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Ronda Bessner

Ronda Bessner – Visiting Professor Ronda Bessner has been involved in a wide range of areas of the law, including academia, policy work, and public inquiries. Bessner’s areas of teaching have been Criminal Law, Evidence, and Children and the Law. She is the author of many published articles on child abuse, evidence, criminal law, state intervention in pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS. She has made numerous presentations on these and other subjects at universities, the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, for the Ontario Court of Justice, and at conferences. She has been interviewed on numerous occasions by the media. She was formerly the Assistant Deam (JD) at Osgoode, where she developed and implemented the Academic Success Program. Bessner has also worked on a number of public inquiries and in law reform. She has held the position of Senior Legal Analyst at five public inquiries including the Walkerton Inquiry (contamination of drinking water), the Ipperwash Inquiry (the death of Dudley George in a land claim protest and occupation by Aboriginal people), and the Royal Commission on the Blood System in Canada. As Counsel to the Ontario Law Reform Commission under the Chair of Rosalie Abella, she wrote reports on Drug and Alcohol in the Workplace, Child Witnesses, The Basis of Liability for Provincial Offences, and co-authored the report on Damages for Environmental Harm. In 2016, she presented a paper on public inquiries and co-designed two pre-inquiry Roundtables for the three federal ministers responsible for establishing the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Bessner is an adjudicator on the Consent and Capacity Board. She is also Past-President of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario. In 2016, Bessner received the Law Society Medal. Bessner was educated in both the civil and common law legal systems. After graduating from McGill Law School with a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law, she received a Masters of Law (LLM) at Harvard Law School.