At the end of November 2014, Zahra Abdille and her two sons were murdered by her abusive husband. For Lorne Sossin, this was a “tip-of-the-ice-berg moment.”
Abdille, a Toronto Public Health nurse, had tried to leave her abusive situation before it reached its tragic conclusion, but was stymied when she didn’t qualify for legal aid or housing assistance. In an all too familiar refrain, the system had failed.
“This gap between being eligible for legal aid and being able to afford counsel that she fell into meant she wasn’t able to get the legal assistance that could have prevented the crime from happening,” said Lorne Sossin, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, addressing members of the legal community who came together last week in Toronto to launch the second year of Flip Your Wig For Justice, the pledge-based fundraiser, which aims to raise awareness as well as money for access to justice programs in Ontario.