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Joanna Harrington, BA (UBC), JD (Victoria), PhD (Cambridge)



Joanna Harrington is a Professor of Law at the University of Alberta. She teaches, researches and writes on topics of constitutional law, international law, and public policy, including the law and practice of international organizations, international human rights law, and international and transnational criminal law. Her work has earned the Martha Cook Piper Research Prize, a Killam Annual Professorship, and a Canada-U.S. Fulbright senior scholar award, as well as visiting appointments at the University of New South Wales, the University of Oxford, and the University of Texas at Austin.

An author and editor of books, book chapters, and journal articles, her work has appeared in the American Journal of International Law, The Canadian Yearbook of International Law, the International & Comparative Law Quarterly, and the McGill Law Journal, among others. She is also a co-author of the second edition of International Law: Doctrine, Practice, and Theory (Irwin Law, 2014); a work cited by the Supreme Court of Canada soon after publication. Her research has contributed to discussions on the role for the elected legislature in the making of international treaties, the balance needed in protecting human rights and securing inter-state cooperation in the enforcement of international and transnational criminal law, and the need for interim measures of protection in urgent human rights situations. She is currently part of a five-year $2.5 million SSHRC Partnership Grant project that brings together law professors, the Canadian Centre for International Justice, and Lawyers Without Borders to promote access to justice for victims of serious international crimes before international institutions and national courts.

Professor Harrington’s teaching and research activities also benefit from her experiences in legal practice, including a two-year secondment to the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada) and her service as a legal adviser on matters of constitutional reform for a member of Britain’s House of Lords. Her diplomatic experience includes participation in the negotiation of new international instruments at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. From 2010-2015, she served as an associate dean with across-campus responsibilities for the quality and standards of graduate education. She has also served as a consultant to international and national organizations, testified as an expert witness before parliamentary committees, and assisted counsel in private practice in matters of extradition, human rights, national security, and foreign corruption. She qualified as a lawyer in British Columbia in 1995 and Ontario in 2002.

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