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2010 Winner Jayne Stoyles

Jayne Stoyles

Jayne Stoyles, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice and an Ashoka Canada Fellow, was named the 2010 recipient of the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award for outstanding achievement in the field of human rights. The Award was presented by the Hon. Michèle Rivet.

Every third year, the Tarnopolsky Award is presented to someone in mid-career, and 2010 was such a year. Although called to the bar in 1997, Jayne’s experience is that of a seasoned human rights veteran. In his introduction of her at the Annual Meeting, Ron Atkey, the Chair of the 2010 Selection Committee, said that the decision had not been difficult: “There was one young candidate among this year’s nominees who clearly met all the selection criteria related to Walter Tarnopolsky. In the short thirteen years since she was called to the Bar of Ontario, Jayne Stoyles has already made a significant difference in the field of human rights - at home and abroad.”

Ms. Stoyles served as Program Director of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court in New
York, an organization that was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize during her tenure, was a Senior Advisor to the Institute for Global Policy in New York, and served as a founding member of the Conflict Prevention Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee. She has volunteered in Africa, Latin America, and northern Canada, and she has taught international law.

Ms. Stoyles accepted the Award on behalf of the people she works with every day, victims of human rights abuses, and donated the Award honorarium to the CCIJ.

Ms. Stoyles’ talk provided a history of the International Criminal Court and an overview of the ICC’s current investigations in the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Uganda. She then brought the discussion home to Canada, highlighting the presence of 2,000 alleged war criminals in the country, the lack of funds for the war crimes prosecution program, and the need to amend Canada’s state immunity law to allow victims of torture to bring civil lawsuits in Canadian courts. She ended her talk on a personal note: “It is a great honour to be involved in this work,” she said. “I just do what I love.”

In thanking her, ICJ President Paul Fraser said, “Jayne exemplifies all of the qualities that the Tarnopolsky
Award seeks to reward and celebrate. She brings extraordinary vision, energy, and leadership skills to the work of strengthening the protection of universal human rights by improving law, policies, and practices in Canada with respect to international justice.”