Marlys has been counsel in many leading constitutional cases and high-profile criminal matters. She appears regularly before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Some of her leading cases are listed below. She has also served as counsel to and before several Commissions of Inquiry, including the Marshall inquiry, the Krever inquiry and, most recently, the Arar inquiry.
Marlys has lectured at both Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, been on the faculty of the Federation of Law Societies’ National Criminal Law Program, and acted as co-director of the professional LL.M. program in criminal law at Osgoode Hall. She continues to be a regular contributor to legal education programs.
Marlys has served as a Director, Secretary, Treasurer and Second Vice President of The Advocates’ Society, a Director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, a Director of and subsequently Special Advisor to the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, and a Director and currently Vice President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Marlys’ commitment to social justice and her contributions to the profession have been widely recognized. She has received numerous awards and honours, including the Law Society of Upper Canada Medal, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Award, the Vox Libera award from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the Women’s Law Association President’s Award, the Toronto Lawyers’ Association Award of Distinction, Professional Recognition Awards from the Midwifery Education Programme and the Canadian Muslim Network, and the inaugural Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law. Marlys is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Marlys received her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 1976. She also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Carleton University, a master of laws degree from Boalt Hall, and honorary doctor of laws degrees from the Law Society of Upper Canada and York University.