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Lawyers Without Borders Canada Organizes an Event on the Fight against Impunity in Mali

By | Communiqués de presse, News, Press Releases

CPIJ Co-Researcher Janine Lespérance and Abdoulaye Doucouré. (Photo by Catherine Savard)

5 December 2018 – On this first day of the 17th Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which takes place from 5 to 12 December 2018, in The Hague (Netherlands), CPIJ partner organization Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) organized a side-event on the fight against impunity in Mali, titled “Réconciliation et lutte contre l’impunité au Mali : un faux dilemme” (“Reconciliation and Fight against Impunity in Mali: A false dilemma”).

At the occasion of this event sponsored by Canada, who was represented by the Head of Canada’s Delegation at the ASP, Mr. Alan Kessel, CPIJ Co-Researcher Janine Lespérance moderated a panel composed of Mr. Abdoulaye Doucouré, LWBC Transitional Justice Coordinator in Mali, and Ms. Bouaré Bintou Founé Samaké, President of the Malian division of the organization Women in Law and Development in Africa.

The event discussed the possibility for victims of international crimes perpetrated in Mali since the start of the armed conflict in 2012 to have access justice, thus deepening the reflection initiated at the occasion of a side-event organized during the 17th ASP in 2017.

Alan Kessel presented introductive remarks. (Photo by Catherine Savard)

After introductive remarks were presented by Mr. Kessel, discussions critically explored the draft law on “national understanding”, which was recently transmitted to the Malian National Assembly to be discussed on 13 December 2018. LWBC declared itself highly concerned by the possible adoption of this bill, which would open the door for an amnesty to be granted to authors of serious crimes perpetrated during the armed conflict which raged in this country.

The permanent insecurity that prevails in many northern communities and that has recently spread in the center of Mali was identified as a major hindrance for victims to have access to justice. It was further highlighted that sexual and gender-based violence are rampant and rarely ever denounced.

(Photo by Érick Sullivan)

Since 2015, LWBC has been active in Mali in the context of the project “Justice, prévention et réconciliation” (“Justice, Prevention and Reconciliation” or JUPREC). This project is made possible thanks to Global Affairs Canada’s financial support, and is implemented by LWBC in consortium with the Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale and the École nationale d’administration publique.

The Canadian Partnership for International Justice is attending the 17th Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court

By | News, Press Releases, Student News

3 December 2018 – For the third year in a row, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) is represented at the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by a delegation of practitioners, academics and students from various NGOs and academic institutions.

Each year, the ASP is one of the most important events in the field of international justice. Representatives of states that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute gather to take crucial decisions on issues the Court is currently facing. Many ICC senior officials are also attending, and many side-events are organized by civil society organizations to stimulate the discussions and strive to find solutions to outstanding issues that hamper the project envisioned in the Rome Statute.

The 17th ASP, held from 5 to 12 December 2018 at the World Forum in The Hague (The Netherlands), will allow students to deepen their knowledge of the most important issues pertaining to international justice while living a real experience of judicial diplomacy. This event is an amazing opportunity for CPIJ to train a cohort of students who are educated, engaged and networked in international and transnational law. Through blogging and live twitting, our delegates will train and educate diverse Canadian audiences about the challenges, pitfalls and potential of the system of international justice, and about the priorities to improve the system. Thanks to their experience and knowledge, the delegation will contribute to enhancing Canada’s role as a global leader in the fight against impunity.

Follow CPIJ’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and watch for the delegates’ posts on CPIJ partners’ platforms (IntLawGrrls, Quid Justitiae, Justice in Conflict, Blogue d’Avocats sans frontières CanadaPKI Global Justice Journal) to learn more about this year’s specific issues and to get news and updates.

 

Who is attending the ASP this year?

