James Yap, Director


James is a Toronto-based lawyer specializing in the human rights accountability of multinational business as well as the application of international human rights law in domestic courts. He has been plaintiff's counsel in some of the key Canadian cases in these fields, such as Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya and Toussaint v. Canada. He is President of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) and sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL). He also teaches international human rights law at Osgoode Hall Law School, and his work has been featured on CBC’s Ideas. James holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he graduated with various class prizes and the Silver Medal, and a Master of Laws from Yale Law School. After completing his JD he clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Ian Binnie. James speaks English, French, and Spanish.

Sandra Wisner, Director

(On Leave)

Sandra is a Canadian-trained international human rights lawyer who has advocated and litigated for over a decade. For five years, Sandra worked with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), partnering with local lawyers and activists in Haiti to bring grassroots struggles for human rights to the international stage. Sandra developed the organisation’s economic and social rights program, with a focus on business and human rights. She also led its work seeking accountability of foreign actors for emblematic human and environmental rights violations in Haiti, including efforts to secure remedies for victims of the UN-introduced cholera epidemic and child support for victims of UN peacekeeper sexual exploitation.

Prior to joining IJDH, Sandra worked as a legal consultant with the United Nations in Cambodia prosecuting surviving members of the Khmer Rouge regime. She also spent a year in South Africa at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry working alongside the late Advocate George Bizos SC, long-time lawyer of the late Nelson Mandela, to secure reparations for victims. 

Sandra received her undergraduate degree from University of Toronto, her JD from the University of Windsor, and a Master of Laws in Advanced Studies in Public International Law from Leiden University, specializing in corporate accountability. Her thesis explored the accountability of multinational corporations operating and sourcing from volatile areas. She regularly publishes on business and human rights matters and speaks and guest lectures at various schools and venues around the world, including Cornell, Harvard, Sorbonne, and the UN Human Rights Council. Sandra has appeared in the Guardian, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Vice News and TVO's The Agenda. After completing her JD, Sandra articled with Gowling WLG. She speaks both official languages.

Monika Hanna, Program Coordinator

Monika is a Canadian lawyer with broad national and international work experience. This includes representing refugee claimants and immigration detainees in Ontario, litigating commercial disputes in Toronto, and corporate governance work for an international non-governmental organisation. Prior to joining the IHRP, Monika worked alongside a public interest organisation in South Africa to advance a successful intervention in support of certifying a class action (representative of an estimated 140,000 Zambian women and children) against a prominent mining corporation.

Monika received her LL.B. (Hons.) degree from BPP University Law School in London, England. Throughout her studies, she was an avid leader and member of social justice organisations and pro bono initiatives. She is actively engaged in international human rights advocacy through charities and as an executive member within the Canadian Bar Association. Monika is a native Arabic speaker.

Nabila Khan, Research Associate

Nabila is a Canadian lawyer with experience in research, advocacy, and litigation on a broad range of human rights issues. Prior to joining IHRP, she practiced law at a boutique employment and human rights law firm in Toronto litigating contentious human rights cases within the Canadian context. Outside of law practice, Nabila has collaborated with NGOs in Canada, the United States, and Bangladesh to enhance international supply chain transparency and address human rights issues within the global garment supply chain. Her research has explored gender-specific concerns identified by women workers in Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza incident and, more recently, examined corporate accountability for wage theft in global supply chains. Most recently, Nabila worked with the Business and Human Rights Unit at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.  

Nabila received her Master of Laws from Columbia Law School, her J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and her Honours BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from McMaster University. She is currently a part-time lecturer at Lincoln Alexander School of Law and volunteers with the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR).