Press Releases

A Canadian First: François Larocque is Awarded the Canadian Francophonie Research Chair in Language Rights

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June 2018– On 19 June 2018, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) co-researcher François Larocque was awarded the Canadian Francophonie Research Chair in Language Rights at the University of Ottawa. It is “the very first time, at the national level, that a law faculty receives a research chair on the Canadian Francophonie”, Professor Larocque explains. “Up until now, no research chair on linguistic rights and cultural communities’ legal protection existed.”

This award is a well-deserved recognition of the Professor Larocque’s obvious leadership in his field. Dedicated researcher and eloquent lawyer, he has been defending Francophones’ rights for the past 10 years, and has significantly contributed to the advancement of linguistic rights of Francophones living in minority communities in Ontario and in Canada. Professor Larocque will take advantage of his new situation to advance the state of knowledge on linguistic rights and make a tangible contribution to the development of legal norms pertaining to language in Canada. He plans to focus on legal protection of linguistic minority communities and their institutions, particularly in relation to the adoption and interpretation of constitutional laws, legislative material and case-law principles. His research will primarily focus on linguistic rights of Francophones, but will also include Aboriginal languages.

Professor Larocque’s 5-year appointment will begin on July 1st, 2018.

Joanna Harrington receives annual CALT prize for contributions to teaching and research

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June 2018 – CPIJ co-researcher Joanna Harrington was awarded the 2018 Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) Prize for Academic Excellence. The price is given to honour exceptional contributions to research and law teaching by a Canadian law teacher in mid-career. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee based on the quality of and innovation in teaching and learning, and the quality and impact of legal scholarship.

Harrington’s accomplished career has taken her around the world, from Australia to China and Vietnam. She has taught human rights to government officials in Suriname, and international dispute settlement to students in Shanghai. Her research activities have led to visiting appointments at the University of Oxford and the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, she is a frequent guest speaker in Canada and abroad, as well as a widely-published author, having published over 30 law review articles and book chapters. She is the co-author of a leading text used for teaching international law in Canada.

Her writing has contributed to law and policy discussions on the balance between protecting human rights and securing cross-border cooperation in the prosecution of serious crimes. Her research often involves collaboration with organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Chatham House think tank.

More information on Prof. Harrington’s career and accomplishments is available here.

CPIJ expert meeting on the collaboration in the prosecution of international crimes: four blogposts will be published

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31 May 2018– Following the expert meeting organized by the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) on the collaboration between national prosecuting authorities (NPAs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), a series of four blogposts will be published jointly by the PKI Global Justice Journal and Quid Justitiae. The first post, titled “Defining Legal Concepts and Frameworks”, was launched today on both platforms.

The expert meeting, held at Ottawa on 15 and 16 March 2018, brought together 27 worldwide experts from States, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, which shared their views on various issues influencing the collaboration between NPAs and NGOs. The discussions aimed at significantly improving the collaboration between NPAs and NGOs in the prosecution of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. An important outcome of this event is a series of four blogposts authored by Joseph Rikhof, Silviana Cocan and Érick Sullivan. The first post was published today in French and Spanish in the blog Quid Justiae, and in English in the PKI Global Justice Journal. The three other blogposts will follow every Thursday until the 21stof June.

The posts can be accessed here:


Members of the Partnership will intervene as Amici Curiae before the International Criminal Court concerning the Rohingya situation

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May 31, 2018– Members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) were granted leave by Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to submit observations as Amici Curiae on important legal issues with respect to the situation of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh.


On 9 April 2018, the ICC Prosecutor submitted a request for a ruling under Article 19(3) on whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The complexity of the jurisdictional issues arise from the fact that the Rohingya are being deported from the territory of a State which is not a party to the ICC Statute (Myanmar) directly into the territory of a State which is a party to the Statute (Bangladesh). Given that it is the first time that the Prosecutor submits such a request based on Article 19(3), Pre-Trial Chamber I will be considering a number of novel and important legal issues.

Members of CPIJ submitted a request for leave to intervene as Amici Curiae on 25 May 2018. The Chamber granted leave on 29 May 2018 pursuant to Rule 103 of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence. In the decision, the Chamber recognised CPIJ and its members’ extensive experience in the field of international criminal law, human rights law, refugee law, migration and humanitarian law, as well as in intervening as Amici Curiae before both domestic and international courts. It took the view that the proposed submissions are “desirable for the proper determination of the Prosecutor’s Request”.

Issues at stake

The Partnership’s members acting as Amici Curiae will support the Prosecution’s position with complementary legal observations and will assist the Chamber in the determination of issues that have never been fully litigated before the ICC. In particular, the members of CPIJ will address the three following issues:

  1. Whether Article 19(3) of the Rome Statute allows the Office of the Prosecutor to request a ruling on jurisdiction;
  2. The scope of territorial jurisdiction under Article 12(2); and
  3. The nature and definition of the crime of deportation under Article 7(1)(d).

The Amici Curiae observations will be submitted before 18 June 2018 by 17 members of the Partnership, namely: Jennifer Bond, Robert J. Currie, Amanda Ghahremani, Julia Grignon, Mark Kersten, Fannie Lafontaine, François Larocque, Frédéric Mégret, Valerie Oosterveld, Frederick John Packer, Pascal Paradis, Darryl Robinson, Penelope Simons, Érick Sullivan, Alain-Guy Tachou Sipowo, Mirja Trilsch and Jo-Anne Wemmers.

Members of the Partnership will intervene as Amici Curiæ before the International Criminal Court in the Al Bashir case

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May 21, 2018 – A group of experts including members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice were granted leave to submit observations on complicated and controversial questions about the immunity of a head of state.

The group of experts, composed of Darryl Robinson (Queen’s University), Fannie Lafontaine (Laval University), Valerie Oosterveld (Western University), Margaret M. deGuzman (Temple University), Robert Cryer (Birmingham Law School), and Carsten Stahn (Leiden University), have been invited to submit an Amici Curiae to the Court before June 18, 2018. Mark Kersten (Munk School of Global Affairs) and Sergey Vasiliev (Leiden University) were also consulted in the preparation of the request.

The issues arise in a case against President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, accused of genocide and other crimes committed in Darfur. The UN Security Council referred the situation to the International Criminal Court, and ordered Sudan to ‘cooperate fully’ with the Court.  Some states, including Jordan, have failed to arrest Omar Al-Bashir.  The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan appealled against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II on non-compliance with the Court’s request for arrest and surrender of Omar Al-Bashir.  The case concerns the power of the UN Security Council to set aside immunities in the pursuit of justice.

The request for leave and the decision on its acceptance are available online.