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Conference “The long march towards justice: reflections on the last 40 years of hopes and disappointments”

By | Upcoming Events

Juriste, négociateur et homme politique, Romeo Saganash a défendu pendant toute sa carrière les droits de la personne, en particulier ceux des Premières Nations. À l’occasion d’une conférence qui se déroulera le 24 novembre prochain, et dans un contexte où les injustices et les problèmes juridiques auxquels sont confrontés les peuples autochtones occupent plus que jamais l’espace public, il exposera les grands défis de sa carrière et échangera sur la transformation du discours politique.

Quoi : Conférence « La longue marche vers la justice : réflexions des 40 dernières années d’espoirs et de déceptions »
Quand : 24 novembre 2021 de 11 h 30 à 13 h
Où : Amphithéâtre Hydro-Québec, Pavillon Alphonse-Desjardins*

L’inscription à cette activité est obligatoire:

La conférence est organisée par la Faculté de droit de l’Université Laval en collaboration avec le Partenariat canadien pour la justice internationale, la Chaire de recherche du Canada pour la justice internationale et les droits fondamentaux et le Centre interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches autochtones.

*Veuillez noter qu’un passeport vaccinal ainsi qu’une pièce d’identité seront exigés à l’entrée de la salle.

Détails et informations :

Antigua and Barbuda and Tuvalu to seek Justice for Climate Change damage before International Courts

By | Communiqués de presse, News, Press Releases

Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda – Press Release

Edinburgh, October 31st, 2021…   The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda – current Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu today signed an historic accord that opens the way for ground-breaking litigation before international courts.  This offers a novel legal path to address the severe damage to Small Island States caused by climate change. 

The Agreement establishes a Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law, creating a body for the development and implementation of fair and just global environmental norms and practices.  The Commission is also authorized to request advisory opinions from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the legal responsibility of States for carbon emissions, marine pollution, and rising sea levels.  

Membership in the Commission is open to all Small Island States whose leaders have long complained about the absence of effective mechanisms for States most responsible for climate change to compensate for the resulting loss and damage. 

At the signing ceremony in Edinburgh, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, explained that: “Small Island States’ emission of greenhouse gases is negligible, but they bear the overwhelming burden of its catastrophic effects, including persistent destruction, repeated costs of rebuilding and huge debts to finance resilience.  This injustice must end.    We insist that those States most responsible for this dire situation respect their legal obligations to stop global warming and to provide compensation to its victims.  The time for empty promises is over.”  Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, stressed that: “For us, climate justice is a matter of survival.  Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, the decline of marine resources – these threaten our very existence.  We see better than anyone else what is being done to our beautiful planet.  It is time to put words into action, to save Small Island States, and to save the world from impending disaster.” 

The legal counsel to the Commission, Professor Payam Akhavan of Massey College, University of Toronto, and Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, said that: “Small Island States are the canary in the coalmine of climate catastrophe.  Their fate is a warning to all humankind that the disastrous consequences of global warming are happening now, not in a distant future.  The fundamental principle of international law not to cause harm to others has now taken on an unprecedented dimension.  This historic initiative to pursue climate justice should be welcome by all who care about the future of our planet.” 

For media enquires please contact:

Read the Agreement for the establishment of COSIS. (PDF, 3,6 Mo)

LWBC forum

LWBC Annual Forum

By | Funding Opportunities, Student opportunity, Upcoming Events

LWBC forum

CPIJ is proud to partner with Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) for the 2021 edition of its annual forum titled “Residential Schools: Truth, Justice and Healing – International Exchanges”. The event brings together many important actors in international human rights law and is intended for practitioners and law students.

The two-day Forum is composed of four half-day sessions. Each session addresses a key societal issue: truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition.

Firstly, CPIJ is offering five (5) scholarships to students who wish to attend the Forum. The value is $20. Priority will be given to First Nations students.

Secondly, CPIJ is looking for seven (7) students interested in attending the Forum to take notes during the sessions and write a blog post. The blog post will be published on the Quid Justitiae blog (or a blog of your choice) during a multi-day seminar. Students will receive a $200 scholarship upon publication.

The post must include a detailed summary of the panel covered, the main objective being to bring the content of the Forum into the public domain. However, the student might include a critical commentary and additional content, including multimedia. The post must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words in length and written in English or French.

Students will have ten (10) days to submit their entry. The essay will then be edited. The registration fees of the selected students will be covered by the CJIP.

