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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

International Justice and Victims’ Rights Summer School

By | News, Upcoming Events

The School

The International Justice and Victims’ Rights summer school brings together internationally renowned experts, and human rights organizations in order to discuss and reflect on issues surrounding victims’ rights and international justice. In recent years, developments like the International Criminal Court, have catapulted victims’ rights into criminal justice. In order to ensure that as they evolve, victims’rights remain linked to the reality of victims and not develop into empty legal concepts that are detached from victims’ needs, it is important to have an understanding of the impact of victimization, victims’ needs and the effects of the law.

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. Organized in collaboration with the School of Criminology, the CÉRIUM, and the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, this course is an activity of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ), which is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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 week long course consists of daily lectures by experts. Each day there are two lectures: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Lectures are one hour and thirty minutes and are followed by a break and a discussion period. In addition, a visit to the Raoul Wallenberg Center and a meeting with a representative from the Canadian Center for International Justice are scheduled.

The school will take place from June 3 to 8, 2019. Students who will be credited are invited to attend to a welcome session on May 31st, 2019.

CPIJ is offering a $ 2,000 scholarship to a graduate student from a developing country to attend this school. See here for more information. 

Language

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.

Speakers

  • Jo-Anne Wemmers, Course Leader, Professor, School of Criminology, Université de Montréal. Researcher at the International Centre of Comparative Criminology (CICC), Head of the research team Victims, Rights and Society. Contact : jo-anne.m.wemmers@umontreal.ca
  • Fannie Lafontaine, Professor, Faculty of Law, Laval University. Canada Research Chair in International Criminal Justice and Fundamental Rights
  • Valerie Oosterveld, Associate Professor, Western Law. Associate Director, Western University’s Center for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction
  • Mylène Jaccoud, Professor, School of Criminologie, Université de Montréal
  • Luke Moffett, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast. Researcher at The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
  • Mark A. Drumbl, Alumni Professor of Law and Director, Transnational Law Institute, School of Law, Washington and Lee University
  • Frédéric Mégret, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill, William Dawson Scholar
  • Amissi Manirabona, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal
  • Isabelle Daignault, Associate Professor, School of Criminology, Université de Montréal. Co-director of the Centre d’étude sur le développement et l’adaptation desjeunes (CEDAJ).
  • Amanda Ghahremani Legal Consultant: International Criminal Law, Universal Jurisdiction & Redress for Survivors of Atrocity Crimes

Social activities

Participants are invited to attend an opening cocktail, as well as a closing cocktail on Saturday, where certificates of participation will be presented. Exchanges between professors, professionals and students will be encouraged in order to allow participants to expand their networks.

Registration details

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.

Professionals will receive a certificate of participation rather than credits. Members of the Ordre des criminologues du Québec and the Barreau du Québec may be credited with this course by their professional order (conditions may apply).

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.

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).

Students who will be credited are invited to attend to a welcome session on May 31st, 2019.

Registration information will be updated at: https://cerium.umontreal.ca/en/programs-of-study/

Registration fees

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

(Rates may change)

CPIJ is offering a $ 2,000 scholarship to a graduate student from a developing country to attend this school. See here for more information. 

Arrival

Participants from outside of Canada may require a visa to visit Canada. In order to know the steps to obtain a visa, please visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/tourist.asp

If required, participants can receive a letter of invitation from CÉRIUM by contacting the course leader.

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is located on the Island of Montreal. The Montreal Transit Corporation (STM, http://www.stm.info/en) offers bus and metro service. Bus 747 runs between Trudeau Airport and the Lionel- Groulx Metro Station. The rate of this express line is $ 10, payable in exact change on the bus. At the Lionel-Groulx station, you can take the metro to get to the Université de Montréal (blue line, Université de Montréal and Côte-des-Neiges stations). To access the metro map, please visit: http://www.stm.info/en/infos/reseaux/metroTaxis are also available. Expect to pay approximately $40 for a taxi from the airport to the university.

Accommodation

It is the responsibility of participants coming from outside Montreal to find and book their accommodation. The Hotel Studios is located very close to the university (Metro station Université de Montréal) and offers the possibility of renting a single or double room for the week.

For more information and to make your reservations, please visit: http://www.zumhotel.ca/en/tariffs/

For other options, please visit: http://www.logement.umontreal.ca/trouver/temporaire.htm

Tourist activities

Montreal is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city of 4 million people from 120 different countries. Just a few steps from the university, you will find Côte-des- Neiges street where you will have access to supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, among others.

The university is a short walk from Saint Joseph’s Oratory. It has easy access to the city center, the Old Port, Mount-Royal, as well as the Le Plateau and Mile-End neighborhoods, where you will find a wide offer of restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and other tourist attractions.

For more information about what to do in Montreal, please visit the Tourisme Montréal website: https://www.mtl.org/en

Looking forward to seeing you in Montreal!

The Nevsun case is heard before the Supreme Court of Canada

By | News, Press Releases

January 2019 – On 23 January 2019, co-researchers of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada during the hearing of the Nevsun case. This groundbreaking case has great potential significance for human rights and corporate accountability in Canada as it is the first lawsuit whose claims are based directly on violations of international law.

The case questions whether a Canadian mining company should be held accountable for human rights violations perpetrated abroad. The British Columbia mining company Nevsun Resources Ltd. faces charges of forced labour, a form of slavery, related to the construction of the Canadian owned Bisha gold mine in Eritrea. Plaintiffs are former mine workers who have been granted the refugee status in Canada.

Jennifer Klinck, Paul Champ and Penelope Simons at the hearing. (Photo: Twitter)

In appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, Nevsun sought immunity for its conduct based on the common law doctrine of act of state. The respondents pleaded the absence of a doctrine of corporate immunity in international law and claimed that jus cogens norms of customary international law should serve as a source for development of the Canadian common law.

CPIJ is proud that its co-researchers Penelope Simons and François Larocque intervened, together with Jennifer Klinck and Paul Champ, as representatives of Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists. Co-researcher Amanda Ghahremani and the Canadian Center for International Justice (CCIJ), a CPIJ partner organization, were also part of the legal team for the respondents.

The webcast of the hearing is available here, and the parties’ factums on appeal can be accessed here. Further documentation is available on CCIJ’s website.

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.