This pan Canadian partnership brings together leading Canadian academics and non-governmental actors to contribute to strengthening access to justice for victims of international crimes. Co-led by Fannie Lafontaine (Laval University) and Jayne Stoyles (Canadian Centre for International Justice), it includes 24 team members and 12 partner organizations and is hosted by Laval University. The partnership is funded by a 5-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and by significant financial and in-kind contributions from every partner organization. Explore the list of our team members and partner organizations.
The project is designed to provide cutting-edge research and co-create knowledge about more effective ways to hold individuals, states and corporations accountable for serious international crimes; to create analytical, practical and policy-oriented tools to assist legal practitioners and policy-makers within Canada and globally and increase victims’ access to remedies; to strengthen communication and collaboration among leading Canadian scholars and practitioners; to produce a cohort of students who are educated, trained and networked in this field; and to train and educate diverse Canadian audiences about the history, challenges, pitfalls, potential and priorities for improvement of the system of international justice.
After a surge of enthusiasm in the 1990s for the idea that trying individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in courts of law could deter atrocities, its institutions and norms now face important challenges. This is in part the result of the normalization of international justice, but is also reflective of the effectiveness of those under scrutiny by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in spinning an undermining narrative, as well as missteps and lack of experience by the ICC itself. The consensus that the important goals of international justice remain highly relevant despite these challenges calls for the innovative approach this partnership creates, including a coordinated program of research and enhanced policy input from Canadian experts, which originally fueled the creation of the international justice system.
The project will contribute to the effectiveness of the global effort to hold accountable those responsible for the most serious international crimes, thereby helping to deter these atrocities and contributing to the healing process of victims. It will also enhance Canada’s role as a global leader in this field as the international justice system is being challenged from many quarters.