Sukanya Pillay
Sukanya Pillay joined CCLA in October 2009 as Director of the National Security Program. She was previously a law professor at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law (2002-2008), in-house legal counsel for Hutchison Telecommunications in India (2000-2002), Director of the Law & Human Rights Program at TVE International New York office (1998-2000), and Program Director of Witness with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), New York (1995-1998). She made over twenty missions to conflict zones worldwide in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She has appeared before UN treaty bodies and Canadian courts on human rights issues, and has represented clients or presented expert evidence before administrative and judicial bodies in the US, India, Canada, and Europe.

Her research focuses on protecting the rights of vulnerable groups including the poor and disadvantaged in developing countries, refugees, and victims of human rights abuses, and she has written numerous papers published in academic journals on these issues. Sukanya won the Holmes-Cardozo award for research excellence from the American Academy of Legal Studies in Business (2006) for a co-authored paper on privacy, an Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Windsor (2005) for research and a documentary film on the effects of NAFTA on Mexican corn farmers, and an Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Students Law Society Windsor (2003).

She graduated with a JD from the University of Windsor (1990), became a member of the Ontario Bar in 1992, and received an LL.M. in international legal studies from NYU School of Law (1994) where she was a graduate editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics. She worked at Davies Partners in Toronto (1992-1993), articled at Borden & Elliot (now Borden Ladner Gervais, Toronto) (1990-1991), clerked with the Ontario Court of Justice (1994-1995), and was seconded to work on the First Civil Justice Review with the Honourable Justice Robert Blair. Her documentary films and photography on human rights issues have appeared on BBC World, CBC, and in many film festivals.

Entries by Sukanya Pillay

Canada's Anti-Terror Bill Is Gift-Wrapped in Rhetoric

(20) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 8:50 AM

There is no question the government must keep Canada safe from terrorist activities and threats, but Bill C-51 is not the answer.

Bill C-51 is wide-sweeping in powers and gift-wrapped in rhetoric. But contrary to the messaging, it does not provide any necessary new tools to fight terrorists. We already...

Read Post

Quebec's Charter of Values Disregards Human Dignity

(5) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 1:05 PM

Quebec's proposed Charter of Values would ban the donning of "conspicuous" religious symbols by government sector employees, teachers, judges, and those working in hospitals and daycares. The banned religious symbols will include hijabs, niqabs, turbans, kippas, and large visible crucifixes by on-duty employees. Those providing or receiving public services will...

Read Post

Why Pussy Riot is Our Riot

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 10:33 AM

Who is Pussy riot and why should we care?

If you have Internet access you've likely heard of Pussy Riot. They 're a Russian female punk rock band, comprised of ten members aged 20-33, formed apparently in response to Vladimir Putin's 2011 decision to run a third time for President...

Read Post

What to Think About on Prisoner's Justice Day

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2012 | 12:43 PM

August 10 is International Prisoner's Justice Day -- a day now recognized around the world, but which began in Canada 37 years ago.

On August 10, 1974 a Canadian man, Edward Nalon, died in the segregation unit of an Ontario prison. The next year and every year...

Read Post

Omar Khadr Has the Right to Return to a Canadian Prison

(21) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 7:02 AM

Many Canadians have conflicting views about Omar Khadr. Beginning with his father's reported connections to Al Qaeda, the Khadr name has become deeply unpopular.

In Canada however, we apply the rule of law. This is why everyone, even the reviled among us, is afforded due process, fair...

Read Post

Canada Could Do More to Stand Up for Torture Victims

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 9:54 AM

June 26 is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture -- a day that requires reckoning.

Today we recognize the human beings who fall prey to torturers. Yearly, torturers show increasing ingenuity finding ways to inflict maximum pain and maximum suffering -- with or without visible scars....

Read Post

No Country Should Get Away With Torture -- Not Even Canada

(9) Comments | Posted June 9, 2012 | 2:49 PM

There's been a lot of hyperbole about the UN Committee Against Torture's recent report called "Concluding Observations on Canada."

To see this year's Concluding Observations Report, go to this website, scroll down to Canada and click on the "E."

Canada is one of many countries around...

Read Post

What Humphrey Bogart's "Rick" Would Think of Bill C-31

(2) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 8:00 AM

Wednesday was Refugee Rights Day, which got me thinking about Casablanca. There is a great -- though pitiable -- scene in the movie where a young Eastern European woman, Annina, confides in Rick (Humphrey Bogart), the saloon owner, prompting him to let her unsuspecting husband win at the roulette table....

Read Post