Cheryl Milne, Executive Director
Cheryl Milne was called to the Ontario Bar in 1987 and completed an MSW at the University of Toronto in 1991. Prior to coming to the Centre, Ms Milne was a legal advocate for children with the legal clinic Justice for Children and Youth. There she led the clinic’s Charter litigation including the challenge to the corporal punishment defence in the Criminal Code [ Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (2004)], the striking down of the reverse onus sections of the Youth Criminal Justice Act for adult sentencing [ R. v. D.B. (2008)], and an intervention involving the right of a capable adolescent to consent to her own medical treatment ( A.C. v. Manitoba Child and Family Services (2009)]. She has represented the Asper Centre in R. v. Conway the Polygamy Reference case and most recently in appeals pertaining to jury vetting and jury representation. She is a Past Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights section and teaches a clinical course in constitutional advocacy at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Ms Milne is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Association for Women and the Law (NAWL) and the Children’s Law Committee of the Canadian Bar Association. She was the Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children and Justice for Children and Youth until recently. She currently serves on the Mature Minors Expert Panel for the Medical Assistance in Dying project of the Council of Canadian Academies and has recently been cross-appointed to the Child and Family Services Review Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Tal is the Asper Centre’s Program Coordinator, responsible for the Centre’s events, community outreach, advocacy, and overseeing the Asper Centre’s student researchers and student working groups. Tal holds a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Prior to the Asper Centre, Tal served as the first Toronto Legal Coordinator for the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program & Lifeline Syria. From 2002 until 2014, Tal worked at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Refugee Rights Unit in South Africa, where she managed its UNHCR-funded refugee legal aid clinic, convened training programs on refugee rights for government officials, police, social workers, and other community members, taught refugee law to law students and led research projects, including co-editing and co-writing South Africa’s first textbook on refugee law, titled Refugee Law in South Africa (Juta: 2014).
Amy Chen is the Asper Centre’s 2020 Summer Research Assistant. She is a first-year JD Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Amy received her Bachelors of Arts and Sciences at McMaster University, where she completed her thesis with a focus on municipal public policy.