by Ryan Persaud, President, uOttawa ICJC Students' Chapter
On October 27, 2015, I, along with 107 lawyers, judges and law students attended the International Commission of Jurists Canada fundraiser event for Bill Browder, author of the acclaimed novel, “Red Notice.” This true story details the corruption and cronyism of Putin’s Russia, a system that callously took the life of Mr. Browder’s lawyer and close friend, Sergei Magnitsky. Since then, Mr. Browder has travelled the world seeking justice for his friend and in doing so, has directly taken on one of the most powerful authoritarian regimes in the world. Mr. Browder’s story highlights the power of the individual, sticking by one’s principles, and the human cost of seemingly larger than life political issues.
Mr. Browder is a deeply compelling speaker, full of wit and humour, and his story is deeply poignant as well. The question period was brilliantly moderated by the Hon. Ian Binnie, former Supreme Court of Canada justice. Both in his presentation and the question period Mr. Browder reminded of us of how fragile the rule of law truly is and how greed, power, and corruption are constant threats to it. And, on an even more human level, he reminded us what can happen when the rule of law is not respected, and of the lives that are so frequently lost, including those of lawyers such as his courageous lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The ICJC has been dedicated to pursuit of justice and promotion of human rights through engaging national and international legal systems for over five decades. In our globalized world, where businesses, communities, and friendships consistently cross borders, realizing these goals is more important now than ever before.
Eight law students from the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto were able to attend this interesting and enlightening event due to the generosity of Mr. Charles Coffey, who donated a table so that the students could attend free of charge. We are greatly appreciative of his kindness and generosity.
On October 15, ICJC, in conjunction with the University of Ottawa's Human Rights Research and Education Centre, hosted Marwan Muhammad, advisor to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, for an event on Islamophobia. Mr. Muhammad spoke about the harms of Islamophobia, and the responsibility of all members of society, including non-Muslims, to address it. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Ottawa, Oct. 15 - How to Address Islamophobia? From Hate Speech to Hate Crime: The Spectrum of IntoleranceWritten by Administrator
ICJC, in conjunction with the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada, and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa, invite you to attend this important and timely event, featuring a presentation by Marwan Muhammad, Advisor, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 4 to 6 p.m.
University of Ottawa, Fauteux Hall (57 Louis Pasteur Private) – FTX570
Magna Carta and its impact here, followed by the launch of the Observatory on National Security Measures, and a special ceremony to award the Tarnopolsky Prize to the Honourable Louise Arbour.
Location: The Quebec Court of Appeal (Ernest Cormier building)
Date: November 5, 2-5pm
Crédit : 3h training with the Quebec Bar Association
Cost, including cocktail:
- FREE for members (please sign up as a member before registering for the event)
- 75$ for non-members
- $20 for non-member students
Please note that the majority of this event will take place in French, and translation will not be available.
CLICK HERE to register! As space is limited, we ask that all attendees register in advance.
Click "Read more" below to view the program (French only).
ICJ Canada invites you to an evening with New York Times bestselling author Bill Browder. This dinner event will feature a talk by Mr. Browder about his recent, highly acclaimed book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, a real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. The evening will be moderated by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie.
October 27, 2015
University Club, 380 University Avenue
Tickets are $275 per guest, in support of ICJ Canada.
You are welcome to purchase a table that seats ten people.
Charitable receipts will be provided for $200 of the cost for each individual.
For more of Bill Browder, watch his interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria here.
We hope you will join us on October 27.
"This indispensable look at the brutal realities of the Putin regime is of even greater relevance thanks to Bill Browder’s unique expertise and personal experience inside the belly of the beast."
– Garry Kasparov, Chess Grandmaster and author of How Life Imitates Chess
"A riveting account of Browder’s journey through the early years of Russian capitalism….Begins as a bildungsroman and ends as Greek tragedy…. ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ Magnitsky tells Browder, in the book’s most memorable line. Perhaps not, but they do have inspiring ones."
– The Washington Post
On July 21, 2015, ICJ Canada, in collaboration with the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa along with the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec held private reception and viewing of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest at the Museum.
