Richard Elliott
Executive Director

Richard joined the Legal Network staff in January 1999 as Director of Policy and Research, following an 18-month term on its board of directors. He became Deputy Director in 2005 and Executive Director in 2007.

Previously, he worked as a civil litigator in private practice. He has appeared before all levels of Ontario courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, and has helped guide the Legal Network’s litigation in key HIV-related court cases in Canada and internationally.

Richard has coordinated student legal aid services for low-income people living with HIV, served on the boards of directors of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) and the Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), and been involved with other human rights organizations, including contributing to the work of the international executive committee of Amnesty International as it adopted a new, broader human rights mandate. He also co-founded and chaired for several years a local Amnesty International group in Toronto advocating for the rights of sexual minorities and people living with HIV.

Between 2001 and 2007, he was a member of the Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS, the advisory body to Canada’s Minister of Health, and in 2010–2011 he served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Centre for Human Rights and Drug Policy.

Richard is also a founding member of the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG), an affiliation of Canadian civil society organizations advocating for access to medicines and other aspects of the human right to health in developing countries.

Richard holds an undergraduate degree in economics and philosophy from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and obtained his LL.B. and LL.M. from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 1997.In addition to appearing frequently in the media as an expert and advocate on HIV and human rights, he has authored numerous reports, papers and articles on a range of such issues, appeared before legislative committees, served as an expert resource to UN agencies, taught or lectured at several law schools, and presented extensively on HIV and human rights across the country and internationally. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the advancement of human rights related to HIV.