Apply for any of these scholarships before November 2.


Changing Canada’s Extradition Laws: The Halifax Colloquium’s Proposals for Law Reform

By | News

The report released in October 2021 states the Canadian process for sending people to face prosecution and incarceration abroad is riddled with shortcomings that make the system inherently unjust.

The recommendations for change come from the Halifax Colloquium on Extradition Law Reform at Dalhousie University in September 2018, which brought together academics, defence counsel and human rights organizations.

Funding for the Halifax Colloquium on Extradition Law Reform was provided by the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ). The Colloquium was hosted and hospitality was provided by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy, Dalhousie University. The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the University of Ottawa kindly arranged for translation of this document.

This document was prepared by Professor Robert J. Currie of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, and represents the consensus of the participants in the colloquium.

Read the report. (PDF, 300 Ko)

LWBC Annual Forum Application Form

By | Student opportunity

Participation to the LWBC Annual Forum / Participation au Forum annuel ASFC

Fill in the form below to submit your application for a scholarship to attend the 2021 LWBC Forum. Remplissez ce formulaire pour soumettre votre candidature à une bourse de participation pour le Forum 2021 d'ASFC.

Prioirty will be given to members of the First Nations. La priorité sera accordée aux membres des Premières Nations.

Describe the relationship you have or had with a Partnership's team member (professor, supervisor, organizer of an activity I attended, etc.) Décrivez vos liens actuels ou passés avec un membre du Partenariat (professeur.e, superviseur.e, organisateur/trice d'un événement auquel j'ai participé, etc.).

Did you receive funding from the Partnership in the past? If yes, how much and for which purpose? Avez-vous reçu du financement de la part du Partenariat dans le passé ? Si oui, combien et pour quelle activité ?

Are you available to attend the Forum on November 3-4, 2021 on Zoom? Serez-vous disponible pour participer au Forum les 3 et 4 novembre 2021 sur Zoom?

Indicate if you only want to receive a grant covering your registration fees or if you would like to write a blog post and receive additionnal funding. Indiquez si vous souhaitez seulement recevoir une bourse pour couvrir vos frais d'inscription ou si vous souhaitez rédiger un billet de blogue et recevoir du financement additionnel.

What is your fluency in these languages? Quelle est votre maîtrise de ces langues ?


Upload your application (resume and any other relevant documents). Téléverser votre dossier de candidature (CV et tout autre document pertinent). Maximum size / Taille maximale : 10MB.

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Fannie Lafontaine

Professor Fannie Lafontaine takes honors in Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers

By | News

Professor Fannie Lafontaine, a full professor at the Faculty of Law of Université Laval, chair of the Canada Research Chair in International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Director of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice and Co-Director of the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, has been recognized by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in its prestigious annual Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.

Competing in the Government/Non-Profits/Associations category, she was named one of 25 lawyers and judges from across the country who have made a significant contribution to their profession and to Canadian society, a well-deserved honor.

Canadian Lawyer Magazine, which received 22,409 votes this year, reports a praise received on Professor Lafontaine: “Fannie Lafontaine’s analysis of genocide, as well as her impactful reports and interventions, are having huge impacts on the narrative surrounding the First Nations’ human rights violations in Canada”.

In recent years, Fannie Lafontaine has played an unprecedented role as an independent civilian observer of the police investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by police officers against Indigenous people across Quebec. Her expertise brought to light the existence of systemic racism in the police force towards Indigenous peoples in Quebec, contributing to the creation of the Viens Commission of Inquiry. In this role, rendered necessary  by a serious social crisis, she helped develop principles for assessing the integrity and impartiality of police investigations against other police officers, particularly in an Indigenous context.

She was also the lead drafter of the Supplementary Report to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, “A Legal Analysis on Genocide.” The report sparked a discussion countrywide and received wide international coverage, including at the United Nations and the Organization of American States. The painful discoveries of missing children from former residential schools across Canada further validate the importance and relevant of her analysis .

Fannie Lafontaine’s recent contributions are at the heart of some of the most pressing legal and societal issues in Canada and have influenced how colonial violence and systemic racism against Indigenous peoples can be named, addressed and deconstructed.

Congratulations to Fannie Lafontaine!

Fannie Lafontaine

Intership Opening at ASFC

By | News, Student opportunity

ASFCAvocats sans frontières Canada (ASFC) est à la recherche d’une personne engagée, dynamique et ouverte sur le monde qui veut contribuer à faire de l’accès à la justice un moyen de changement. Le/la stagiaire en droit appuie l’équipe du siège social d’ASFC pour plusieurs aspects juridiques des programmes de coopération internationale et des appels à propositions.

Titre du poste : Stagiaire en droit
Emplacement : Ville de Québec ou télétravail, selon les fonctions occupées
Date limite pour postuler 30 août 2021 à 23h59
Durée : Quatre mois (avec possibilité de prolongation)
Début : Septembre 2021
Conditions de stage : Stage rémunéré – 20 heures par semaine
Nombre de postes : 2

Consultez l’offre de stage pour en savoir plus.

Alleged Massacre Perpetrator Lives Freely in Canada: Canadian Government Called to Act

By | Press Releases

June 16, 2021, Quebec – Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC), in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ), calls on the Canadian government to respect its obligation to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, particularly in the case of Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, who is suspected of having participated in a massacre in Guatemala in 1982.

Mr. Sosa Orantes, a former second lieutenant in the Guatemalan army, has been living peacefully in Canada for several months. Forty years ago, the special unit to which he belonged beat, tortured and savagely murdered more than 200 people – including children – wiping out almost the entire civilian population of the Guatemalan village of Las Dos Erres.

Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act gives the Canadian government the power to initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. Sosa Orantes. Universal jurisdiction can be used for the most serious crimes committed in another country, such as the Las Dos Erres massacre. The person suspected of the crime must be present in Canada.

One of the only two survivors of the Las Dos Erres massacre, Ramiro Osorio Cristales, now lives in Canada. Mr. Cristales fled his country a little more than twenty years ago, after having lived through hell at the hands of one of the soldiers responsible for the massacre. He has been seeking justice ever since.

“Knowing one of these soldiers can pass in front of my house brings me back to 1982, to the day when my village was plunged into darkness. Among all the people, only two lights haven’t been snuffed out. I’m one of them. Seeking justice is my duty. I’m the voice of the people who died and I’m asking the Canadian government to join me and Lawyers Without Borders Canada in this quest by prosecuting the case of Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes.” – Ramiro Osorio Cristales, survivor of the massacre of Las Dos Erres.

Since 2017, Mr. Sosa Orantes has been facing proceedings initiated by the Canadian government in Federal Court to revoke his Canadian citizenship. However, by limiting itself to this procedure, Canada is forgetting the most important thing, which is Mr. Sosa Orantes’ alleged responsibility in the perpetration of the massacre of Las Dos Erres, risking that justice will never be served.

“The case of Mr. Sosa Orantes is an opportunity for Canada to demonstrate its commitment to fighting impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and to demonstrate its solidarity with the victims of these crimes and their families. Canada has the tools and resources to assert its leadership and take concrete action for justice and human rights at the international level. By not seizing the opportunity to prosecute war criminals, Canada is allowing them to live a peaceful new life without having to answer for their actions. This should no longer be an option.” – Pascal Paradis, LWBC Executive Director.

Canada’s War Crimes Program: A Mirage in the Fight against Impunity

Even though Canada has the power to fight impunity, it has not demonstrated a real willingness to act. By continuing to rely solely on citizenship and immigration procedures, Canada is not fulfilling its obligations under international law to fight impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Canada has the legal and financial means, and the relevant evidence, to prosecute Mr. Sosa Orantes here. Unfortunately, as in several hundred other cases since 1998, Canada is taking the easy way out and is ignoring its international responsibilities. Under the current system for fighting against impunity for international crimes, States bear the responsibility of trying war criminals. If he is not prosecuted here for his participation in this massacre, justice will not be served anywhere, to the detriment of the fundamental rights of victims and the rule of law.”-  Fannie Lafontaine, CPIJ Executive Director

Although Canada’s War Crimes Program is active, its budget has seen almost no increase since its launch in 1998. There is a lack of transparency in how the funds are used.. No annual activity report has been made public for the past six years. Even today, the criteria that guide the discretionary power to prosecute remain unclear.

In more than 20 years, only two criminal prosecutions have been conducted under the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Several other countries are doing much better.

Press conference: June 16, 10h30 EDT


Lawyers Without Borders Canada is a non-governmental international cooperation organization whose mission is to support the defence of the human rights of people in situations of vulnerability by strengthening access to justice and legal representation.

The Canadian Partnership for International Justice unites 24 leading Canadian academics and non-governmental actors from 12 partner organizations to work together to make the fight against impunity for most serious international crimes more effective and to increase victims’ access to remedies.


