I am a PhD student at Osgoode Hall Law School and refugee lawyer.
I have two broad research agendas. First, how can legal research be enriched with computational methodologies? Inspiried by the computational study of literature, I aim to develop methods to read a jurisprudence at scale. For example, if a tribunal issues 20,000 decisions a year, I aim to find a way to read and render conclusions about the tribunal’s total jurisprudence.
Second, as a “crimmigration” lawyer, I am interested in the function and use of Canadian deportation law. I research Canadian inadmissibility law, administrative law, and the history of Canadian immigration law (1893 to 1914).
Open source contributions
I am the developer of obiter.ai, an open-source toolkit for legal researchers. This is a Python package that can be used to facilitate computational analyses of Canadian case law, analyze speech, and assess the gendered valances of names found within text.
Ever wonder how the Supreme Court of Canada’s use of language has changed over time? I developed benchbabble.ca to let you track linguistic trends in the Court’s judgements since its establishment.
email: simonwallace at osgoode dot yorku dot ca
Background as a litigator
Out of law school, I opened my own practice as a refugee, tenants’ rights, and prisoners’ rights lawyer.
From 2019 to 2020, I worked at the Refugee Law Office (Legal Aid Ontario) as its first full-time immigration detention staff lawyer. Based out of Toronto’s Immigration Holding Centre, I assisted migrants with immigration detention matters and represented detainees on eleventh-hour motions to stay their deportations.
I have advanced significant litigation regarding the use of solitary confinement, the limits of the state’s power to detain migrants, and the government’s obligations to disclose exculpatory evidence to detainees.
Awards and scholarships
- Contract faculty of the year (2021-2022), Lincoln Alexander Law School (Toronto Metropolitan University)
Scholarships and Awards
- Canada Graduate Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2022-2025)
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-2022)
- Newton W. Rowell Scholarship (2021-2022)
- Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security Fellowship (2020-2021)
- John W. Graham Fellowship (2020-2023)
- York University Graduate Scholarship (2020)
- Frederick Zemans Prize in Poverty Law (2014)
- Judith Wahl Award in Law and Psychiatry, Osgoode Hall Law School (2014)
- Harry R. Rose Award for Highest Standing in Criminal Law, Osgoode Hall Law School (2013)
- Osgoode Student Award (2012)
- Mary Northway Graduate Award in Canadian Studies (2010)
- President’s List, Trent University (2008)
- Dean’s List, Trent University (2004-2008).
- Symon’s Essay Prize, Trent University (2007, 2008).
- “‘Police Authority is Necessary’: The Canadian Origins of the Legal Powers to Detain and Deport, 1893-1902,” (2023) 48:2 Queen’s Law Journal.
- “Persistent Discord: The Adjudication of National Security Deportation Dases in Canada (2018–2020),” (2024) 47:1 Dal LJ (Forthcoming).
- “The new Canadian law of refugee exclusion: an empirical analysis of international criminal law deportation orders, January 2018 to July 2020,” (2022) International Criminal Law Review.
- “Untangling deportation law from national security: the pandemic invites a softer touch,” in Leah West, Thomas Juneau, and Amarnath Amarasingam eds., Stress Tested: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Canadian National Security (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2021)
- “Immigration Detention meets Evidence Law: a discussion paper,” for Fact-Finding in Immigration Detention Reviews: Evidence Law meets Administrative Law conference. [co-authors: Sean Rehaag and Benjamin Berger]
- “Deleted Emails, Fraudulent Documents, and Maximum-Security Prisons: A Canadian Case Shows the Illiberalism of Deportation,” Crimmigration Blog, University of Oxford (December 14, 2020).
- “Friend” in Clare O’Connor, AK Thompson, and Kelly Frisch, eds., Keywords for Radicals (Chico, CA: AK Press, 2016).
Adjunct professor at:
- Toronto Metropolitan University (Lincoln Alexander School of Law)
- Queens University (Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law)
Lots. Here is a selection:
- “Decarcerting the long-term detainee: using AI to understand the why migrants spent fewer days in Canadian immigration detention (2013-2020),” Law and Society Annual Meeting: Lisbon, July 2022.
- “Crimmigration,” Summer Course on Refugees and Forced Migration, Centre for Refugee Studies, June 2022
- “‘Our Chief Deportation Officer:’ Dr. Peter Bryce and the Department of the Interior (1904-1907),” Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting, Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, May 16, 2022.
- “Immigration Detention Reviews: Lessons from Psychology and Psychiatry,” Centre for Refugee Studies Seminar Series, York University, September 21, 2021.
- “Deporting members of organized crime groups: Canada targets people for poverty crime,” Crimmigration Control: International Net of Studies, Leiden University, September 17, 2021.
- “The Coercive Turn in Canadian Immigration Law: Looking for the First Immigration Detention,” Law and Impact: Graduate Law Research Transition Conference, Dalhousie University, May 21, 2021.
- “National Security Certificates and Immigration Law,” CARL Osgoode, March 8, 2021.
- “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Deportations,” Centre for International Policy Studies, National Security Policy Network, and by the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, February 22, 2021.
- “The continuous journey and making the Canadian-American border,” Law’s Topologies, Osgoode Hall Law School, February 18, 2021.
- “Immigration Detention Best Practices,” Refugee Lawyers’ Association Educational Event, March 26, 2019.
- Moderator, “Habeas Corpus Best Practices,” Asper Centre’s Immigration Detention Symposium, March 15, 2019.
- “Making principled objections to the admission of hearsay evidence before the Immigration Division,” Law Society of Upper Canada’s Immigration Law Summit, November 28, 2018.