Academics

Practitioners

Students

Gabriel Boisvert

Gabriel Boisvert is a Canadian lawyer who practised criminal defense before trial and appeal courts in Quebec between 2014 and 2017. Having a strong interest in international criminal law, he chose to resume his studies at Université Laval to pursue a master’s degree in international and transnational law (LL.M) under Professor Fannie Lafontaine. Gabriel participated to the works of the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic of Université Laval and joined the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights as co-coordinator. Also involved as a board member of the NGO SHOUT Canada, Gabriel contributes to the organization of the Reflections on Rwanda (RoR) program, which is an educational program in Rwanda to learn about the impact of genocide and the processes of restorative justice and reconciliation. Gabriel’s main research interest is international criminal jurisdictions and their cooperation with states and international organizations.

Moussa Bienvenu Haba

Moussa Bienvenu Haba is a doctoral student at Université Laval. His thesis focuses on the role of hybrid tribunals in the peacebuilding process in transitional countries. Mr. Haba holds a master’s degree in Private Law (Conakry University) and a master’s degree in International Law (Université Laval).

During his studies at Université Laval, Mr. Haba participated in many projects within the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic and the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Law and Human Rights. He was a research and teaching assistant in international criminal law and refugee law. He is currently lecturer in international criminal procedure and evidence.

Melisa N. Handl (@HandlMelisa)

Melisa Handl is an Argentine lawyer and a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa (Canada). Her research interests include international law, gender, development, qualitative research, and international human rights. Melisa holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs with specialization in “International Institutions and Global Governance” from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Canada). Melisa also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa with a specialization in Human Rights and Social Justice. She is currently investigating whether conditional cash transfers are contributing to greater gender equality in the context of Argentina, and intends to connect a top-down approach to international human rights with the experiences of actual beneficiary women on the ground. She is part of a Canada-Mexico project which involves training Mexican judges on issues related to international human rights and is in charge of the “Violence Against Women and Gender” workshop. She is working with Professor and CPIJ Co-Researcher Penelope Simons on corporate accountability, gender, and the extractive industry and specifically, writing about gendering the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from a socio-legal feminist methodology.

Sarah Nimigan

Sarah Nimigan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario with specialization in Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Her dissertation addresses the problems facing the International Criminal Court through the African experience. More specifically, her research traces the active role taken by various African delegations in negotiating the Rome Statute from 1993-1998 to better explain and situate the criticisms levied against the ICC today. She holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) and a Master of Arts in Political Science with specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations. Both her LL.M. and M.A. degrees focused on sexual and gender-based crimes within the contexts of international criminal law and transitional justice.

Marie Prigent (@MariePrigent)

Marie Prigent holds a master’s degree of International and Comparative Law from Toulouse 1 Capitole University in France. She studied international law abroad, at the Complutense University of Madrid and Université Laval in Quebec. She then joined Université Laval’s International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic in January 2018 and continues her work as a research intern. Her researches focused on transitional justice, amnesty laws, victims’ participation and rights of human rights defenders. Her fields of interest include criminal, humanitarian and human rights law. She will prepare Quebec bar exam from January 2019.

 

Marilynn Rubayika (@Rubayikam)

Marilynn Rubayika earned a Juris Doctor and a Licence in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa in 2017. She is the 2018-2019 Public Interest Articling Fellow at the Canadian Centre for International Justice. Her main interests are the victims’ participation regime at the International Criminal Court and questions related to sexual and gender-based violence. She has, in her most recent experiences, worked directly with victims of international crimes.

Previously, Marilynn completed legal internships at the International Humanitarian Law department of the Canadian Red Cross and at the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice. She also volunteered for the Philippe Kirsch Institute and completed a volunteer legal advisor mandate with Lawyers Without Borders Canada in Ivory Coast.

