B. Linden award selection committee included The Honourable Annemarie Bonkalo, Chief Justic of the Ontario Court of Justice; Dean Mayo Moran, Dean of the University of Toronto Law School; Professor John McCamus, Legal Aid Ontario Board Chair, Aly Alibhai, Legal Aid Ontario Board member, and William Prosperi, former Legal Aid Ontario Board member.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is an independent government funded organization with a mandate to promote access to justice for low-income Ontarians. Each year, LAO provides nearly one million legal assist to people across Ontario through a network of 51 Area Offices, 80 Community and Specialty Legal Clinic, 6 Student Legal Aid Societies, and Duty Counsel services in every courthouse in Ontario including 31 fly-in locations.

SBL Award

The Award

Toronto sculptor, Siggy Puchta, designed the Sidney B. Linden Award. The statue depicts the concept of access to justice through the upward and open gesture of 'the lady of justice' holding the scales of justice while at the same time welcoming those in need of legal aid services. Siggy's design also captures the spirit of LAO's logo.

For more information on the Sidney B. Linden Award please follow this link.