Michael holds the Legal Education Foundation Postdoctoral Access to Civil Justice Research Fellowship at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. He completed his PhD (York University) on the subject of multilayer access to civil justice in Canada, and holds degrees in political science from York University and the University of Toronto, Trinity College.
Michael's primary research interests focus on human rights politics, collective access to justice, and legal policy. Within these fields, his interdisciplinary research explores various contextual barriers to accessing justice, legal mobilisation and rights enforcement, and the law and politics of class/collective actions. As a political scientist by training, his research is aimed at maximising public impact and promoting policy reforms.
Michael's research touches on a range of topics in human rights. His doctoral project was a multilayer access to justice analysis of class actions covering a 25-year period (1992-2017) from the introduction of the Class Proceedings Act in Ontario, using a human rights framework and culminating in a series of policy reform proposals. Outputs based on this research have been published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit Et Société, The Canadian Class Action Review, and he is currently revising the dissertation for publication as a monograph.
Michael is the academic lead for the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights's research projects on Collective Access to Justice and Environmental Legal Mobilisation. His main research focuses on multilayer access to civil justice in England and Wales and the mobilisation of collective mechanisms in rights enforcement in comparative perspective. The three-year project is designed to identify accessibility gaps, determine the suitability of extant mechanisms, and assess proposed solutions, with the overarching objective of informing policy reforms. This research moves the largely individuated access to justice agenda forward by expanding the scope of current justice research and potential reforms to include collective forms of justice accessibility. In line with the project's focus on public impact and policy reforms, a monograph based on this research is under contract with Policy Press (forthcoming 2020). He is also organising a major conference on this theme, Access to Justice and Class Actions in England and Wales, to be hosted by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights on 10-11 June 2020.
In addition to these projects, Michael has worked with a variety of governmental/non-governmental organisations involved in access to justice research and reforms, including on uses of technology in court and tribunal modernisation initiatives, and justiciable problems in the employment, family dispute, and environmental sectors.
As a political scientist and human rights scholar, Michael's work is interdisciplinary and borrows from several interrelated fields. He has taught courses across the social sciences and humanities, including sociolegal studies, Canadian and comparative politics, political theory, and the politics of law.