Marie-Laure Tapp (@MarieLaure_Tapp)

Marie-Laure Tapp is a lawyer and LL.M. Candidate (International and Transnational Law) at Université Laval. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Development from McGill University and degrees in Civil Law and Common Law, also from McGill University. She completed her articles at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva and subsequently worked as a volunteer legal advisor in Mali with Lawyers Without Borders Canada and in Nepal with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. She was involved with Université Laval’s International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic and works as a translator and team supervisor for the translation of the Updated Commentary on the Second Geneva Convention, a partnership between Université Laval and the ICRC Delegation in Paris. Her main areas of interest (which are numerous) are the respect and dissemination of international humanitarian law and, on the international criminal law front, the principle of complementarity and universal jurisdiction. She is also very much interested in human rights investigation and advocacy. She has also been involved in several human rights education and access to justice initiatives over the past 10 years.

Ariel Wheway

Ariel is a 4th  year student in the joint Juris Doctor and Masters of Arts in International Affairs program at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. Her studies have focused on international human rights law and international criminal law. She is currently a member of the ICC moot team at the University of Ottawa and is conducting research for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.

 

Coordination

Érick Sullivan (@2_ErickSullivan)

Érick Sullivan is a lawyer, the Deputy Director of the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic(Clinic), Coordinator of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice, co-editor of the blog Quid Justitiaeand member of the Canadian Council on International Law’s Board of Directors. Holder of a Bachelor of Law (2009), he was recruited in 2010 by the Clinic as an assistant and was later appointed Deputy Director in 2012. As such, he was involved in more than 50 projects in many areas of law and carried out by international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), States and lawyers. He notably co-directed a mapping of human rights violations completed by Avocats sans frontières Canadain support of the Malian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Since 2010, he has supervised the researches of more than 300 students and has reviewed hundreds of papers. He also contributed in different ways to numerous scientific events, such as the workshop on collaboration between national prosecuting authorities and NGOsin the prosecution of international crimes, which he co-organized in March 2018 in Ottawa.

Catherine Savard (@c_savard1)

Catherine Savard is Assistant Coordinator of the Canadian Partnership for International Justiceand member of the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights. She currently pursues a master’s degree in international law at Université Laval under the supervision of Prof. Fannie Lafontaine. Her research interests are international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law. She recently represented her university at the Jean-Pictet international humanitarian law competitionand will represent it again in 2019 the context of the Charles-Rousseau public international law competition. She has also been very involved with the Université Laval’s International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, for which she has completed nearly 10 research mandates. Her research focus on modes of liability in international criminal law, sexual and gender-based violence and cultural genocide of indigenous peoples in Canada.

Penelope Simons on getting companies to respect human rights

By | CPIJ in the Media, News

Yves Faguy | CBA National

This week, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) published its 2018 report, concluding that most of the 100 companies reviewed are failing to live up to their duties under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  Prior to the report’s release, CBA National interviewed Professor Penelope Simons of the University of Ottawa and the recipient of the 2018 Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award, recognized for her contribution to human rights, domestically and internationally, about how to address corporate complicity in human rights abuses.

CBA National: Can you give us a sense first of where we’re at in terms of corporate accountability for human rights violations?

Penelope Simons: This issue has been debated globally for decades. But in the early 2000s, the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted the Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises which were submitted to what is now the Human Rights Council. The HRC rejected them. The Norms were drafted in mandatory language and were essentially a blueprint for a treaty that would impose binding legal obligations on business actors. Both states and businesses were strongly against the development of such obligations. However, the HRC did appoint, Harvard professor John Ruggie, as the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Business and Human Rights. He developed a policy framework and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to operationalize the policy framework. In 2011 the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles. This was an important step forward, to have widely accepted document addressing business and human rights. However, the UNGPs are also flawed in a number of ways.

N: How so?

PS: They did not significantly alter the status quo, in the sense that they outline the binding human rights obligations of states to protect individuals and groups from violations of human rights by business actors. At the same time the “obligations” delineated in the Guiding Principles for businesses to respect human rights are based in social not legal responsibility. In order to demonstrate that they are fulfilling this obligation to respect human rights, businesses are supposed to engage in human rights due diligence, among other things. But unless this is mandated by a state, or mandated by international law, then they may or may not do so. In other words, their social obligation is self-regulation. Additionally, the Guiding Principles articulated a very conservative view of the obligation of home states to regulate the transnational activities of their corporate nationals beyond their territory.

