613-562-5199
info@icjcanada.org

ICJ Canada was thrilled at the turnout for the Canada's Constitutional Democracy: The 150th Anniversary Celebration book launch! This event was hosted by ICJ Canada President and general editor for the book Errol Mendes, and Senator Marilou McPhedran who also contributed a wonderful chapter on the efforts of Canadian women to acheive substantive equality through the Charter

In attendance were guests such as John Packer, Elizabeth May, Stéphane Beaulac, and many other Parliamentarians and contributors. 

You can order this landmark constitutional law and historical text celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation here: 

https://store.lexisnexis.ca/en/categories/shop-by-jurisdiction/federal-13/canadas-constitutional-democracy-the-150th-anniversary-celebration-skusku-cad-6616/details

             

Sunday, 19 November 2017 14:49

ICJ - Canada is on social media!

Written by

ICJ Canada is now on social media! Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICJCanada/ or on Twitter https://twitter.com/icjcanada

 

Thursday, 22 June 2017 16:45

June 2017 News Overview

Written by
 
The past few months have been very busy for ICJ Canada! Read on for a brief overview of our recent activities.


PROJECT UPDATES


Understanding and strengthening the Rule of Law in Canada – We are very proud to have published a unique book: “Canada and the Rule of Law: 150 Years after Confederation / Le Canada et la primauté du droit: 150 ans après la Confédération”. This book features 35 short, thought-provoking essays by lawyers, judges, and professors from across Canada on the meaning of the rule of law and the state of the rule of law in Canada today, with a significant focus on human rights issues and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. We will disseminate it widely, including to our members, and hope that it will contribute to public debate and meaningful change. Donate to ICJC or renew your membership today to receive a copy. 

Thank you to all book contributors and to our editorial committee for their work to make this interesting and meaningful publication a reality.

Improving the judicial appointments process - In a bi-coastal team effort, British Columbia VP Rebecca Robb and Maritimes VP Richard Devlin are leading a comparative research project on foreign judicial appointments’ processes. They will prepare a report that summarizes the experiences of other foreign jurisdictions, and compares those experiences to the Canadian context, which was previously summarized in ICJ Canada’s Interim Report: The Canadian Federal Judicial Appointments Process and Opportunities for Reform. This research will be used to develop further recommendations on reforming judicial appointments in Canada.

Ending Modern Slavery – since our panel session in Toronto in November, we have been continuing to develop partnerships that are bringing us closer to our goal of seeing a Canadian legislative or regulatory response that will improve supply chain reporting to address forced labour. We have held discussions with the Canadian Securities Administrators, SHARE (which focuses on responsible investment), and various stakeholders, including securities issuers. More consultations are planned and we are optimistic that we will see progress in response to our efforts.


RECENT EVENTS


An Evening with Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton – Our annual fundraising dinner, held May 29 in Toronto, was a great success. With a sold out audience of over 100 lawyers, business people, academics and law students, Ambassador MacNaughton delivered an inspiring talk on how vital it is for trade and other relations with the US to be governed by the rule of law as opposed to administrative discretion. He presented excellent arguments that preserving the foundational rules of trade in the North American Free Trade Agreement and those under the World Trade Organization was in the long term interests of Canada, and the US and Canada would be resolute in promoting and protecting those foundational rules. 

Realizing Rights 2017: Human Rights and Constitutionalism Conference - ICJ Canada is proud to have been a partner of this timely Conference, held June 8 to 10 at the University of Ottawa. Participants heard from close to 70 speakers over three days, including Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Rowe, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha, and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde. 

book launch discussion cropped

A very special event at the Conference was our ICJ Canada book launch panel, featuring 13 of the contributors to the book (pictured L-R: Raj Anand, Samer Muscati, Hanna Gros, Marie-Claude Landry, Robin Sully, Errol Mendes, Janine Lesperance, Scott Fairley, Richard Devlin, John Packer, Julius Grey, Alex Neve; Karen Busby missing from photo).

Annual General Meeting – held June 7 in Ottawa and by teleconference, participants discussed ICJ Canada’s ongoing activities and ideas to ensure the organization’s continued success.


OTHER DEVELOPMENTS


Calgary-based ICJC group is growing - A dynamic new ICJC Prairie Steering Committee has been working since the New Year. They are planning a speaker event for the autumn, to follow up to the successful dinner with Dick Pound held last October (which featured a special guest appearance by Olympic Gold medallist Erica Wiebe!). They are also launching a research project, focusing on migrant children’s rights and the Safe Third Country Agreement. The enthusiastic group includes leaders from the legal and broader community including members of the judiciary, representatives of the University of Calgary, and social service participants, and is happy to welcome new members. 

