Joanna Harrington has been retained by lawyers in private practice to assist in matters of extradition, human rights, national security, and foreign corruption. She has assisted with the development of legal arguments in appellate proceedings and provided expert opinions to accompany ministerial submissions. She has also worked as a consultant with both national and international organizations, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Judicial Studies Board of England and Wales (now the Judicial College), and she has assisted counsel with international claims before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the (United Nations) Human Rights Committee. She has also testified, twice, as an expert witness before Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights.
From 2006-2008, she was seconded to the United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law division of the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada). She participated as a legal adviser for Canada in the negotiation of international treaties, resolutions and declaratory instruments at the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. She also took part in the crime of aggression negotiations and carried out an assessment visit on the future prospects for the Khmer Rouge trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Within Canada, she gained considerable experience participating in federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) consultations and consultations with national Aboriginal organizations and human rights NGOs.
In the early 2000s, she was a volunteer consultant with the Canadian Bar Association’s International Development Program, providing pro bono assistance to lawyers bringing a legal challenge before the Constitutional Court of Uganda.