The Magna Carta remains a relevant and revered document, 800 years after England’s King John affixed his seal to it in 1215. This celebrated historical document, together with the Charter of the Forest, laid out key precepts that lay the foundations of democratic societies in Canada and around the world today — including the principle that no one is above the law, the foundations of the rule of law that include rights such as freedom from detention without cause and trial by jury; and protection of the common good and the some of the earliest enunciations of the rights of women. The most well known parts of the Great Charter included the following:
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled or in any other way destroyed, nor will we proceed with force against him, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice.” …Magna Carta 1215 Due Process of Law (Chapter 39,40)
Over 80 participants including judges of the Federal Court, lawyers, government officials and the general public along with ICJ Canada members enjoyed presentations on the modern day legacy of the Magna Carta by distinguished speakers before viewing the historic document. Speakers included Julia Nolan, Head Foreign Policy, British High Commission, Paul Crampton, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Canada, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Dean, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa, Bianca Gendreau, Manager, Contemporary Canada and the World, Museum of History and Professor Errol P. Mendes, President ICJ Canada. Professor Mendes encouraged those attending to join ICJ Canada and participate in its key initiatives and objectives.
It is hoped that there will be similar events organized by ICJ Canada members to celebrate the Great Charter across the country as the document travels to Toronto and Western Canada.
The International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section) is happy to announce the launch of a new bilingual online resource relating to the theme of the rule of law and the protection of human rights: the “Observatory on National Security Measures” (Observatoire des mesures visant la sécurité nationale or OSN), housed in the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal. It is an initiative of the Quebec chapter of ICJ Canada, in collaboration with the Public Law Research Centre of the University of Montreal. Professor Stéphane Beaulac, Ph.D. (Cantab.), full professor at the University of Montreal, is the founding director of the project. The Observatory consists of a platform for research on and diffusion of legislation, Parliamentary Bills, government directives and other official documents relating to national security measures (eg. Bill C-51). It will also permit different interveners to come together and share opinions and commentary on national security, notably on the blog portion of the site.
Visit and bookmark the Observatory website! --> http://osn.openum.ca/en/
Former Ambassador Robert Fowler, one of Canada’s most distinguished diplomats, presented a riveting talk at the University of Ottawa on June 29th, 2015. The event was organized by ICJ Canada, along with the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development, University of Ottawa.
Professor Mendes, President of ICJ Canada, introduced Ambassador Fowler as a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs who experienced a most devastating life-threatening event. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive. In his presentation, Ambassador Fowler related how, along with his colleague Louis Guay, he lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world’s most feared terror group. Ambassador Fowler discussed how his capture, release and subsequent media appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the “War on Terror” and a new understanding of the so called “clash of civilizations”. The presentation was followed be a lively discussion moderated Professor Mendes with the 60 participants from the government, civil society, the diplomatic community and the legal profession.
Ambassador Fowler's book, A Season in Hell, is the compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words.
“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled or in any other way destroyed, nor will we proceed with force against him, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice.” …Magna Carta 1215 Due Process of Law (Chapter 39,40)
The Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the International Commission of Jurists, Canadian Section, along with the Canadian Museum of History are pleased to co-host a private reception and viewing of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. All members of ICJ Canada are welcome to attend and to invite their colleagues.
The Magna Carta remains a relevant and revered document, 800 years after England’s King John affixed his seal to it in 1215. This celebrated historical document, together with the Charter of the Forest, laid out key precepts that lay the foundations of democratic societies in Canada and around the world today — including the principle that no one is above the law, the foundations of the rule of law that include rights such as freedom from detention without cause and trial by jury; and protection of the common good and the some of the earliest enunciations of the rights of women.
Speakers at this event include Julia Nolan, Head Foreign Policy, British High Commission; The Honourable Paul Crampton, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Canada; and Professor Errol P. Mendes, President, ICJ Canada.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Magna Carta Canada Exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History
Voyageur Salon, 100 Laurier Street
Gatineau, Québec K1A 0M8
Paid parking is available onsite. Visit the Museum’s website for complete details.
RSVP required - Space is limited and registration is required. Online registration is now open.
We look forward to seeing you!
On May 28, members of ICJ Canada had the opportunity to participate in our annual meeting, held in Ottawa. Members unable to attend were able to join the meeting by conference call.
