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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.

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.