Cheryl Milne: Chair and President
Cheryl has both a law degree and a Masters of Social Work. She is the Executive Director of the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto; where she is also the director of the combined JD – M.S.W. program. Cheryl has rejoined JFCY as a board member where was a legal advocate for 17 years. While at JFCY she conducted Charter litigation at the Supreme Court of Canada including the challenge to the corporal punishment defence in the Criminal Code, the striking down of the reverse onus sections for adult sentencing in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and an intervention involving the right of a capable adolescent to consent to her own medical treatment. She sits on the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section; and the Canadian Bar Association’s Constitutional and Human Rights Section, and Children’s Law Committee. She is the Chair of the Board of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children.
Anne Irwin: Vice-President
Anne is a Toronto lawyer who over the past 20 years has practised in human rights, pay equity and administrative law; she currently specializes in education law with a focus on representing children and youth. As a parent of three children, one with special needs, she brings to the table both personal and professional experience advocating for children within the school system. Anne has significant experience in school related community work and has a particular interest in law reform, community development and public education in the area of education law.
Rishma Bhimji: Secretary
Rishma is a tax litigation lawyer with the Department of Justice in Toronto. While in law school, she completed a study abroad in France at L’Université Paris-Sorbonne. Rishma articled at the Department of Justice and clerked with the Ontario Court of Justice at College Park. She was called to the bar in 2009 and has been practicing with Justice for 7 years.
Lennox Gibbs: Treasurer
Lennox is a Vice President in the Equity Research Group at TD Securities. He is a Senior Capital Markets professional with extensive experience evaluating public companies and structuring equity investment ideas for Canada’s leading institutional portfolio managers. Lennox applies a combination of Equity Analysis skills, Capital Markets expertise and Industry Knowledge to a coverage universe that spans Canadian Life Science, Pharmaceutical and Health Care companies. Lennox has been consistently ranked as a leading Health Care Analyst by various rating agencies. Prior to joining TD Securities, he was an Executive Director at CIBC World Markets. Lennox graduated from the University of Toronto, with a Master of Engineering (MEng).
Darren Thorne (former Vice-President)
Educated at the London School of Economics (Master of Laws Degree), and Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School (Bachelor of Laws Degree), Darren Thorne is an international lawyer and consultant specializing in international human rights, constitutional and public international law. Darren has lived and practiced internationally, with an extensive history of onsite international development work in the area of rule of law enhancement, and has been involved in project work in Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, China, Mongolia and Italy, among other places. Accordingly, he has worked collaboratively on international development projects with organizations such as the WTO, World Bank, UNDP, GTZ and a number of regional governments, donors and development agencies. Closer to home, Darren’s domestic expertise is Canadian constitutional law, with equality rights being a longstanding area of interest. Since his return to Canada, Mr. Thorne practiced constitutional litigation on behalf of the Government of Ontario, and was Counsel and advisor to the Deputy Attorney General of Ontario. For the last few years, he was the Director of an international development project designed to bolster Child Justice in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Mr. Thorne is also an adjunct professor at Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School, where he teaches international law and human rights law, as well as at the Universities of Pretoria and the Western Cape, in South Africa.
Jane is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where she held the position of dean from 2003 – 2010. Jane has researched and published books and articles about a variety of educational issues on topics ranging from urban school reform, secondary schools across Canada, the impact of feminism on education and the relation between the changing workplace and educational institutions. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, an honorary professor at Beijing Normal University, a fellow of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, a Senior Fellow at Massey College and an elected life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. She has a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a doctorate from Harvard University; and has taught at Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia.
Emma was called to the bar in 2002 and started her own youth criminal justice practice in 2008. Emma has been involved in a variety of activities to promote education and awareness of youth criminal justice issues including sitting on numerous panels for Legal Aid Ontario, the Ontario Court of Justice, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ontario Bar Association. In March 2014, Emma testified before the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights about the overrepresentation of visible minority youth in the criminal justice system. Emma is also on the newly formed Executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Law Section. Emma is currently an Instructor at Osgoode Hall Law School where she has taught Trial Advocacy since 2010, was an adjunct professor at University of Toronto from 2012 to 2014 for a course on Youth Criminal Justice, and has guest lectured at Humber College.
Grace graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Master of Business Administration degree in 2000. She worked in the retail and financial services industries in operations, finance and business development roles. Grace is passionate about helping the JFCY achieve its long-term goals. She is currently a homemaker with two school aged boys.
Diana is the Academic Coordinator of Centennial College’s Communications and Media Foundations program. She is also an instructor of design and art history, both at Centennial and previously at Ryerson University. She has worked professionally in the communications field as an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer, and brand strategist, producing work for clientele such as TSN, Universal Music, E1 Films, as well as the University of Toronto. Diana is also an active community artist and popular educator with a particular focus on food and income insecurity in Toronto’s west end. She has been involved in creative and arts-based programming in organizations such as SKETCH, the TDSB, Helping Youth Pursue Education (HYPE), and the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre. Diana earned her BFA from Concordia University and her MA from the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a diploma in Community Work from George Brown College.
Shelley has been counsel with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, at the head office in Toronto, since her call in 2000. Shelley is a litigator in the Personal Rights Department and is a supervisor of over twenty panel lawyers in the Central South Region of Ontario. Her caseloads consist of custody and access, child protection, adoption, and secure treatment matters. She is also a member of the “Children in Limbo Task Force. Shelley was a member-at-large last year with the OBA Section Child and Youth and she was also a past Articling Principal for students at the OCL. Shelley worked briefly in 2000, as litigation counsel at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, providing court appointed legal services to adults deemed mentally incapable. Shelley has volunteered with Big Sisters of Toronto as a mentor, Adopt-A-School (Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Justice Education Network), partnered with the Toronto District School Board, acting as a resource for students and teachers. Shelley has been a tutor for BAR admission candidates with Law Society of Upper Canada and she is a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Toronto. Through the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC), Shelley completed the “Get on Board, Governance Education Program.” She has served as the Chair, and member of the Board, for Willowdale Community Legal Services. Shelley is currently a member-at-large with the Ontario Bar Associations new Section Youth and Child.
Avery Adams graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2010 and went on to pursue a post-graduate certificate in Human Resource Management and currently works as a human resources specialist at a trade union in Toronto. She currently acts as an executive committee member on a not-for-profit children’s charity and serves as a youth mentor in the community. Avery hopes to contribute to protecting and advancing the legal rights and dignity of children and youth in Canada through voice and empowerment while helping Justice for Children and Youth achieve and support their overall goals and objectives.