Renewed Faculty Group at the University of Ottawa – Students at uOttawa have drafted a constitution and are eager to officially launch an ICJC Faculty club in the fall. These students will be participating in research, communications, and event planning. We look forward to supporting the development of the group.

Tarnopolsky Award to honour human rights leaders – A winner for the 2017 Tarnopolsky Prize has been chosen by the Selection Committee. We look forward to announcing the name of the very deserving nominee soon, and look forward to planning a ceremony in his honour, likely to be held this autumn. Last year’s ceremony was held on Parliament Hill and featured a captivating discussion on responding to the refugee crisis between Senator Ratna Omidvar and 2016 Tarnpolsky Award winner Professor Jennifer Bond.


GET INVOLVED


If you would like to know more about any of the activities mentioned, and/or would like to contribute more directly to ICJ Canada’s work, please contact ICJC Executive Director Janine Lespérance: email - janine.lesperance [at] icjcanada.org or phone - 613-562-5199.

book coverICJ Canada has published a unique collection of essays on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Canada and the Rule of Law: 150 Years after Confederation / Le Canada et la primauté du droit: 150 ans après la Confédération features 35 short, captivating pieces by jurists from across Canada, interpreting the theme in diverse ways.

Topics addressed in the book include the Canadian ‘origin myth’, the interpretation of the rule of law in Canadian constitutional jurisprudence, the relationship between access to justice and the rule of law, the role of members of the judicial profession in relation to the rule of law, and the need for a rule of law that upholds fundamental human rights. Authors identify areas in which our continued vigilance and commitment to improvement is critical for ensuring a strong rule of law, particularly in relation to human rights. Several essays in the book focus on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada, and advocate for a rule of law that respects Indigenous laws. The essays are written in both English and French.

book launch groupOur book launch took place on June 10, as part of the Realizing Rights 2017: Human Rights and Constitutionalism Conference. ICJ Canada Executive Director Janine Lespérance chaired the discussion, which featured 13 other book contributors: Raj Anand, Karen Busby, Richard Devlin, Scott Fairley, Julius Grey, Hanna Gros, Marie-Claude Landry, Errol Mendes, Samer Muscati, Alex Neve, John Packer, and Robin Sully.

Additional contributors to the book are Roger Bilodeau, Ian Binnie, John Campion, Adam Dodek, Maureen Duffy, Mary Eberts, Dennis Edney, Allan Hutchinson, Fiona Keith, Marcia Kran, Lucie Lamarche, Anne Levesque, Kathleen Mahoney, L.S. Tony Mandamin, Jesse McCormick, Bradford Morse, Pamela Palmater, Debra Parkes, Kimberly Prost, Daniel Proulx, Michèle Rivet, Colleen Sheppard, Shauna Van Praagh, Sherri Walsh, and Jack Watson. ICJ Canada wishes to sincerely thank all of our contributors for their excellent, thought-provoking writing.

We’d also like to acknowledge the editorial team that made this publication happen: Janine Lespérance (Lead Editor), Richard Devlin, Errol Mendes, John Packer, Michèle Rivet, and Peter Tinsley.

We intend to distribute this book widely, and hope that it will spark discussions about the nature and meaning of the rule of law for Canadians.

PURCHASE BOOKS THROUGH DONATION to ICJ Canada ($50 suggested donation). All 2017 ICJC members will receive a copy of the book.

HOC 2017 0131 CD 05 030 web SMALLOn January 31, 2017, ICJC members, colleagues, Parliamentarians, lawyers, and other members of the community gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to recognize her Professor Jennifer Bond's achievements. She is the 2016 winner of the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award. Following the Award Ceremony, in lieu of giving a traditional address, Independent Senator for Ontario Ratna Omidvar joined Professor Bond for an engaging discussion on "Responding to the Refugee Crisis".

Professor Bond is Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa; Chair of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative; and Founder and Faculty Director of the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub. She has also served as Special Advisor to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship; was on the founding executive of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and led the creation of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (“SSP”), which has mobilized over 1,300 pro-bono lawyers to assist Canadians across the country seeking to privately sponsor refugees. She has published extensively, is a frequent media commentator, has given numerous presentations at national and international events, and has contributed to litigation, including by appearing in interventions in important refugee cases at the Supreme Court of Canada. She holds a BA and BCom from the University of Calgary, an LLB from the University of Victoria, and an LLM from Yale Law School.

