Barbara Jackman, C.M., LL.B., LL.D.

Barrister & Solicitor

Senior Lawyer, Founder

416-653-9964 ext. 225

Barbara Louise Jackman is a leading Canadian lawyer specializing in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on appeals and judicial review applications, complex cases concerning security, medical and criminality, domestic and international human rights issues, rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, andCanada's responsibilities under international treaties. Barbara has handled all kinds of cases including applications for temporary and permanent residence, refugee hearings, appeals and review of negative decisions in the higher courts.

Barbara graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1976 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1978. She is an experienced litigator and consummate professional – but above all she is a lawyer committed to and passionate about her clients’ rights.

Barbara has acted on behalf of parties or intervenors at all levels of Courts in Canada, including before the Supreme Court of Canada.Barbara has argued a number of precedent setting cases concerning the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, immigration, refugee and administrative law. Most recently, she argued two appeals – both successfully – before the Supreme Court in 2018. One dealt with the right of immigration detainees to challenge the legality of their detention.

The other dealt with clarification of the standard that courts use to review decisions of public administrative decision makers.

In addition to her work in the courtroom, Barbara is actively involved in law reform and has provided testimony before Standing Committees on Citizenship and Immigration in the House of Commons and the Senate.

Barbara has contributed over the years to legal education through sessional teaching at Ontario law schools (Queen’s University, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School) and professional development programs for the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Union ofOntario. Barbara continues to share her expertise in these areas of law with other lawyers in need of assistance.

Her significant contributions to the legal landscape have been recognized by peers, the immigrant communities she has represented, and the public at large. In 2019, she was appointed to the Order of Canada for her efforts championing the rights of immigrants and refugees and shaping human rights law in Canada.

Notable Cases (party or intervener)

  • Canada (MSPEP) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (standard of review of public administrative decisions, entitlement to Canadian citizenship)
  • Canada (MPSEP), et al. v. Tusif Ur Rehman Chhina, 2019 SCC 29 (immigration detainees’ access to the writ of habeas corpus)
  • Kanthasamy v. Canada (MCI), 2015 SCC 61 (scope of H&C discretion)
  • B010 v. Canada (MPSEP), 2015 SCC 58 (and others) (scope of meaning of organized criminality)
  • Agrairav. Canada (MPSEP), 2013 SCC 36 (Ministerial discretion on national interest)
  • R. v. Pham, [2013]S.C.J. No. 100 (consideration of immigration status in sentencing)
  • Charkaoui (Almrei) v. Solicitor General, [2007] S.C.J. No. 9 (mandatory detention / secret hearings)
  • Ahani v. Canada (MCI), [2002]S.C.J. No. 4 (return to torture)
  • Suresh v. Canada (MCI), [2002]S.C.J. No. 3 (return to torture/expression)
  • Baker v. Canada (MCI),[1999]S.C.J. No.39 (H&C discretion/best interests of child)
  • Reza v. Canada (MCI), [1994]S.C.J. No. 49 (Superior Court jurisdiction in immigration cases)
  • Deghani v. Canada (MCI), [1993]S.C.J. No. 38 (detention at port of entry)
  • Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada (MEI),[1992] S.C.J. No. 5 (public interest standing)
  • Singh v. Canada (MEI), [1985]S.C.J. No. 11 (s. 7 Charter, application to refugee claimants)


  • Ted Johnson Award, Presbyterian Church in Canada, June 6, 1989
  • The Vince Kelly Award, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, 1993
  • The Arab Canadian National Award, Canadian Arab Federation, 1995
  • HumanRights Award, Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils, August 8, 1998
  • Award of Justice, Ontario Advocates Society, June 7, 2000
  • Award of Excellence, Sikh Centenary Foundation, April, 2002
  • Law Society Medal, May 21, 2003
  • Arab Community Centre of Toronto - Community Service Award, June, 2005
  • Tamil Women Organization Award, October, 2005
  • Law Society of Upper Canada, Honorary Doctorate of Law, June, 2007
  • University of Windsor, Honorary Doctorate of Law, 2010
  • Law Union of Ontario Annual Award, 2013
  • University of Ottawa, Honorary Doctorate of Law, 2016
  • Order of Canada, Governor General of Canada, 2019
  • Elpis Gala Award, 2019

Professional Memberships

  • Member - The Law Society of Ontario
  • Member - Canadian Bar Association Immigration Section member, 1984 to present (Ontario Section Chair, 1987 – 1989; executive member, 1984-1990)
  • Law Union of Ontario member, 1974 to present
  • Past Director, Canadian Civil Liberties Association 1989 – 1996
  • Defense for Children International, 1997-2000


  • English
  • Spanish