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Catherine Savard

ICC Legal Tools Project

By | Uncategorized

At the Canadian level, CPIJ coordinates this project initiated by the International Criminal Court to provide users around the world with a comprehensive virtual database of information and analysis related to international criminal law and justice.

The Legal Tools Project is a collection of legal information, digests and software that will enable users to work with international criminal law from wherever they are. The Canadian partners for the project are CCIJ, La Clinique de droit international pénal et humanitaire de l’Université de Laval, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law – Common Law Section.

Three Main Components

The Legal Tools Database is a free, fully searchable database of information related to international criminal law, including domestic legislation and case law.

The Case Matrix is an application that aims to provide a body of knowledge and expertise to help those in the legal community dealing with cases involving core international crimes.

It provides users with a source of legal reference and analysis; it incorporates relevant information from the Legal Tools Database and provides access to the Elements Digest, Proceedings Digest and Means of Proof Digest.

It also acts as a database to organize and present information and evidence in cases involving core international crimes, providing an overview of the evidentiary status of a case at various stages (investigation, trial, appeal, judicial review).

The Case Matrix further provides a “User’s Guide” on how to prove international crimes through various modes of liability.

Finally the Project aims to develop a Case Matrix Network, to accompany the Case Matrix, to strengthen the ability of national jurisdictions to investigate and prosecute international crimes.

For more information, please visit the ICC Legal Tools Project website.

SNC-Lavalin case shows why we should review foreign corruption laws

By | CPIJ in the Media, News

Joanna Harrington | The Conversation

26 February 2019 – The controversy in Canada involving Québec-based corporate giant SNC-Lavalin highlights the need for a parliamentary review of the legal scheme for fighting foreign corruption.

Underpinning the scandal is a corporate criminal prosecution for the alleged bribery of Libyan officials by SNC-Lavalin officials and the question of a plea deal. Since corporations cannot do jail time, a fine is the obvious punishment. But how large should the fine be, and with what consequences? Should SNC-Lavalin be barred from consideration for future government contracts?

The SNC-Lavalin headquarters in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

It was only in 1999 — almost 20 years to the day of the Globe and Mail‘s report about allegations that Canada’s former attorney general felt pressured to help SNC-Lavalin — that the bribery of a foreign public official became a crime under Canadian law.

Until then, paying a bribe or kickback to secure a contract abroad was seen as the cost of doing business in a foreign land.

Pushed as a fast-tracked initiative, with all-party support, passage of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act was a foregone conclusion. Introduced in the Senate in December 1998, the law received only two days of parliamentary consideration, before it was brought into force in February 1999.

Speedy passage, however, meant that Parliament had not set aside any time to consider the more delicate details, such as the role of plea deals to save court time. And parliamentarians had failed to consider the question of who are the victims of foreign corruption, because plea deals are likely to involve the payment of a victim surcharge to fund victims assistance programs.

Why was Canada so keen to rush this new law into place? The answer lies in international pressure.

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

In mid-1998, Canada and other G8 states made a commitment to ratify the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention before the year’s end. The OECD is the international club of countries with advanced economies.

It was this keenness to join that led Canadian parliamentarians to accept the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, the legislation that put into motion the OECD convention’s terms. Those terms include a provision that the investigation and prosecution of foreign bribery “shall not be influenced by considerations of national economic interest, the potential effect upon relations with another State or the identity of the natural or legal persons involved.”

Canada also accepted the supply-side focus of the OECD’s approach — often called active bribery — as it focuses on the conduct of the one offering the bribes. But the demand side of foreign bribery isn’t always passive if an individual recipient encourages a corporate payment, and so the demand-side aspect is worthy of further parliamentary review in Canada.

Indeed, after a study in 2008, the Law Commission of England and Walesconcluded there should be two general offences of bribery, one for the conduct of the payer and the other for the conduct of the recipient.

Illegal to offer rewards to foreign officials

Corruption takes a variety of forms, with bribery being the standard offence for addressing corruption in the public sphere.

With the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act in place, it is illegal to offer undue rewards to foreign public officials to obtain improper advantages in the conduct of international business. The act has created work for business lawyers offering compliance advice.

There have been few convictions under Canada’s anti-rbribe. Shutterstock

But the act has also fostered disappointment. In 20 years, there have only been four convictions. Three convictions, secured by guilty pleas, have involved Alberta-based companies in the oil-and-gas sector, while the fourth concerned an Ottawa-based individual in the technology sector.

There’s rarely any mention of the tally of closed investigations, acquittals and stayed proceedings. That tally includes the 2017 acquittal of several people associated with SNC-Lavalin and a bridge development project in Bangladesh; the same bridge project that led to SNC-Lavalin’s negotiated acceptance of World Bank debarment in 2013.

Critiques lead to amendments

Criticism of Canada’s performance under the act has resulted in amendments in 2013. And in 2014, new transparency measures were imposed on the natural resources sector.

In 2017, the law’s reach was extended, at last, to cover all forms of bribes, and in 2018, a Canadian version of the deferred prosecution agreement, pioneered in the United States, was added to prosecutors’ toolboxes.

But Canada’s legislative scheme has not kept pace with the multi-jurisdictional realities of fighting foreign corruption.

In its 2018 annual report to Parliament, Global Affairs Canada continued to hail the $10.3 million fine paid by Griffiths Energy International as “the largest to date under the CFPOA.” But no mention is made of the English Court of Appeal’s assessment that this was a “relatively modest sum” given the surge in share value for the successor company in the United Kingdom.

Corruption violates integrity

It is often said that “corruption is not a victimless crime.”

And no less a body than the Supreme Court of Canada has opined that: “Corruption … undermines confidence in public institutions, diverts funds from those who are in great need of financial support, and violates business integrity.”

But more work is needed from Parliament on the definition of a victim. Past plea deals have included the payment of sizeable victim surcharge fees into provincial victims-of-crime funds.

But how do these funds offer assistance to the victims of foreign bribery in, say, Bangadesh or Chad, or to a company’s employees in Canada?

Lastly, there is the larger question, now ripe for review, about the hope placed on using criminal law to secure the often-stated goal of securing a level playing field for Canadian companies operating abroad.

CPIJ Co-Researchers Payam Akhavan and Frédéric Mégret promoted Full Professors

By | News

25 february 2019 – The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Professor Payam Akhavan and Professor Frédéric Mégret have been promoted to the rank of Full Professor, effective 1 March 2019.

Professor Akhavan teaches and researches on public international law, international dispute settlement, international criminal law, human rights, and cultural pluralism. He received the degrees of Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard Law School after obtaining an LLB at Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining McGill, he was a senior fellow at Yale Law School and a UN prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda at the Hague, making significant contributions to their foundational jurisprudence. In 2017, he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures, In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey, in five different Canadian cities. His companion book was a #1 bestseller (non-fiction) in Canada.

Professor Mégret’s interests lie in international criminal justice, international human rights law, the law of international organizations, transitional justice, and general international law. He was named a William Dawson Scholar by McGill University in March 2015 and held the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) on the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism from 2006 to 2015. He served as associate dean (research) at the Faculty of Law from 2012 to 2015. Before developing an interest in international criminal law and humanitarian law, he completed a stint as a member of the United Nations Protection Force deployed in Sarajevo. He holds a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (University of Geneva)/Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I), a Maîtrise de droit privé from Université de Paris I, and an LLB from King’s College, London.

“As acknowledged in glowing terms by the external experts consulted, Professor Akhavan and Professor Mégret have emerged as two of the world’s leading voices in international criminal law,” underscored Dean Robert Leckey on sharing the news. “Their careers are a vivid illustration of the capacity of imaginative legal research to change our ideas and actions. I look forward to their continued outstanding contributions to this field of pressing importance.”

Offre d’emploi – Chargé.e de projets en justice internationale

By | News

26 février 2019 – Le Partenariat canadien pour la justice internationale, la Chaire de recherche sur la justice internationale pénale et les droits fondamentaux et la Clinique de droit international pénal et humanitaire s’associent pour offrir deux postes occasionnels de chargé.e de projets (auxiliaires de recherche) à temps plein, basés à l’Université Laval, du 6 mai au 1er septembre 2019.

Les chargé.e.s de projets assisteront les équipes de coordination de la Clinique, de la Chaire et du Partenariat durant 16 semaines à raison de 35 heures par semaine. Ils ou elles devront : gérer les communications (sites web et médias sociaux); collecter des données sur les activités de partenaires; rédiger des rapports sur l’état des connaissances et des activités; planifier et organiser des conférences et d’autres types d’événements similaires; mener des recherches et rédiger des documents en droit international pénal, humanitaire et des droits de la personne; assister les responsables dans la préparation de leurs activités de supervision; produire divers documents de vulgarisation, d’information et de reddition de compte.

Postulez avant le 4 mars 2019 sur le site du Service de placement de l’Université Laval (Offre 292428 – Auxiliaire de recherche – Chargé de projets – Justice internationale).

Student Projects: Funding Available

By | Funding Opportunities, News

Student training is important for the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ). This is why CPIJ notably funds students to take part each year in the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court, the Canadian Council on International Law’s Annual Conference, the ICC Moot Court Competition, and many other educational activities and events.

CPIJ encourages student initiatives and may support them financially. Students may apply to CPIJ to, for example, take part in a summer school, participate in a law-related competition, attend a conference or be involved in any other professional activity related to CPIJ’s mandate. The students selected for funding then become members of CPIJ’s student group.

Admissibility requirements

A request is prepared by the student. To be presented to the Scholarship and Student Funding Committee for its consideration, the following conditions of admissibility must be met:

  • The request is presented by a student in international law or in a field related to CPIJ’s Research Program;
  • The request is sufficiently documented to allow the Scholarship and Student Funding Committee to appreciate its nature and importance for the student;
  • The request must include a detailed project plan and, if possible, the event’s agenda, registration confirmation, and an estimate of the admissible expenses;
  • The request must explain: the student’s link to CPIJ; the link between the project and CPIJ’s Research Program; the nature of the project and the expected learning outcomes; the relevance of the project with respect to the student’s development and goals; and the amount and purpose of any funding previously received from CPIJ.

Funding requirements

Those students selected for funding must comply with the following requirements:

  • The student must provide consent, unless an exception is justified, for CPIJ’s use and dissemination of the student’s texts, pictures and other outcomes of the project, with acknowledgement.
  • The student must respect the rules and regulations of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), CPIJ’s funding organization. For example, these rules do not permit funded individuals to be compensated for blogposts or other forms of publication.
  • The student will acknowledge CPIJ and SSHRC’s financial support in blogposts and other relevant fora.
  • The student must write a minimum of one 1000 to 1500-word blogpost, which will be published on any of the following platforms, at the choice of the student: Quid JustitiæIntLawGrrlsJustice in Conflict or the Philip Kirsch Institute’s Global Justice Journal. The blogpost shall comply with the rules related to the chosen platform. The post shall be written before, during, or within a reasonable time after, the project completion.

The following expenses are admissible:[1]

  • Transportation (e.g. plane, train or bus ticket, gasoline receipts);
  • Accommodation;
  • Meals;
  • Registration for the event.

 Selection criteria

In choosing which projects to fund, the Scholarship and Student Funding Committee will consider the:

  • Link between the project and CPIJ’s Research Program;
  • Nature of the project and the expected learning outcome;
  • Relevance of the project with respect to the student’s training development and goals;
  • Link between the student(s) and CPIJ; and
  • Amount and purpose of any funding previously asked for and received from CPIJ.

How to apply?

To request funding, students shall fill the following form.

The Scholarship and Student Funding Committee meets four times per year to review and select projects for funding. the committee meets on 1 November, 1 February, 1 April, and 1 August.

Results are announced within one month following the Committee’s meeting. It is possible to submit a request at any moment throughout the year, but applicants should have these dates in mind to know the processing time of their request.

If funding is granted, the Partnership will provide the approved funding once the student is confirmed as attending the event (a registration confirmation can be required) and after ensuring that the expenses claimed are admissible. The Committee may approve the full, or a portion, of the amount requested. The approved amount may be paid in full or in instalments.

[1] An expense is admissible when it complies with the administrative requirements of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and of CPIJ’s host institution, Université Laval (www.sf.ulaval.ca). CPIJ could refuse to reimburse an expense that is not admissible or that subsequently becomes inadmissible after CPIJ initially accepted to fund the project. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the admissibility of the expenses. It is strongly encouraged to have all planned expenses pre-approved by CPIJ. Additional information can be provided on demand.

18th Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court: Call for applications

By | News, Student News, Upcoming Events

Each year between 2016 and 2021, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) sets up and funds a delegation of Canadian students, headed by academics and practitioners from various academic institutions and NGOs, to attend the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This major event takes place in The Hague or in New York at the end of each year.

Through this activity, CPIJ trains a cohort of students who are educated, engaged and networked in international and transnational law. The Partnership also aims at training and educating diverse Canadian audiences about the challenges, pitfalls and potential of the system of international justice, and about the priorities to improve the system. Through its action, CPIJ also enhances Canada’s role as a global leader in the fight against impunity.

The 18th ICC ASP will take place from 2 to 7 December 2019. The training of the delegation for this ASP will be spread out throughout the year until the event. The recruited students may have to:

  • report on the ASP, its side-events and on Canada’s participation as a State Party with respect to various themes (such as sexual and gender-based crimes, complementarity, cooperation, elections, budget, etc.);
  • tweet and live tweet;
  • organize conferences or events at their institution;
  • write short papers and blog posts;
  • support the Partnership’s partners in implementing their ASP programs;
  • connect with professionals working in international criminal law;
  • visit relevant international institutions.

Applications for the 18th ASP are accepted until April 15, 2019.

 

Conditions

  • Availability between now and the ASP in December to prepare the mission;
  • Availability to attend the ASP;
  • Availability to report on the ASP before, during and after the ASP;
  • Being able to get a visa for and to fly to the Netherlands before the ASP.

The ASP is a very demanding activity. Members of the delegation are requested to work long hours throughout the day. It is strongly recommended that students avoid other kinds of deadlines during or shortly after the ASP.