N: So home states – and not just host states – should be enforcing these as legal obligations?

PS: Yes, home states should be taking action to regulate corporate nationals to ensure that they do not violate human rights when operating in other countries.

N: So how is Canada faring in all of this compared to other countries?

PS: I don’t think there is any country that is doing enough. France probably has the most progressive law, where companies of a certain size have an obligation to prepare a vigilance plan and implement it within their corporate group and their supply chain. In Canada, we’ve had 20 years of advocacy and UN bodies calling on Canada to regulate its extractive industry and to provide access to justice in Canadian courts and other non-judicial fora. This year, the Liberal government announced the creation of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise. This is an important step forward. People claiming to be victims of corporate-related human rights violations by Canadian extractive and garment companies operating abroad will be able to bring a complaint to this ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is supposed to have the power to compel witnesses and documents. However, the office hasn’t been established, and so we still don’t know whether or not it will have those powers. Without those powers, it will not be a credible and effective complaint mechanism. Another point is that, Canada continues to use the same 2014 policy for corporate social responsibility in the extractive sector that it inherited from the previous government. The policy is vaguely worded, and is based on self-regulation. It encourages businesses to “align their practices as applicable” to a range of intergovernmental and multistakeholder initiatives. And it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We need to deal with that.

N: How?

PS: There are many ways in which the government supports business abroad — through the Canada Pension Plan, through support by Export Development Canada, through corporate law rules that facilitate the creation of complex corporate structures and allow corporate groups to minimize their exposure to liability, even where such liability arises from serious human rights violations. We also support our companies through trade missions, and by negotiating international investment agreements with countries, including those in which Canadian extractives operate. These latter agreements create strong protections for investors and allow them to avoid domestic courts and to take host states directly binding international arbitration. If we’re supporting businesses in all of these ways without regard for their behaviour, then as a country we are complicit in those human rights violations.

N: So governments should exercise more leverage over those companies?

PS: Yes, there are many ways to do this. For example, as a condition of support EDC should require companies to engage in rigorous human rights due diligence and should itself undertake a human rights impact assessment of a proposed project. If it’s clear that that a project cannot be undertaken without violating human rights, then should we actually be supporting that company?

N: So what needs to change for governments – here in Canada or elsewhere – to decide they need to incentivize companies in this manner?

PS: That’s the big question. How do we develop political will for this? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report is a wake-up call. The IPCC has called on us to change the way we live and do business if we want to avoid a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report notes that sustainable development is key and that “[s]ocial justice and equity are core aspects of climate-resilient development pathways … as they address challenges and inevitable trade-offs, they widen opportunities, and ensure that options, visions and values are deliberated between and within countries and communities, without making the poor and disadvantaged worse-off”. The action that we take has to be focused on that. Here in Canada we have to think about how extractive companies contribute directly to climate change, particularly oil and gas and coal, but also how they contribute to indirectly. Many of them operate in a way that is unsustainable, through their impacts on the environment and on the human rights of individuals and communities.

N: What would be a first good step to ensure better corporate accountability?

PS: The first step would be for Canada to adopt a comprehensive legislative framework that requires companies to respect human rights and to engage in human rights due diligence, and the latter should be overseen by an independent monitoring body. It should also include a range of incentive mechanisms —we’ve talked about some already. We also need to establish parent company or even enterprise liability in Canadian courts for companies that violate human rights abroad, and maybe certain reporting obligations. Finally, where companies commit or are complicit in criminal activity — like slavery, torture, forced labour, gang rape – then we need criminal sanctions to allow prosecution of corporations and the senior officers responsible for decisions that led to such conduct.

The Tarnopolsky Award is given by the Canadian Section of the International Commission of Jurists each year to a Canadian resident who has made an outstanding contribution to human rights, domestically or internationally. The selection committee is comprised of one representative from the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Judges’ Conference, the Canadian Society of Law Teachers and the ICJ.

