Thursday, 26 November 2015 00:34

News from ICJC in The Advocate

Written by

In the latest edition of The Advocate, published by the Vancouver Bar Association, Rebecca Robb, associate at Hunter Litigation Chambers, and Tim Dickson, partner at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP write about ICJ Canada and our judicial appointments research project, which is spearheaded by our ICJC team in British Columbia. Read their article, and contact Rebecca <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> to find out how you can contribute to the project.

"Rule Of Law Is Essential To Ensuring Peaceful, Just And Inclusive Societies" by ICJC Secretary-Treasurer Robin Sully, with Jennifer Khor, Project Director International Initiatives of the Canadian Bar Association was published on the Huffington Post "Development Unplugged" blog. 

"While much has been achieved since 2000 when the UN adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals, evaluation of the MDGs has demonstrated that economic growth in itself is not an adequate measure of development or poverty reduction, especially when issues of inequality, discrimination, insecurity and abuse of basic rights prevail."

You can read more here.

QCCAAs one of ICJC’s regional activities, its Québec chapter held a symposium at the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal, entitled “The Magna Carta and its impact here”, to highlight the 800th anniversary of the Great Charter. Organized by ICJC Board Members Stéphane Beaulac, professor at the University of Montreal, and former judge Pierre Dalphond, now with Stikeman Elliott, this conference had an impressive line-up of speakers. They included Nicole Duval-Hesler, Chief Justice of Quebec, senator Serge Joyal, criminal law lawyer Jean-Claude Hébert, President of the Quebec Human Rights Commission Jacques Frémont, and Dean Nathalie Des Rosiers. The speakers dealt with various topics tied to the legacy of the Magna Carta, but that remain of importance today, including women’s rights, fundamental liberties, and jury trials.

This highly engaging conference was followed by the public launching of the Observatory on National Security Measures, for which Stéphane Beaulac is the founding director. The observatory is one of ICJC’s regional activities, and is housed by the University of Montreal’s Centre for Research in Public Law (CRDP). It is a web-based resource that has the mission of storing documents and following Montreal Magna Cartadevelopments related to national security measures. The site is bilingual, and will be a hub for discussion on the risks and challenges in this area. It is a project of inter-institutional collaboration of the law faculties of the University of Montreal (Stéphane Beaulac), Laval Université (Fannie Lafontaine), Université of Ottawa (Errol Mendes), and Dalhousie Université (Rob Currie).

The event closed with a cocktail reception to commemorate the Honourable Louise Arbour, C.C.,G.O.Q., winner of the 2015 Tarnopolsky Prize.

arbour and mendesOn November 5th, 2015, the ICJC recognized the Honourable Louise Arbour as the 2015 recipient of the Walter S. Tarnopolsky award, which is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to human rights in Canada or abroad. The award ceremony took place in the intimate setting of the judges’ conference room of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montréal.

ICJC President Errol Mendes praised Madam Arbour as being a person who needs no introduction for most Canadians, given her outstanding contributions to justice and human rights in Canada and around the world.

He highlighted a few of her notable accomplishments: She is a former justice of the Ontario Supreme Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada, and chaired an inquiry commission that investigated certain events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario. Internationally, she was the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was also President of the International Crisis Group from 2009 to 2014, before returning to Canada to take the position of counsel with Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal. She is a member of the Advisory Board of The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and the International Commission Against the Death Penalty. Among her numerous honorary doctorates and awards, Madam Arbour has been a Companion of the Order of Canada since 2007, a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec since 2009, a Commander of the Légion d'honneur, and has been decorated by both Spain and Colombia.

Louise Arbour et alSarah-Michèle Vincent-Wright, Stéphane Beaulac, Louise Arbour, Frédéric Bérard, Errol Mendes, Pierre Dalphond, and Nathalie Des RosiersAfter being presented with the award, Madam Arbour shared a few comments with an attentive audience of fellow jurists, and answered their questions candidly. She shared some reflections on the state of human rights today, and expressed cautious optimism that we are entering an era of new, pragmatic, and evidence-based approaches to global challenges, particularly in the areas of migrant policy and drug policy. She expressed that it is particularly special for her to receive the Tarnopolsky award, because Walter Tarnopolsky had been a colleague of hers, whom she respected greatly and recalls fondly.

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.

browder event

Saturday, 07 November 2015 22:12

Tackling Islamophobia, featuring Marwan Muhammad

Written by

WEB NEWS Stopping Islamophobia

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.

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).

browder headerICJ 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
6:00 pm
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.

To purchase individual tickets, please click here; or to purchase a table of ten, click here.

For more information, please contact Sherry Naylor at 416-368-8253 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We hope you will join us on October 27.

browder book"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

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 17:11

ICJ Canada celebrates the Magna Carta

Written by

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.


Page 4 of 5