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CPIJ funds student Steve Tiwa Fomekong’s project

By | News, Press Releases, Student News

November 2019 – This spring, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) launched its new funding program for student projects. This program aims to encourage and support students in their projects related to CPIJ’s research program.

Several requests were received for the 2019 summer trimester. While thanking all applicants, CPIJ is glad to disclose the identity of recipient Steve Tiwa Fomekong, LL.D. student under the supervision of CPIJ co-researcher Julia Grignon, at Laval University.

Steve received 1875 $ to teach at the first edition of the IHL Summer Schools in French-speaking Africa, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

Expert in international humanitarian law (IHL), Steve received 1875 $ to teach at the first edition of the IHL Summer Schools in French-speaking Africa, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Held from 17 to 19 July 2019, the school was organized by the African Center on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, in collaboration with Laval University’s International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, another CPIJ partner organization.

This summer, Steve also received funding from the research project Promotion et renforcement du droit international humanitaire: une contribution canadienne (“Osons le DIH!”), for him to teach at the 13thedition of the IHL summer school. This school took place from May 26 to 31 in Ottawa, and was organized by the Canadian Red Cross in collaboration with the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, another CPIJ partner organization.

Steve Tiwa Fomekong teaching in Ottawa

To learn more, read the blog post Steve wrote about his experience.

You can also read this newly published blog post written by one of CPIJ’s recipients for the 2019 spring trimester, Jeremy Pizzy. LL.B. student at McGill University, Jeremy received 1000 $ to complete a 15-week internship at the International Criminal Court’s Trial Chambers section, in The Hague (Netherlands).

Requests for funding are analyzed by CPIJ’s Committee Scholarship and Student Funding Committee, which meets on a quarterly basis. Find out the procedure and applicable delays to request CPIJ funding.

Congratulations, Steve!

Prof. Joanna Harrington wins national award for publication on the UN Security Council

By | News

By: University of Alberta Faculty of Law

Professor Joanna Harrington has won a national award for a scholarly paper about reforming the way the UN Security Council makes decisions.

The first Scholarly Paper Award from the Canadian Council on International Law celebrates her paper, “The Working Methods of The United Nations Security Council: Maintaining The Implementation of Change.”

Drawing on archival records and diplomatic papers, Harrington’s paper examines the working methods of the United Nations Security Council, the world’s most powerful intergovernmental body.

The paper’s position is to incorporate global administrative law principles of transparency, consultation and engagement, and executive accountability into the practices of a highly political institution. Harrington also argues for the principle of conflict prevention to serve as an additional guidepost, given the Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security.

The selection committee called the paper an ideal recipient of this new award because “it constituted a systematic and careful scholarly inquiry into a doctrinal area, relying on primary research to offer new insights into the conduct of an international organization.”

Asked about the inspiration for the paper, Harrington explained that, “oddly enough, it was a term of service as an associate dean that led to an interest in governance and the process for making decisions.”

“While the Security Council attracts a lot of legal analysis on the substance of its decisions, there was little written on how its procedures have evolved to become more transparent and consultative vis-à-vis both non-governmental actors and the wider UN membership,” she said.

Having served as a lawyer-diplomat for Canada at the United Nations, Harrington was also familiar with some of the sources for finding the material she drew upon for her research. 

Given her interests in human rights and international criminal law, her research also touched upon the use of codes of conduct to limit the exercise of the veto when there are credible allegations of acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. It also covered the need to improve the selection process for the UN Secretary-General, with the past “She for SG” campaign having focused attention on the fact that no woman has ever served in the most senior UN post.

Harrington’s article was published in the International & Comparative Law Quarterly, a leading international law journal, and has already attracted citation in a leading textbook on international institutional law

Created in 1972, the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL) is a leading national non-profit association bringing together academics, government lawyers, and lawyers in private practice working in the various fields of both private and public international law.

The award was announced during the CCIL’s annual conference in Ottawa, on October 24.

The PKI Global Justice Journal moves to Queen’s University

By | News, Press Releases

 September 2019 – The Philippe Kirsch Institute’s (PKI’s) Global Justice Journal has been launched at Queen’s University. Spearheaded by its co-editors-in-chief, CPIJ co-researcher Sharry Aiken and James Henry, the Journal critically informs readers of new developments in the realms of international, transitional and transnational justice.

“I am delighted to have the support of Queen’s Law in bringing this Journal to Queen’s,” explains Sharry Aiken. “My hope is that the PKI Global Justice Journal will be a leading venue for commentary and insights by researchers and practitioners engaged in the field of international justice – here at Queen’s and beyond. The Journal aligns well with the work of the SSHRC-funded Canadian Partnership for International Justice, of which Professor Darryl Robinson and I are co-researchers.”