Source: http://nationalmagazine.ca/Articles/November-2018/Penelope-Simons-on-getting-companies-to-respect-hu.aspx

News Release – Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes new part-time Commissioner

By | CPIJ in the Media, News

Press release of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

November 22, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) is pleased to announce the appointment, by Order in Council, of a new part-time Commissioner, Dr. Joanna Harrington, effective immediately.

Dr. Harrington has been a career law professor for almost 20 years, having taught at the University of Nottingham, Western University and the University of Alberta, where she currently serves as a Full Professor within the Faculty of Law.

Her teaching and research activities focus on topics at the intersection of constitutional law and international law, with her published work examining matters of foreign relations law, the law of international organizations, the interplay between national bills of rights and international human rights law, and issues of international and transnational criminal law.
A former Scholar-in-Residence with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, she has also participated in the negotiation of new international instruments at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

She is well published on a variety of topics and is an award-winning legal scholar, having received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Prize for Academic Excellence in 2018. Dr. Harrington has also worked as a consultant with international and national institutions, participated in outreach programs with NGOs, and contributed to training programs in international law for judges, diplomats and military officers.

She holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a J.D. from the University of Victoria, and a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Harrington was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1995 and the bar of Ontario in 2002.

Source: https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/news-release-canadian-human-rights-commission-welcomes-new-part-time-commissioner-1

Acknowledgement of 8 students who collaborated with CPIJ Co-Researcher François Larocque

By | News, Student News

We would like to acknowledge the following students who have collaborated with Professor François Larocque at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section in his research under the aegis of the CPIJ.

ANNIKA WEIKINNIS

Annika Weikinnis is currently pursuing a Master’s in Law at Ottawa University. Her research focuses on international criminal law, particularly on transnational corporate responsibility for international crimes. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen, and a Master’s in Law and International Security Policies from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

BAHATI MUJINYA

Bahati Mujinya is a doctoral student in Law at the University of Ottawa and the Francophone Co-President of the University’s Law Alumni Association since September 2018. His research focuses on international criminal justice, child soldiers, their right to reparation, and the fight against transnational criminality in the African context. He holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

LILIANE LANGEVIN

Liliane Langevin is a candidate for a combined J.D. and  M.A. (International Affairs) from the University of Ottawa and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. Liliane holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management (Hons.) from Carleton University. Through these interdisciplinary programs, Liliane has developed an interest in international governance, and its intersection with domestic legal obligations and policy considerations, such as Canada’s engagement with the International Criminal Court.  She has previously worked as a policy analyst at Global Affairs Canada.  Liliane hopes to article with the Department of Justice and pursue a career as a lawyer in the foreign service.

LILIANE STÉPHANIE KOAGNE MOGUEM

Liliane Stéphanie Koagne Moguem holds a J.D. from the French common law program within the University of Ottawa’s Common Law Section. She also holds a D.E.A. in civil law and international public law from the University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon. She is currently candidate for the Ontario Bar Law Practice Program. As a member of the research group Transnational Anticorruption Watch, she is interested in judicial mechanisms established by various international instruments to which Canada is party to fight against money laundering.

MICHELLE SAHOU

Michelle Sahou holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Montreal and graduated of the Canadian Law Program (LL.L. and J.D.) from the Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa. Currently candidate for the Ontario Bar Licensing Process, Michelle Sahou is collaborator to the Transnational Anti-Corruption Watch research group. Her research in this group focuses on civil reparation for victims of money laundering in France. She aspires to work in the fields of banking law, business law and fiscal law.

SAGE-FIDÈLE GAYALA NGANGU

Sage-Fidèle Gayala Ngangu graduated of the Canadian Law Program (LL.L. and J.D.) from the Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa. He also graduated in philosophy from the Catholic University of the Congo. Former investigative reporter and former member of the Global Investigative Jounalism Network and the Forum for African Investigative reporters Board of Directors, Sage-Fidèle Gayala has always had cross-borders crimes in the heart of his reflections and research.

