Deepa Mattoo joins Barbra Schlifer Clinic as new Legal Director

Toronto, ON – June 28, 2016 –The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is excited to announce that long-time women’s advocate, Deepa Mattoo will join the Clinic as its new Legal Director on August 15, 2016.

With more than 17 years of experience providing direct Human Rights related services as well as public education, social justice and advocacy, Deepa brings a deeply intersectional approach to women’s rights.  She played an instrumental role in successfully influencing immigration policies for extending abuse exception for the conditional permanent residence in sponsorship situation to Forced Marriage Survivors and opposing Bill S7 (Barbaric Cultural Practices).

“The Barbra Schlifer Clinic is ecstatic to have Deepa join us as our new Legal Director,” says Amanda Dale, the Clinic’s Executive Director.  “Her wealth of knowledge coupled with her depth of experience and passion for legal reform with respect to violence against women in a multi-layered reality, makes her an incredible fit that will inevitably inspire the next phase of our established work in the delivery of legal services and law reform.”

About Deepa Mattoo

Deepa Mattoo is a passionate defender of women’s rights to safety, access to justice and self-determination. At the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO), where Deepa was Staff Lawyer and has served as the organization’s Interim Executive Director (2013-2014), she is well-known and well-regarded for her skill and humility in defending the complex rights of women in legal and public policy contexts that often seem to simplify women’s claims into oppositions between their rights to enjoy their culture and protections on the basis of gender.  Refuting such easy oppositions, Deepa is able to take daily struggles for individual rights, and elevate what they reveal about systemic failures in immigration policy, family law and criminal law.  She creates informed activist debate, while keeping her clients’ wishes and instructions at the fore. Her voice was a pioneering one in the complex nexus of issues raised by forced marriages. Hers was a nuanced struggle to begin with facts, and then protect and inform women, as well as critique paternalistic state approaches that only further disempowered the very women they purported to assist.

Deepa’s commitment to increasing access to justice for vulnerable groups began when she practiced law in India, focusing on Criminal and Civil matters. Her advocacy for human rights issues has extended to Asia, Europe and North America. She has become an expert on issues related to access to justice for women and children’s rights, as well as LGBTQ rights, income security, immigration and poverty law, and not-for-profit empowerment in Asia. Deepa has appeared before parliamentary committees and commissions on a wide range of social justice and human rights issues as well as acted as an observer at various forums. She has represented clients at the Federal Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal, Human Rights Tribunal and Immigration Refugee Board.