The Journal was created in 2017 under the auspices of the Canadian Center for International Justice, a CPIJ partner organization which helped survivors of serious human rights violations in seeking redress. The Journal provides in-depth analyses, reviews of novel scholarly pieces, and interviews with specialists.

The Journal remains one of the platforms on which CPIJ students are invited to publish blogposts, notably in the context of the upcoming Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court. The Journal’s Editorial Board accepts contributions on an ongoing basis, and publishes articles both in English and in French.

The Journal promises to quickly become a go-to resource for international justice practitioners and researchers. Stay connected by following the Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a look at the Journal’s new website!

Students: Apply for Funding to Attend the CCIL Conference

By | News

This year, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) will provide funding for students to attend the 48th Annual Conference of the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL). The event, themed “Diversity and International Law“, will take place on October 24 and 25, 2019, in Ottawa.

The CCIL seeks to encourage the study of international law and to broaden relations and dialogues between international lawyers, scholars, individuals and organizations across Canada and around the world. To accomplish these objectives, the CCIL notably organizes international law events including its signature Annual Conference, to which CPIJ experts usually participate.

Lost in the SNC-Lavalin controversy are the Libyan victims

By | CPIJ in the Media, News

Joanna Harrington | Policy Options | 21 August 2019 |

Any financial penalties would be paid in Quebec. But prosecutors need to find a way to provide redress for the foreign victims of economic crime.

The SNC-Lavalin affair is about many things. It’s about conflict of interest, pressure from the prime minister and whether to split the roles of the attorney general and the minister of justice. It’s also about the collateral impact of a corporate prosecution on employees, pensioners and shareholders. And it’s about corporations lobbying to change the Criminal Code and retaining former judges whose star power gets them a chat with a minister’s officials. All of these themes can be found in the Ethics Commissioner’s report of August 14, 2019.

The Partnership funds 4 student projects

By | News, Press Releases

June 2019 – This spring, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) launched its new funding program for student projects. This program aims to encourage and support students in their projects related to CPIJ’s research program.

Several requests were received for the 2019 spring trimester. While thanking all applicants, CPIJ is glad to disclose the identity of recipients:

  • Azé Kerté Amoulgam, doctoral student in law at Université Laval: 1000$ to realize a 6-month internship at the International Criminal Court’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defence, in the Hague (the Netherlands);
  • Jeremy Pizzi, baccalaureate student at McGill University: 1000$ to complete a 15-week internship at International Criminal Court’s Trial Chambers section, in the Hague (Netherlands);
  • Sarah Douglas and Sophie Gagné, respectively doctoral student at Dalhousie University and master’s student at Université Laval: 250$ each to participate in the Reflections on Rwanda educational program on genocide, organized by SHOUT Canada from 17 May to 1st June 2019.

Applications were analyzed by CPIJ’s Committee Scholarship and Student Funding Committee, which meets on a quaterly basis. Find out the procedure and applicable delays to request CPIJ funding.

Congratulations to the recipients!

CPIJ Members Contribute to National Inquiry into MMIWG’s Legal Analysis on genocide

By | News, Press Releases

5 June 2019 – On Monday, the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) was made public at an official ceremony held in Ottawa. This report, which affirms that First Nations, Inuit and Metis are victims of genocide, is supported by a supplementary legal analysis produced to deal specifically with this issue.

The use of the term “genocide,” entailing far-reaching legal and political consequences, had a resounding impact within Canada and abroad. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepted the use of the term “genocide” during the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver. He had also pronounced that word the day before in his opening speech at this conference, but without officially accepting it.

The legal analysis supporting the MMIWG’s findings was elaborated in consultation with international legal scholars and lawyers with expertise on genocide and international crimes, including CPIJ members, namely Fannie Lafontaine (CPIJ Director), Amanda Ghahremani (Co-Researcher) and Catherine Savard (Assistant Coordinator).

The supplementary legal analysis on genocide contains the National Inquiry’s legal basis for determining that Canada has committed genocide against Indigenous Peoples. This analysis focuses on the responsibility of Canada as a state, and not on the responsibility of individuals. It explains that Canada’s genocide of Indigenous peoples was perpetrated through colonial structures and policies maintained by the Canadian state through centuries up until now. More precisely, it is the Canadian government’s actions and omissions, taken as a whole, that constitute this genocide. They imply the responsibility of the Canadian state under international law.