SARAH LAGG

Sarah Lagg graduated of the dual Juris Doctor and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa in 2018. She holds a degree in Biochemistry from Concordia University in Montreal. During her time at law school, she participated in the international Charles-Rousseau moot competition in international law held in Benin, Africa. She also worked for the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic where she was a Division Leader for the Community and Legal Education Outreach Division. She is currently articling at Caza Saikaley srl/LLP, a bilingual boutique litigation firm in Ottawa.

STANISLAS MULABI BALAMBULA

Stanislas Mulabi Balambula is currently completing a joint honours B.Sc.Soc in Economical Science and Political Science at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Science (Department of Economics). He is notably interested in the economic and social dimension of money laundering through the real estate market.

Registration for Lawyers Without Borders Canada’s Annual Forum is now open

By | Communiqués de presse, News, Upcoming Events

9 November 2018 –The Annual Forum of Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC), whose theme this year is “Human Rights, economic activities and indigenous peoples, comparative perspective” will take place on 22 November 2018, at the Québec Augustinian Monastery. Open to law practitioners as well as students, LWBC’s Annual Forum represents an exceptional opportunity to actively take part in high level exchanges on very important and topical issues. The six-hour training offered by LWBC is recognized by the Quebec Bar and allows to understand, exchange and network with agents of change working all around the globe on issues related to human rights, economic law and indigenous law. Further, LWBC’s General Assembly, which is open to anyone interested in learning about the organization, will take place from 12:15 to 1:45 pm. The day will end with a cocktail reception which will highlight those who, in Canada, use law as an instrument for change and world development.

The Canadian Partnership for International Justice, the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights and the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic are proud to be diffusion partners for this event which promises to be fascinating. It is possible to register until the 16th of November, and students enjoy a reduced fare of 40$ for the day upon presentation of their student card. The Canadian Partnership for International justice, through Lawyers Without Borders Canada, will allow a few students residing outside Quebec City to travel to the Augustinian Monastery Museum at reduced fees.

The full program of the event and registration procedures can be accessed online here.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Partnership, Clinic and Chair teams

 

N.B. The event will be in French.

Results of the Canada-Wide Blog Contest: the Future of International Criminal Justice

By | Communiqués de presse, News, Press Releases, Student News

5 November 2018 – The Canadian Partnership for International Justice, the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, and the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic are happy to proclaim the winners of the Canada-Wide Blog Contest on the future of international criminal justice.

The selection was made by a bilingual committee of distinguished professors and professionals in international criminal law. The evaluation was based on the following criteria: respect of the theme, originality of the subject and of the way it is addressed, rigor of the research, quality of the writing and style, form and language.

Many contributions were received during the contest. Written in English or in French, by one person or by a team, these contributions were of high quality and evidence the Canadian students’ capacity to vulgarize and communicate ideas on international criminal justice.

The winner blogposts’ authors will receive their prize and see their post published on the Quid Justitiae blog in the coming days. The authors of the other blogposts may decide to submit it to the Quid Justitiae blog and get it published after the applicable editing process.

Watch the Quid Justitiae website as well as the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Partnership, Chair and Clinic to read the blogposts.

We warmly thank all participants to the contest!

Winners of the Contest

1st position (total prize of 500 $)

Pierre-Gabriel Stefanaggi

La C.D.I. fête ses 70 ans : Importance et actualité de la codification du droit pour la justice pénale africaine

2nd position (total prize of 250 $)

Rosine Faucher

Transcending Verticality: Stark need & small hope

3nd position (total prize of 100 $)

Manon Creusot et Catherine Savard

Repenser la justice internationale pénale dans le contexte des 20 ans du Statut de Rome : des solutions nécessaires pour combler le vide juridique entourant le sort des acquittés

 