418-907-2607 poste 102

Earth Day Forum – Ecocide as an International Crime? Global and Canadian perspectives

By | Upcoming Events

Did you know? Support for recognition of an international crime of “Ecocide” – or mass damage and destruction of ecosystems – has been steadily gaining traction at a global level.

By June 2021, an expert panel of international lawyers, convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation, will have developed a definition of ecocide as a crime that could be enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Stop Ecocide Canada and the Stop Ecocide Foundation, along with the Canadian Partnership for International Justice, the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, and Université Laval’s Faculty of Law will convene an Earth Day Forum to discuss global and Canadian perspectives on the crime of ecocide.

Join us on 22 April 2021 at 12pm (UTC-4) – Earth Day – for a virtual conversation with panelists including:

  • Lisa Oldring, Co-Chair of the event, Law and Policy Advisor, Stop Ecocide Canada
  • Fannie Lafontaine, Co-Chair of the event, Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Université Laval
  • Jojo Mehta, Co-founder and Executive Director, Stop Ecocide International;
  • Darryl Robinson, Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University;
  • Géraud De Lassus Saint-Geniès, Assistant Professor, Faculté de droit, Université Laval.

The panelists’ biographical notes can be found here. (PDF, 800 Ko)

The Forum will create an initial space for exchange, between academics and practitioners from different disciplines in Canada, on the potential contribution of an international crime of ecocide to long-term ecosystem protection efforts.

Event Registration:

The event will also be streamed on Facebook by the event’s organizers.

2021 International Justice and Victims’ Rights Summer School

By | News, Upcoming Events

May 24 to June 11, 2021

Distance course

What? The International Justice and Victims’ Rights summer school will bring together internationally renowned experts, and human rights organizations in order to discuss and reflect on issues surrounding victims’ rights and international justice.

This course serves to train and engage students and professionals in the areas of law, criminology, and related disciplines in key issues regarding the rights of victims of crime and abuse of power.

Topics include reparation of victims of crimes against humanity, addressing the needs of victims of sexual violence in the courts, how courts handle victims who at the same time are perpetrators, as well as the place of victims in transitional justice.

This distance course includes live discussion sessions with international experts. Each morning includes interactive seminars presented by different experts. These discussions last one hour and thirty minutes and follow a pre-recorded and previewed lecture by the participants as well as the reading of texts recommended by the speakers.

For whom? The course is intended for graduate and exceptional undergraduate students in the areas of law, criminology, and related disciplines at the Université de Montréal, as well as other universities in Quebec, Canada and abroad. It is also intended for interested professionals, including lawyers working in the field of international criminal law.

By whom? Course leader: Jo-Anne Wemmers (Université de Montréal). Lectures by: Fannie Lafontaine (Université Laval), Valerie Oosterveld (Western University), Mylène Jaccoud (Université de Montréal), Gilbert Bitti (ICC Pre-Trial Division), Mark A. Drumbl (Washington and Lee University), Miriam Cohen (Université de Montréal), Amissi Manirabona (Université de Montréal), Isabelle Daignault (Université de Montréal), Bilkis Vissandjée (Université de Montréal), Me Annick Legault, Stephan Parmentier (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Antony Pemberton (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven). Special guests: Joseph Bitamba (indpendant director, producer and writer, Toronto) and Lawyers Without Borders Canada.

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. Students may submit their work in French or English.

Students can choose either to obtain 3 credits (meeting all the requirements) or obtain 1.5 credits (attending lectures and doing only part of the assignments). Undergraduate students are required to have the authorization of their program director, an average of 3.5 out of 4.3 and have completed at least 60 university credits before enrolling.

Register now!

University of Montreal students can register for PLU courses by contacting their program’s student records clerk.
Students from other Quebec universities must complete the online application form available on the BCI website (formerly the CREPUQ).
Non-Quebec, foreign or non-certified Canadian students are invited to see the instructions on the CÉRIUM website:

Registration Fees

All fees are in Canadian Dollar.

• Government and business employees: $1,200
• General public (employees, retirees, self-employed): $1,000
• NPO and NGO: $500
• Uncredited or outside Quebec students: $475
• Daily rates: $350

(Rates may change)

CPIJ is offering 4 scholarships to graduate students from developing countries and countries in transition to attend this online school. See here for more information.

For more information about the course as well as details about how to register: