Legal Aid Ontario’s Refugee Law Office works with Toronto law firm to help refugees

Posted on: Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toronto – Legal Aid Ontario’s Refugee Law Office (RLO) is working with Toronto lawfirm Lenczner Slaght to help advocate for refugees at risk of immediate deportation.

Stepping up to short timelines 

“Because of the short timelines on immediate deportation cases, our office cannot always step in,” said lawyer Carole Simone Dahan, Director of LAO’s RLO.
“Most recently, a woman detained at the Immigration Holding Centre was given notice on a Monday that her removal was scheduled for that Thursday morning. Thanks to the work of Lenczner Slaght staff, we were able to file an emergency motion to the Federal Court, and successfully obtained a stay of the woman’s deportation.”

Training at the Refugee Law Office

Earlier this year, Lenczner Slaght approached the RLO with the offer to advocate for RLO’s clients, free of charge.  

The RLO trained one of Lenczner Slaght’s associate lawyers in refugee law in its Toronto LAO offices, for six weeks. That lawyer then returned to the firm and trained eight other lawyers.

Since March 2012, the RLO has called upon Lenczner Slaght lawyers to argue on behalf of four refugees at risk of deportation within 24 to 72 hours. They remain on call to argue for an injunction that will stop their deportation, through an emergency stay motion before the federal court.

The pro bono commitment

Peter Griffin, Lenczner Slaght’s managing partner says that his firm encourages staff at every level to take on pro bono matters.

“We are pleased that our lawyers have demonstrated real interest in expanding the availability of legal services for refugees and others facing imminent deportation by supporting LAO’s RLO,” he says.


Kristian Justesen
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
416-979-2352, ext. 4782