UBC Innocence Project: Righting wrongs and training the next generation of lawyers

Transformative Learning | Strategy 15: Student Experience
Theme: Collaboration
Tamara Levy, QC, director of the UBC Innocence Project | Photo credit: Macy Yap

The UBC Innocence Project at the Peter A. Allard School of Law examines claims of wrongful conviction in British Columbia. Since its inception nearly 15 years ago, the project has brought together a select group of talented and enthusiastic law students, who review past cases for possible miscarriages of justice through detailed analysis of factors such as eyewitness identification, confessions and jailhouse informant testimony.

Tamara Levy, QC, the director of the project co-founded it in 2007 with Professor Nikos Harris, QC, and a group of law students. They recently helped exonerate Tomas Yebes, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his two sons in 1983, as well as introduce new expert testimony that led to the release on bail of Gerald Klassen, who had served over 25 years in prison for first-degree murder.

The students working on the Innocence Project love the opportunity to use their lessons learned in class for a meaningful cause. As Allard Law JD graduate Alexandra Ballantyne says, “Having the opportunity to play a part in correcting individual miscarriages of justice, as well as exposing, reforming and educating on the systemic dysfunction of the criminal justice system, continues to be the most meaningful work that I do.”

To read the full story, please visit the Allard School of Law website.

Through Strategy 15: Student Experience, we are creating opportunities for students to strengthen their engagement to the wider community and the challenges of the world.