This MMIWG’s legal analysis insists on the fact that, contrary to the popular understanding, genocide encompasses both lethal and non-lethal acts, including acts of “slow death”, i.e., not leading to immediate death. In the Canadian colonial context, the intent to destroy Indigenous peoples was implemented gradually and intermittently through various policies targeting the distinct Indigenous communities. These policies compromised Indigenous peoples’ rights to life and security, as well as numerous economic, social and cultural rights. If such non-lethal acts differ from the traditional reductionist narrative on genocide, which is based on the Holocaust model, they are nonetheless included in the definition enshrined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The MMIWG analysis concludes that the Canadian violation of international law will continue as long as genocidal acts continue to occur and that destructive policies are upheld by the Canadian government. Under international law, Canada has a duty to remedy the harm caused, but first, it must put an end to the persistent manifestations of violence and oppression of Indigenous peoples. Ending this genocide and providing appropriate remedies requires the implementation of an honest and dynamic process to decolonize and indigenize Canadian structures, institutions, laws and policies, thus involving the full and timely implementation of the MMIWG Calls for Justice.

The MMIWG is a National Commission of Inquiry set up in September 2016 and charged with the mandate to examine and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals in Canada. Its work led to the conclusion that Canada’s genocide of Indigenous peoples constitutes a root cause of the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals.

The supplementary legal analysis of genocide is available in English and French.

The MMIWG’s Final Report is available here:

* The acronym 2SLGBTQQIA refers to two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual persons.

101 experts including CPIJ members sign an open letter supporting Bill C-262

By | Communiqués de presse, News

May 8, 2019 – On Monday, a group of 101 experts including 15 members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) sent an open letter to the Senate to demonstrate their support to Bill C-262. This historic bill aims at ensuring that Canadian laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The adoption of this bill is likely to make Canada the first country to harmonize its national laws with this Declaration.

This letter, co-sponsored by CPIJ Co-Director Fannie Lafontaine, Beverly Jacobs (University of Windsor) and Bernard Duhaime (UQÀM), urges Senators to proceed swiftly with Bill C-262. It asks them to toss away any unfounded fears and doubts that would impede its swift examination by the Senate, so it can be passed and be part of Canadian law before the end of the current parliamentary session.

Bill C-262, a private member bill tabled by Romeo Saganash, was adopted by the House of Commons on May 30, 2018. This adoption was hailed as a victory for the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is only eleven months later, on April 30, 2019, that the Senate finally announced the referral of the bill to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. The bill is currently scheduled for debate before this Committee on May 14.

The 15 CPIJ members who have signed the open letter are Fannie Lafontaine, Payam Akhavan, Amanda Ghahremani, Mark Kersten, François J. Larocque, Janine Lespérance, Valerie Oosterveld, Frederick John Packer, Pascal Paradis, Penelope Simons, James G. Stewart, Alain-Guy Tachou Sipowo et Jo-Anne Wemmers, as well as members of the coordination team Érick Sullivan and Catherine Savard.

Read the open letter here.

Three students receive funding to attend the Siracusa Institute Specialization Course in ICL

By | News, Student News

April 2019 – On 11 April 2019, CPIJ’s Scholarship and Student Funding Committee proceeded to the selection of three students who will receive funding to attend the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights’ 19th Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists. This course will take place from 2 to 10 June 2019 in Siracusa (Italy).

While warmly thanking all applicants, the Partnership is glad to announce that the following students will benefit from CPIJ funding to attend the course:

This selection followed a widely shared call for applications which terminated on the 31st of March 2019. An extensive analysis of the numerous applications received led the Committee to select two students studying in Canada and one student from a developing or less developed country.

The Committee will meet again soon to analyze the applications related to the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Learn more about CPIJ funding for student projects here.

Congratulations to the recipients!

The Partnership Chairs reappointed

By | News

April 2019 – On 11 April 2019, the Partnership’s Governance Committee held a regular meeting. At this occasion, Partnership’s co-researchers and current Axis Chairs – namely Valerie Oosterveld (Axis 1), Penelope Simons (Axis 2) and Joanna Harrington (Axis 3) – confirmed their desire to pursue their mandate on the Governance Committee for an additional year. Their new term will end on 31 March 2020. The Committee also officially welcomed a new associate on the Partnership’s coordination team, Mélanie Dufresne.

The Partnership is led by two Co-Directors Fannie Lafontaine and Jayne Stoyles. Its structure includes 26 co-researchers and collaborators, whose actions are organized within 3 research axis. Each axis also includes student-researchers and is spearheaded by a Chair who may rotate on a yearly basis. The Governance Committee is composed of the Co-Directors, the Chairs and a representative of a NGO partner, Pascal Paradis (Avocats sans frontières Canada). The coordination team provides support to the Committee’s work.