 

Evaluation criteria

  • Cycle of studies: priority is given to master or higher degree;
  • Link between the applicant and a team member or organization involved in the Partnership;
  • Link between the ASP/ICC and the field of study, the professional goals and the other academic/scientific activities of the applicant;
  • Availability to prepare the mission, to attend the ASP and to report on it thereafter;
  • Fluency and good writing command in English or French (bilingualism an asset);
  • Priority is given to applicants who have never received funding from the Partnership.

 

How to apply

Your application must include your resume, transcripts, passport copy as well as a motivation letter explaining how your application meets the evaluation criteria. You are strongly invited to write few paragraphs of your motivation letter in French if your application is in English and vice-versa.

Please upload your application and fill in the application form below before April 15, 2019.

 

For further information, write to:

Érick Sullivan

Coordinator of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice

internationaljustice.sshrc@gmail.com

Scholarship to attend the “International Justice and Victims’ Rights Summer School”: Call for applications

By | Funding Opportunities, Student News

$ 2,000 scholarship (Master’s or Ph.D. student)

Purpose of the scholarship

The Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) is offering a $ 2,000 scholarship to graduate students from developing countries to attend the International Justice and Victims’ Rights Summer School (see also here). Under the direction of Jo-Anne Wemmers, Professor at the School of Criminology, the summer school will be held on May 31 to June 8, 2019 at the Montreal Centre for International Studies, University of Montreal (CÉRIUM). As the school is bilingual (French-English), students are expected to be fluent in French or English and to have at least a passive understanding of the other language. The scholarship will be used to help pay tuition, travel expenses, and stay of the student.

Application

Please send a file containing:

  • A short CV (use this format), including the list of academic and professional achievements (e.g. education, scholarships, publications, presentations at conferences);
  • A letter of motivation specifying your research interests and justifying the benefit of participating in the summer school for the advancement of your project;
  • A copy of the grades obtained in your current program;
  • A proof of current enrolment in a postsecondary institution.

Filing the application

Complete files must be emailed by Friday, March 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM to valerie.meehan@umontreal.ca as a single file in PDF format. Only complete files will be taken into account.

Siracusa International Institute’s Specialization Course in International Criminal Law: Funding available

By | Funding Opportunities, Student News, Upcoming Events

This year again, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) sponsors 2 to 3 students’ attendance to the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human RightsSpecialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists. The 19th edition of this world-renowned course, themed “Human Rights and Criminal Justice”, will take place from June 2 to 10, 2019, in Siracusa (Italy). The program is available here. It should be noted that the course is in English.

Students of the 18th Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists. Photo: Siracusa Institute.

Nature of the funding

Selected students can claim funding for the following admissible expenses:[1]

  • Transportation (e.g. plane, train or bus ticket, gasoline receipts);
  • Housing;
  • Catering;
  • Registration to the course.

Application process

To apply, candidates should complete both of the following steps before March 31st, 2019:

  1. First, applicants should apply directly to the Siracusa Institute through the online application form;
  2. Second, applicants should fill the following form to seek CPIJ funding.
    1. The application must include the applicant’s resume, transcripts, passport copy as well as a motivation letter explaining how the application meets the evaluation criteria listed below.

Evaluation criteria

  • Link between the applicant and a team member or organization involved in the Partnership;
  • Link between the course and the field of study, the professional goals and the other academic/scientific activities of the applicant;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Previous funding received from CPIJ: priority is given to applicants who have never received funding from the Partnership;

Selected students will be informed promptly after the deadline of March 31st, 2019.

[1] An expense is admissible when it complies with the administrative requirements of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and of CPIJ’s host institution, Université Laval (www.sf.ulaval.ca). CPIJ could refuse to reimburse an expense that is not admissible or that subsequently becomes inadmissible after CPIJ initially accepted to fund the project. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the admissibility of the expenses. It is strongly encouraged to have all planned expenses pre-approved by CPIJ. Additional information can be provided on demand.

Sorry John McCallum, extradition doesn’t neatly divide the courts from the politicians

By | CPIJ in the Media

The ambassador and the Prime Minister stress the role of judges in the Meng case, but experts say extradition is ultimately about political decision-making

Even after all the coverage of John McCallum’s unorthodox remarks about the strong arguments he says Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers will be able to marshal to stop the Huawei executive from being extradited to the U.S., it’s still worth looking closely at exactly what Canada’s ambassador to China actually said earlier this week when he mused aloud about the sensitive case to Chinese-language media gathered near Toronto.

The overlap of law and politics: Meng Wanzhou’s extradition explained

By | CPIJ in the Media

When John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, said this week that Chinese business executive Meng Wanzhou has “quite good arguments on her side” in her fight against extradition to the United States, he ignited a political storm. The Globe and Mail’s Sean Fine set out to explore the overlap between law and politics in a case that has set China and Canada on a collision course.