ICJC President Errol Mendes delivered his President’s report, highlighting the considerable achievements in the first part of the year, including the transition to a new office, and the initiation of several new activities and events across Canada. He also thanked Board members Raj Anand, John Campion, David Wake, Jane O’Neill and Michael Gottheil, who would be leaving the Board, for their contributions to the organization; and welcomed the skills and expertise that the new slate of Board members would bring. The new members are Chantal Bernier, the Hon. Pierre Dalphond and Jennifer Egsgard.
Members also received a program update about the exciting new activities being spearheaded by regional VPs, heard about the potential integration of our new activities with ICJ Geneva, and were given a detailed Financial and membership report by our Secretary-Treasurer, Robin Sully.
Overall, the meeting was an excellent occasion for members to learn more about ICJ Canada’s status and activities, participate in our organization’s governance, and connect with each other.
Presentation by Robert Fowler: "Lessons Learned From Sleeping with Al Qaeda" - Ottawa, Monday, June 29Written by Administrator
Robert Fowler has had a distinguished career as a Canadian diplomat and public servant. In addition to serving as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations ('95-2000) and to Italy (2000-'06), he has also been foreign policy advisor to three prime ministers. Robert was also the Deputy Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister's Personal Representative for Africa.
For decades, Robert was a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs. In one heart-stopping minute, all of that changed. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive.
Along with his colleague Louis Guay, Fowler lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world’s most feared terror group. Fowler’s capture, release and subsequent media appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the “War on Terror.” His book, A Season in Hell, is Fowler’s compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words. It is also a startlingly frank discussion about the state of a world redefined by clashing civilizations.
The presentation and following discussion is organized by Errol Mendes, President of ICJ Canada and law professor at the University of Ottawa in partnership with the University’s Centre for Continuing Education and its Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development.
This event will be held on Monday, June 29, from 5-7pm in Ottawa on the University campus, in Desmarais Hall Room 12102. This event is free to attend, but attendees are requested to register online, as space is limited.
On May 14, 2015 the ICJ in collaboration with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) presented a program session titled Equity, Inclusion, Poverty Reduction....It's about Justice! Integrating Justice into the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda as part of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) annual International Cooperation Days Conference. This year, the Conference had the theme “ Universal Goals Canadian Challenges”. It was held in Gatineau, QC from May 12-14th and brought together 400 of Canada’s leading development professionals from civil society, the private sector, academia and government to focus on the post-2015 global development agenda.
The ICJ/CBA session was chaired by Errol Mendes, President of ICJ Canada. The objective of the session was to consider rule of law and access to justice as a universal goal and as a means to achieve the outcomes of other proposed post-2015 sustainable development goals and, in particular, to ensure equality and inclusivity in their implementation. Panelists included Adrian Di Giovanni, Senior Program Officer, Law and Development, International Development Research Centre (IDRC); Andrea Redway, Director of International Initiatives, CBA; and Petra Andersson, Director of Programs, Parliamentary Centre. To inform the discussion each of the panelists reflected on the collective experiences of Canadian legal institutions and each of their respective organization’s work on rule of law and access to justice issues in Canada and in developing countries. The conference attendees were invited by the chair, the panelists, and the session facilitator, Jennifer Khor, CBA Project Director, to consider how integrating access to justice and rule of law initiatives -including establishing legal frameworks, strengthening institutions and empowering citizen engagement- might meaningfully advance education, health, environmental, and equality development goals.
Response to the ICJ/CBA session was enthusiastic. As one participant noted, “there was a tremendous amount of interest in the room, a good discussion, and I know that I am excited and keen to bring these debates to more of our members”.
A draft policy paper prepared by Robin Sully, Secretary-Treasurer of the ICJ, was provided to the participants as a background document to help inform the discussion.
ICJ Canada is pleased to be participating in the 2015 conference organized jointly by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP), entitled "Universal Goals, Canadian Challenges".
On Thursday, May 14, 2015, we will be hosting a panel along with the Canadian Bar Association, on "Integrating justice into the post-2015 SDG agenda". Our speakers will be Petra Andersson, Adrian Di Giovanni, Jennifer Khor, Andrea Redway, and Robin Sully.
In a joint letter sent to The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development, the ICJ collaborated with the CBA, the Parliamentary Centre, and the International Law Research Programme of the Centre for International Governance Innovation to encourage the Canadian government to prioritize support for rule of law in the post-2015 global sustainable development agenda and within Canada's overseas development assistance program.