Successful CPD Event: Rule of law in interventions in fragile states

Tinsley Conf 2On October 20, 2017, ICJ Canada held a very special full-day CPD programme in Ottawa, focusing on building the rule of law in fragile states through whole of government involvement, linking military, justice sector, humanitarian, and development assistance.

Beginning with remarks delivered by the Honourable John McKay, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of National Defence, the conference featured a range of renowned experts and leaders from the military, security, legal, and media sectors.

Tinsley Conf 1The keynote speaker, featured over the lunch hour, was General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff. His engaging comments touched on the new reality of interventions in fragile states, in which the military can play a role in creating a platform for other types of efforts that will together create development and long term stability, rather than short-lived victories.

Other themes discussed during the day included:

  • Integrating whole of government expertise in Canadian involvement in Middle East conflict zones (Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff; Mark Gwozdecky, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Global Affairs; Prof. Thomas Juneau, University of Ottawa, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs)
  • Accountability challenges and dealing with the destructive consequences of conflict (Prof. Errol Mendes, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and President, International Commission of Jurists, Canadian Section; BGen. (ret’d) Kenneth Watkin, former judge advocate general and legal author; Robert Petit, Senior Counsel and Team Leader, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Department of Justice)
  • Best and worst practices in establishing or strengthening national justice and security sector institutions (Andrew J. Carswell, Senior Delegate to Canada for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Assistant Commissioner Serge Therriault, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP))
  • Oversight of international peacebuilding efforts in relation to international criminal law (Hon. Marie Deschamps, former justice of the SCC and UN investigator; Linda Bianchi, Counsel, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Department of Justice and former international prosecutor; MGen Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General)Tinsley Conf 4
  • The role of media and knowledge networks in contributing to sustainable peace building, democracy and development (Murray Brewster, CBC reporter and author); Prof. Stephen Baranyi, University of Ottawa, School of International Development and Global Studies)
  • Integrating silos for effective policy development (Anne Burgess, Director, Conflict Policy and Security Coherence Secretariat within the Task Force, Global Affairs Canada; Prof. Stephen Baranyi)

All discussions were enlightening and well-received by the audience, made up of professionals from the private sector, including civil society, and public sector, especially the military, as well as academia.

Many thanks to ICJ Canada Council Member Peter Tinsley, former international prosecutor and justice sector consultant, for organizing this highly successful event. Without his efforts, attendees would not have had such a unique learning opportunity.

Release of ICJC Interim Report on Federal Judicial Appointments

ICJ Canada is currently completing a national project examining Canada’s federal and provincial judicial appointments processes in order to address criticisms that have emerged regarding the processes, and to suggest reforms. The project has two aspects. First, we seek to examine and critique the current Canadian process for judicial appointments. Second, we seek to survey current international norms and national processes from amongst leading rule-of-law jurisdictions around the world to identify best practices for adoption in Canada.

Commencing in the fall of 2015, ICJ Canada began gathering information from provincial jurisdictions across Canada on the federal and provincial judicial appointments processes by providing questionnaires to lawyers in five jurisdictions – Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Alberta. 20 lawyers across Canada have been involved in this information-gathering process and have been reaching out to other members of their respective legal communities. We have prepared an Interim Report setting out the findings we have drawn from the responses received with respect to the federal judicial appointments process. The Interim Report also provides recommendations to address areas that evidently require reform to further advance the principles of judicial impartiality and independence and to promote greater diversity in the judiciary, ensuring it is representative of the communities it serves.

This project coincides with an important change in the federal government’s policy stance on judicial appointments, and its expression of interest in reforming the appointment of section 96 judges. Recently, the federal government took certain steps to reform the appointments process for the Supreme Court of Canada. ICJ Canada supports the general orientation of these reforms. 

On August 17, the Department of Justice held a consultation on the Interim Report with Vice President for British Columbia Rebecca Robb -the lead on the project-, Board Member from the Atlantic Provinces Professor Richard Devlin, and ICJC President, Professor Errol Mendes. We expect further consultations with the Department of Justice, and continue to advance the project. We welcome any future opportunities to participate in consultation processes the federal government undertakes to address the judicial appointments process in Canada and contribute our expertise in this area.

Read the Interim Report here. We welcome all feedback, which you may send to: info [at] icjcanada.org.

Ottawa, Oct. 20- The Rule of Law in Whole of Government Involvement in Fragile States

A unique CPD conference featuring leading legal and policy experts discussing cutting edge issues in international interventions. An event not to miss for lawyers keen on human rights, humanitarian law, and foreign policy issues!

Accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada for 1 Professionalism hour and 5h35min of Substantive content. Cost: $375 for full-day event, including lunch. Click here to Register today.

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Upcoming events: save the date and register today!

ICJ Canada has a busy fall coming up. We hope that you will participate in some of the events we're planning for this fall.

  • Calgary, October 6, Fundraising Dinner: An Evening with Dick Pound. Pound will speak on dealing with corruption in international sport. On the heels of Rio, and in light of Calgary's exploration of a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, this is an event not to miss. Find out more on our events page, and register while tickets are available.

  • Ottawa, October 20, Conference: The Rule of Law in Whole of Government Involvement in Fragile States. A unique CPD conference featuring leading legal and policy experts discussing cutting edge issues in international interventions. Accredited by the LSUC for 1 hour of professionalism, and over 5 hours of substantive content. View the full program and Register online today.

  • Toronto, November 21, Project Launch: Join us in Toronto for an event launching our new project focusing on responding to modern-day slavery. Save the date - details to be released later.

  • Ottawa, TBD, Tarnopolsky Award Ceremony: We will be hosting a reception to honour 2016 Tarnopolsky Award Winner Jennifer Bond.

If you would like to participate in these events or have any questions, please email info [at] icjcanada.org.