CPIJ organizes a panel on the Rohingya at the 47th CCIL Conference

By | News, Press Releases

31 October 2018 – The Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) hosts a panel at the 47th Annual Conference of the Canadian Council of International Law (CCIL). Titled “The Role of International Criminal Law and the ICC in Responding to the Alleged Crimes Perpetrated against the Rohingya”, this panel organized and financed by CPIJ will allow to discuss the different options available within the field of international criminal law to fight against impunity for crimes allegedly perpetrated against the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The panel will be moderated by CPIJ Co-Director Fannie Lafontaine and will bring together Co-Researchers Payam Akhavam, professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and Valerie Oosterveld, associate Dean and professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law, as well as Kyle Matthews, Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University. Prof. Akhavan will discuss the ICC Jurisdiction and the Rohingya Atrocities; Prof. Oosterveld the accountability for sexual and gender-based violence against the Rohingya; and Mr. Matthews will address the use of social media to dehumanize the Rohingya. The conference will take place at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 1st.

Few other members of CPIJ will also present at the 47th CCIL Conference. Rob Currie and Joanna Harrington will be part of the panel “Extradition after Diab” at 9:05 am on Friday, November 2nd. They will analyze Canada’s place in the international landscape of extradition, as well as the nature and scope of the legal obligations involved and the need of reform notably in the light of the Diab case. Further, prof. Harrington will moderate the panel “Highlights of 2018 from the Canadian Yearbook of International Law”, which will take place at 8:00 am the same day.

The full program of the 47thCCIL Conference can be accessed online here.

Prof. Penelope Simons Hires 6 Research Assistants

By | News, Student News

Welcome back to Melisa Handl, Joshua Ng, Chris Plecash and Ariel Wheway who are continuing their work as research assistants for Professor Penelope Simons at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa for 2018-2019. Welcome to Selena Lucien and Melissa Morton who are joining the team this Fall.

MELISA HANDL

Melissa Handl

Melisa Handl is an Argentine lawyer and a PhD student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa (Canada). Her research interests include international law, gender, development, qualitative research, and international human rights. Melisa holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs with specialization in “International Institutions and Global Governance” from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Canada). Melisa also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa with a specialization in Human Rights and Social Justice. Melisa has written extensively on social policy, gendering international human rights, and human trafficking. She has also presided The University of Ottawa Graduate Students in Law Association for two consecutive years. Melisa is interested in Visual Arts and she completed her Art Instructor degree in the Fracassi Academy in Argentina. Melisa is currently investigating whether conditional cash transfers are contributing to greater gender equality in the context of Argentina, and intends to connect a top-down approach to international human rights with the experiences of actual beneficiary women on the ground. She is part of a Canada-Mexico project which involves training Mexican judges on issues related to international human rights; Melisa is in charge of the “Violence Against Women and Gender” workshop. She is working with Professor Simons on corporate accountability, gender, and the extractive industry and specifically, writing about gendering the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from a socio-legal feminist methodology.

MELISSA MORTON

Melissa Morton

Melissa Morton is a third year JD student at the University of Ottawa. Before law school, Melissa had a range of jobs, from working in an accounting firm, to a social media start-up, and then in corporate immigration. She also completed a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Political Science and Law with a concentration in Transnational Law and Human Rights. During her free time, Melissa volunteers with a local dog rescue and enjoys experimenting with recipe-free cooking (which, admittedly, often goes awry). She also enjoys travelling, with a recent trip to Japan inspiring her to set a new goal to move to Tokyo for a year in the future. Melissa is working as a research assistant with Professor Simons on corporate accountability for human rights in the context of resource extraction.

SELENA LUCIEN

Selena Lucien

Selena Lucien is a third-year law student at the University of Ottawa. Prior to law school, Selena was awarded the Studio [Y] Innovation Fellowship at MaRS Discovery District where she founded the Small Claims Wizard to facilitate and simplify access to the Ontario Small Claims Court. Her venture was presented at Stanford Law School and incubated at the Legal Innovation Zone. During law school, Selena wrote a memorandum to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that outlines guiding principles to help construct policies to govern the ethical design and regulation of autonomous vehicles. She presented her findings at the Global Affairs Canada’s A.I and Human Rights Symposium. Currently, as a recipient of the Alex Trebek Innovation Award, Selena is building an intelligent contract analysis module. Selena is also working with Professor Simons on corporate accountability issues and specifically the Act of State doctrine, comparative fiduciary duty, and emerging transnational legal principles. Selena received her graduate degree from the London School of Economics.

