The Transnational Law and Racial Justice Network (TLRJN) is a research, advocacy and networking consortium housed at Windsor Law. Using law as our main tool, we research, teach and work with communities in pursuit of social justice. Our work is transnational in several respects.
First, we are concerned with the ways in which Canadian laws regulate the lives of those who cross national borders. Migrant workers and immigration law are of particular interest to us.
Second, we explore how borders shape the pursuit of social justice by enabling some legal outcomes and inhibiting others. Transnational environmental advocacy offers a good example.
Third, we engage in participatory action research outside Canada. Our work has taken us to diverse areas such as Sri Lanka, Detroit, Brazil and Palestine.
Fourth, we are interested in social justice issues that cross borders and unite people regardless of the jurisdictions in which they live. We ask questions like how does law facilitate or inhibit solidarities across borders? And, how can we learn from experiences beyond our own borders? Examples include projects focused on transnational judicial education as well as Anti-Black Racism.
Fifth, we are interested in international and regional laws and institutions, especially from TWAIL (third world approaches to international law) perspectives.
Finally, we explore key concepts in transnational legal practice. Examples include transitional justice and human dignity.
Our goal is to advance social justice through law though we are aware that law has been used to discipline and oppress people. Our inspirations are drawn from legal theories that recognize law’s contradictions. Critical race theory, critical race feminism, critical pedagogy, TWAIL, post-colonial theory and interdisciplinarity are particularly important to us. We aim to be responsive to the world around us and to engage in both theorizing about law and selectively harnessing law to achieve just outcomes.
Each year, we organize The Boundaries, Borders and Intersections speakers’ series to highlight pressing but under-explored developments in law and legal practice. In addition, we organize an annual conference that identifies and contributes answers to unresolved transnational law and social justice issues. TLRJN also creates and curates public education resources around pressing social justice issues. In 2020, we began the Anti-Black Racism project to highlight resources relevant and useful to the struggle for equality and liberation, with a special emphasis on North America. Our members occasionally become involved in key, high impact litigation and we participate in the creation of public education materials and opportunities.
TLRJN recognizes that the University of Windsor sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. We call for truth and reconciliation with all Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.
TLRJN is comprised of Windsor Law faculty, students and staff. The TLRJN Director is appointed for two years to guide our activities. The TLRJN Board sets strategic directions. Windsor Law faculty affiliates collaborate on projects and offer suggestions on global issues in the spirit of solidarity. TLRJN student fellows are actively involved in all aspects of TLRJN’s work from website development to litigation, the creation of public education tools and working directly with community based organizations. We are grateful for the support provided by Windsor Law staff. Through our activities, we have established a growing global network of scholars who share our approach to teaching, pedagogy and research.
Board Members – 2022/2023
Sujith Xavier – Director, Associate Professor
Danardo Jones– Assistant Professor
Vasanthi Venkatesh – Associate Professor
Click here to see our past board members.
Windsor Law Faculty Affiliates
TLRJN is home to a number of local, national and international experts whose scholarship translates theory into practice in their respective communities and primarily focuses on the intersection of local/global. A highlight of Windsor Law’s faculty research can be found here.
TLRJN Fellows – 2022/2023
Fabia Fernandes Carvalho
Fabia’s research projects are focused on the concrete ways international law has been articulated in Latin America. She is interested in how the international legal vocabulary has shaped issues of social justice in the region, as well as the persistence of ideas like “racial democracy” relating to the legacy of Portuguese colonialism in Brazil.
Before joining the TLRJN, Fabia was a postdoctoral fellow with the Laureate Program in International Law at Melbourne Law School and, previously, an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of São Paulo. Her research and teaching interests are focused on regionalism, Latin America in both historical and current perspectives, transitional justice and international human rights law, and TWAIL. Fabia earned her LL.B. and LLM from the University of São Paulo Law School. She completed her doctorate in international law at the University of São Paulo Law School, examining the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights related to amnesties, and was a Doctoral Visiting Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki.
Ali Hammoudi is an Ianni Fellow and a Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Ali was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. Ali earned his LLM from the University of Leeds School of Law, and his PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School.