DSC 0039copyHer nomination was supported by several colleagues who noted Professor Bond’s truly outstanding dedication to refugees over the past decade. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership, advocacy, and community building in the face of the migrant crisis, and been a great source of inspiration to many people through her work.

One of the Tarnopolsky award criteria for 2016 was that it must be awarded to a person not yet at the midpoint of his or her career. With her remarkable achievements to date, Professor Bond is an extremely deserving candidate.

 

nigel rodley 300x0ICJ Canada was profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, President of ICJ Geneva. He was an internationally-renowned human rights educator and advocate, who played a key role in the development of international human rights law and insitutions. At ICJC's Board of Directors meeting held January 26, 2017, the Board passed a unanimous motion expressing our grief at his loss, and expressing condolences to his colleagues and loved ones. We are inspired by his lifetime of work and seek to carry on his torch.

Learn more about his life and work here and here.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:01

Happy New Year! A message to our ICJC members

Written by

A message to ICJC members from Professor Errol Mendes, President:

As a member for ICJ Canada in 2016, I would like to thank you for your support and important contributions to our organization. We very much appreciate your commitment to our organization, and ask that you maintain it this year, by renewing your membership online today and, if you can, donate to help with the work of our organization.

Your membership  allows us to initiate many events and activities that have a positive contribution in our legal profession and in Canadian society, such as the impactful publication of our initial report on the federal judicial appointments process, and hosting a panel on legislative responses to modern slavery (see the video online)– our first step of engagement in this important area related to business, the rule of law, and human rights.

I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank ICJC Board members Rebecca Robb, Naveen Mehta, and Jennifer Egsgard, whose efforts have been essential to the realization of these initiatives. 

Similarly, I’d like to thank our new Vice President for the Prairies John McWilliams, and Council member Jim Arnett for organizing highly successful fundraising dinners this year featuring Dick Pound in Calgary and Toronto, respectively; Council member Peter Tinsley for putting together a successful full day Conference on Canadian whole of government involvement in fragile states; and Board member Chantal Bernier, with whom I hosted an engaging consultative event on national security and civil liberties that involved participants from government, the private sector, and rights-focused NGOs.

We are very excited about several projects that we have initiated and will carry forward this year. What does 2017 have in store for us?

  • We will be hosting 2016 Tarnopolsky Award winner Professor Jennifer Bond in discussion with Senator Ratna Omidvar for a special event on responding to the refugee crisis in Ottawa on January 31
  • Following the successful panel discussion we hosted on legislative responses to Modern Slavery, we are building a coalition and working towards the potential adoption of laws in Canada similar to the UK Modern Slavery Act
  • We’ll continue to work on the second part of our judicial appointments project, the first portion of which has already had a national-level impact
  • We are a project partner for “Realizing Rights 2017: Human Rights and Constitutionalism”, a major Conference to take place June 8-10 at the University of Ottawa – and plan to hold our Annual Members’ Meeting in conjunction with this conference (Details TBD – save the date!)
  • Also coinciding with Canada’s 150th Anniversary, we intend to publish a book of short essays on the rule of law in Canada, featuring high quality contributions by jurists from across Canada.

To find out more about any of these projects, or if you’d like to participate more closely in any of them, do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Janine Lespérance.

Once again, thank you for your support! Wishing you and yours the very best for this new year.

Sincerely,

Errol Mendes

On November 21, 2016, ICJ Canada hosted a timely and engaging panel discussion in Toronto: "Modern Slavery in Supply Chains: Trends in Global Corporate Liability and Legislation". A continuing professional development event, attendees learned a great deal about the problem of modern slavery, challenges for companies, and legislative responses to the problem. The event featured a diversity of viewpoints, which the lawyers and students present had the opportunity to continue to discuss at a reception following the panel. The presenters were: 

  • UK solicitor Peter Talibart, Managing Partner of Seyforth Shaw LLP London office
  • Kevin McGurgan, UK Consul-General and Director-General of UK Trade and Investment in Canada
  • Mark Trachuk, Partner, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto
  • Ruth Dearnley, Chief Executive Officer, Stop the Traffik
  • Jonathan Drimmer, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Mora Johnson, Barrister and Solicitor, Former Chair, OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, Former Senior Advisor, Global Affairs Canada

If you were unable to attend the event in person, or if you would like to revisit the discussion, ICJ Canada is delighted to share this video of the panel with you:

We received many positive comments about this event and look forward to continued engagement on the pressing global issue of modern slavery.