JOSHUA NG

Joshua Ng

Joshua Ng is a third year law student at the University of Ottawa. During law school, Josh has worked at a community legal clinic serving clients appeal their denials of social assistance benefits. He has also gained political experience working in the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Prior to law school, Josh worked as a government relations consultant in Vancouver as well as a researcher at a think tank in Washington DC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration both from Queen’s University. Josh is working with Professor Penelope Simons in the area of corporate accountability, specifically in the extractive sector and with respect to violations of the human rights of women and vulnerable groups.

CHRIS PLECASH

Chris Plecash

Chris Plecash is a third year J.D. student at the University of Ottawa. Before entering law school, he reported on federal politics and government for Ottawa’s Hill Times newspaper from 2011 to 2015, and later served as a legislative assistant to a Member of Parliament. Last year, he was awarded the McCarthy Tetrault Technology Law Award for academic achievement in tech law studies. Chris majored in Political Science and Philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Western Ontario, and holds a Master’s in Philosophy from York University, where he focused on bioethics.  He is currently working with Professor Simons on a project related to domestic criminal liability for Canadian corporations purchasing natural resources that have been extracted and sold in violation of international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

 

ARIEL WHEWAY

Ariel Wheway

Ariel Wheway is a 4th year student in the joint Juris Doctor and Master of Arts program at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. She is the current president of the International Law Students Association at the University of Ottawa, as well as a member of the International Criminal Court moot team. Ariel also works for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing and is currently conducting research on access to justice for housing-related issues. Ariel is working with Professor Simons on corporate accountability issues, specifically regarding women in mining and how the issue of gender and women’s rights are treated in the policies of resource extraction companies.

 

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Prof. Joanna Harrington Hires 3 Research Assistants

By | News, Student News

We wish to give a warm welcome to Megan Ferguson, Kathleen Renaud and Daniel Waring, who are joining the CPIJ as research assistants to Professor Joanna Harrington at the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta for 2018-2019.

MEGAN FERGUSON

Megan Ferguson

Megan is a second year J.D. student at the University of Alberta where she is the Assistant Band Director for the annual “Law Show” that raises money for charity. Megan also works as a soccer referee, and before entering law school, she was a professional classical musician, performing in various ensembles in Western Canada. As an undergraduate, she participated in the “Witnessing Auschwitz” international conference in 2016, with her conference paper later published in a book released by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Megan will be working with Professor Harrington on extradition law reform. She holds a Bachelor of Music focusing on tuba performance and composition from the University of British Columbia.

 

 

 

KATHLEEN RENAUD

Kathleen Renaud

Kathleen is a third year J.D. student at the University of Alberta where she is the Vice-Chair of the Women’s Law Forum. This past summer, she worked for West Coast LEAF, assisting on a number of interventions in the Canadian courts. Her past experience includes work with the Department of Justice, the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, and the European Commission in Brussels. Kathleen will be working with Professor Harrington on the right to an effective remedy for victims who have been successful before an international human rights body. She holds an M.Phil. in History from the University of Cambridge and will be articling with Singleton Reynolds in Vancouver after graduation.

 

DANIEL WARING

Daniel Waring

Daniel is a second year J.D. student at the University of Alberta where he is Vice-President External of the Francophone Law Students Association and Vice-President of OUTlaw, a student group that raises awareness for LGBT equality. This past summer, he worked at the Office of the Minister of Labour in the Government of Alberta, researching and writing briefing notes and interacting with stakeholders. Past experience includes internships with the Organization of American States and the NATO Association of Canada. Daniel will be working with Professor Harrington on the definition of a victim within the context of transnational criminal law. He holds an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Guelph.