Four New Professors Joining Common Law Section

Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Signa Daum Shanks as an Associate Professor on July 1, 2021. Julie Ada, Hassan Ahmad and Brandon D. Stewart will also join our Faculty, as Replacement Professors for two-year terms. They all teach in the English Program. 

Their fields of expertise range from Indigenous Governance, to Human Rights, to Environmental Law to Comparative Law.


Sigma Daum Shanks

Photo credit : Osgoode Law School


Signa Daum Shanks is an academic from Saskatchewan. Before joining the Faculty, she was a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where she taught torts, Indigenous governance and history. Her research is concerned with Law and Economics, and Indigenous Governance. Prior to joining Osgoode, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.

Daum Shanks has her PhD in History from Western, and while completing it was awarded a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. She also has a BA (Hons) from the University of Saskatchewan, an MA from Western, an LLB from Osgoode in 1999, and an LLM from the University of Toronto. As well, Professor Daum Shanks has studied at the École de langue française et de culture québécoise at L’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. While completing graduate work in history, she also passed translation training in French and studied the eighteenth century legal system in New France. For her training in law, Professor Daum Shanks articled at Saskatchewan Justice and clerked at the Land Claims Court of South Africa via her participation in Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments.

She is teaching Torts and Indigenous Peoples and the Law for the academic year 2021-2022.


Julie Ada


Julie Ada is a PhD student at the Faculty of Law. After a few years in law school in South Africa, she completed her first LLM at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), specializing in International Human Rights Law, followed by a second LLM at McGill University specializing in Comparative Law. She is the recipient of a handful of scholarships, notably: the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship and a three-year Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) PhD scholarship in International Law.

She is teaching Property and Immigration and Refugee Law for the academic year 2021-2022.






Hassan M. Ahmad


Hassan M. Ahmad is a scholar, advocate, and activist who explores issues around law and political economy, tort liability, international human rights, and comparative legal history. Holding law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School and UC Berkeley, Hassan is in the final stages of his doctorate at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, where his dissertation examines the tortious liability of transnational corporate actors in the colonial and contemporary periods pursuant to human rights violations in subjugated territories. During his doctorate, Hassan has been a visiting scholar at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge and taught courses in the law faculties at the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor.

Recognized by the American Society of International Law as a "New Voice" and the American Society of Comparative Law as a "Young Comparativist," Hassan’s work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in leading Canadian and international journals including the American Journal of Comparative Law, the Annual Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, Berkeley Journal of International Law (online), Osgoode Hall Law Journal, UBC Law Review, Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Issues in International Criminal Justice, the Pace International Law Review, and the Canadian Class Actions Review.

He is teaching Civil Procedure I, Administrative Law and First Year Thematic: Corporations and Global Justice for the academic year 2021-2022.


Brandon D. Stewart


Brandon D. Stewart, JD ’13, joins the English Common Law Section as a Replacement Assistant Professor, while continuing to serve as a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Studies on the Foundations of Law and Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt. He holds a J.D. from the University of Ottawa (Silver Medal) and an LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to entering academia, Professor Stewart practiced as a commercial litigator in Toronto and worked as a research fellow for a community legal clinic.

Professor Stewart has taught in the English Common Law Section since 2019 and was a full-time Instructor at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law during the 2020-2021 academic year, where he was the recipient of the Hannah and Harold Barnett Excellence in Teaching First Year Law Award. He has taught courses on torts, toxic torts, property, civil procedure, and climate change litigation.

He is teaching Property, Torts and Toxic Tort Law for the academic year 2021-2022.

From all of us, welcome to the Faculty!


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