Tinsley Conf 2On October 20, 2017, ICJ Canada held a very special full-day CPD programme in Ottawa, focusing on building the rule of law in fragile states through whole of government involvement, linking military, justice sector, humanitarian, and development assistance.

Beginning with remarks delivered by the Honourable John McKay, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of National Defence, the conference featured a range of renowned experts and leaders from the military, security, legal, and media sectors.

Tinsley Conf 1The keynote speaker, featured over the lunch hour, was General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff. His engaging comments touched on the new reality of interventions in fragile states, in which the military can play a role in creating a platform for other types of efforts that will together create development and long term stability, rather than short-lived victories.

Other themes discussed during the day included:

  • Integrating whole of government expertise in Canadian involvement in Middle East conflict zones (Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff; Mark Gwozdecky, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Global Affairs; Prof. Thomas Juneau, University of Ottawa, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs)
  • Accountability challenges and dealing with the destructive consequences of conflict (Prof. Errol Mendes, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and President, International Commission of Jurists, Canadian Section; BGen. (ret’d) Kenneth Watkin, former judge advocate general and legal author; Robert Petit, Senior Counsel and Team Leader, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Department of Justice)
  • Best and worst practices in establishing or strengthening national justice and security sector institutions (Andrew J. Carswell, Senior Delegate to Canada for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Assistant Commissioner Serge Therriault, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP))
  • Oversight of international peacebuilding efforts in relation to international criminal law (Hon. Marie Deschamps, former justice of the SCC and UN investigator; Linda Bianchi, Counsel, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Department of Justice and former international prosecutor; MGen Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General)Tinsley Conf 4
  • The role of media and knowledge networks in contributing to sustainable peace building, democracy and development (Murray Brewster, CBC reporter and author); Prof. Stephen Baranyi, University of Ottawa, School of International Development and Global Studies)
  • Integrating silos for effective policy development (Anne Burgess, Director, Conflict Policy and Security Coherence Secretariat within the Task Force, Global Affairs Canada; Prof. Stephen Baranyi)

All discussions were enlightening and well-received by the audience, made up of professionals from the private sector, including civil society, and public sector, especially the military, as well as academia.

Many thanks to ICJ Canada Council Member Peter Tinsley, former international prosecutor and justice sector consultant, for organizing this highly successful event. Without his efforts, attendees would not have had such a unique learning opportunity.

ICJ Canada is currently completing a national project examining Canada’s federal and provincial judicial appointments processes in order to address criticisms that have emerged regarding the processes, and to suggest reforms. The project has two aspects. First, we seek to examine and critique the current Canadian process for judicial appointments. Second, we seek to survey current international norms and national processes from amongst leading rule-of-law jurisdictions around the world to identify best practices for adoption in Canada.

Commencing in the fall of 2015, ICJ Canada began gathering information from provincial jurisdictions across Canada on the federal and provincial judicial appointments processes by providing questionnaires to lawyers in five jurisdictions – Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Alberta. 20 lawyers across Canada have been involved in this information-gathering process and have been reaching out to other members of their respective legal communities. We have prepared an Interim Report setting out the findings we have drawn from the responses received with respect to the federal judicial appointments process. The Interim Report also provides recommendations to address areas that evidently require reform to further advance the principles of judicial impartiality and independence and to promote greater diversity in the judiciary, ensuring it is representative of the communities it serves.

This project coincides with an important change in the federal government’s policy stance on judicial appointments, and its expression of interest in reforming the appointment of section 96 judges. Recently, the federal government took certain steps to reform the appointments process for the Supreme Court of Canada. ICJ Canada supports the general orientation of these reforms. 

On August 17, the Department of Justice held a consultation on the Interim Report with Vice President for British Columbia Rebecca Robb -the lead on the project-, Board Member from the Atlantic Provinces Professor Richard Devlin, and ICJC President, Professor Errol Mendes. We expect further consultations with the Department of Justice, and continue to advance the project. We welcome any future opportunities to participate in consultation processes the federal government undertakes to address the judicial appointments process in Canada and contribute our expertise in this area.

Read the Interim Report here. We welcome all feedback, which you may send to: info [at] icjcanada.org.

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