He has held various roles throughout his legal career, including with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a criminal defense firm, and several poverty legal clinics. Ali’s research interests include the history of international law, especially in relation to the Middle East & Iraq in particular; Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL); Law & Empire; Labour law & social movements; Oil decolonization & sovereignty over natural resources; and Marxist legal theory.
He is currently working on a book manuscript for Hart Publishing entitled, The Geopolitics of Sovereignty: Law and Labour Struggle in ‘Independent’ Iraq.
Saranga Ugalmugle is a social justice and social movement advocate with over five years of experience in India. She has worked on matters pertaining to women’s rights, children’s rights, minority rights, labor rights, and environmental justice among others in India. She is a legal researcher who has also been associated with socio-political and civil liberties groups over the years. She has been part of fact-finding committees to Kashmir. Saranga is interested in questions of law, society, and its relationship with violence.In 2021, she completed her graduate studies in Law and Development at the Azim Premji University, Bangalore. She completed her LL.B. at ILS Law College, Pune, India in 2016. Saranga is currently pursuing her LLM with a Certificate in University Teaching and Learning at the University of Windsor. She is currently a graduate fellow of the TLRJN and serves as the editorial assistant to the TWAILR editorial collective.
Shubham Kumar is a Master of Laws (LLM) student at the University of Windsor. He completed his LL.B. from National Law University, Lucknow, India. He is one of the TLRJN Graduate Fellows for this year.
Before pursuing LLM, Shubham was working as the Legal Consultant to the Department of Justice, Government of India. In the year 2019-20, he secured the prestigious LAMP Fellowship (Legislative Assistant to Member of Parliament) whereby he assisted Members of Parliament in India in their work. He has also assisted Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India, and Justice Rajan Roy, Judge, Allhabad High Court in their judicial research. His main areas of interest include constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, social justice, affirmative action, legal history, and legal profession.Shubham is also an avid reader and frequently writes for reputed forums such as Economic and Political Weekly, Livelaw, Outlook, etc. on policy and legal issues.
Nina is a second-year law student at the University of Windsor Law working this year with the TLRJN. In addition to her work for TLRJN, she was involved with the Windsor community as a caseworker at Community Legal Aid clinic. This year she will also be joining the Windsor Law Women and Law club as an incoming White Ribbon Chair, where she will organize events aimed at advocacy and promotion of equality rights of Canadian women. As a 1L mentor, Nina continues to be passionate about ways to support her community and finding ways to make the legal field more accessible.
Daniel is a 2L student at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and a J.D. Fellow with the TLRJN. Born in Mexico, he immigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of 6 and speaks Spanish and English. He holds a BSc. (Honours) in Human Biology from the University of Toronto and since transitioning to studies in law he has developed a passion for both international and domestic social justice. The University of Windsor has awarded Daniel a Social Justice Fellowship for the 2023 summer, through which he will work alongside non-profit groups advocating for and providing legal services to migrant workers in Ontario. Daniel, through his work for the TLRJN and beyond seeks to channel his lived experience and his legal studies to work on behalf of vulnerable people who don’t have the means or experience to navigate an often hostile legal system by themselves.
Click here to see our past student fellows.
TLRJN is grateful to the following people for their participation in our activities:
Ignacio Forcada Barona
Jose Manuel Barrreto
Khaled A. Beydoun
Fabia Fernandes Carbalho-Vecoso
Cyra Akila Choudhury
Jihan El Alaily
Ahmed Hishan El-Sheikh
Kristi Leora Gansworth
Ahmed Gamal Abdel Ghany
Jacqueline P. Hand
Syeda Re’em Hussein
Muhammad Ahmed Mousa
Lama Abu Odeh
Obiora Chinedu Okafor
Assis da Costa Oliveira
Jose Aylwin Oyarzun
Joanna R. Quinn
Dayna Nadine Scott
Nizammudin Ahmed Siddiqui
Paul Simard Smith
Rahma Gamil A. Soliman
Estella Labardi de Souza
Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark
Robinson Torres Virginia Torrie
Germán Sandoval Trigo
Miguel Angel Urbina
Diana Van Bogaert
Estair Van Wagner
Moisés Moreira Vieira
Windsor Law Staff
Susan Arnold – Special Events Coordinator
Rachelle Prince – Communications Coordinator