U of T law students “deeply concerned” by allegations of judicial interference in hiring process of IHRP director

September 27, 2020
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The Varsity

Faculty denies allegations of employment being rescinded, claims role was never offered

After recent allegations that the Faculty of Law allowed external judicial pressure to influence its internal hiring process, many students involved with the Faculty of Law’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) have expressed concern. The faculty, however, denies the allegations.

As reported in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, the Faculty of Law allegedly offered the position of director of the IHRP to Valentina Azarova, a respected academic who has published criticism of Israel’s policies in occupied Palestinian territories. Azarova told The Globe and Mail that she had accepted an oral offer for the position.

The faculty is alleged to have later rescinded the offer due to pressure from Justice David Spiro, a member of the Tax Court of Canada and U of T alum. Spiro has been involved with the faculty’s past fundraising events, and several of his family members are notable donors to the university.

The allegations were met with widespread condemnation, both at U of T and globally. Law professor Audrey Macklin, the chair of the hiring committee that recommended Azarova, resigned immediately upon hearing the allegation of interference.

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