Richard Elliott

Richard

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.

At the Legal Network, Richard is responsible for the Legal Network’s effective overall operation and implementing the organization’s mandate. He advises and supports the Board of Directors, especially in formulating strategic directions and organizational plans, and developing policy. He has also helped guide the Legal Network’s litigation in key HIV-related court cases in Canada and internationally. He has authored numerous reports, papers and articles on a range of legal and human rights issues in the context of HIV, and appears regularly in the media as an expert in the field.

Previously, he worked as a civil litigator in private practice, appearing before all levels of Ontario courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has appeared before legislative committees, served as an expert resource and technical advisor to UN agencies, taught or lectured at several law schools, and presented extensively on HIV and human rights across the country and internationally.

Richard served on the boards of directors of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) and the Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), and co-founded and chaired a local Amnesty International group in Toronto advocating for the rights of sexual minorities and people living with HIV. He is a founding member of the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG), an affiliation of Canadian civil society organizations advocating for access to medicines in developing countries, and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Centre for Human Rights and Drug Policy.

Between 2001 and 2007, Richard was a member of the Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS, the advisory body to Canada’s Minister of Health. In 2010–2011, he served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and in 2015-16, as a member of the Expert Advisory Group to the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the advancement of human rights related to HIV.

Richard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from Queen’s University, and both a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B., 1995) and Master of Laws (LL.M., 2006) from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1997.

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