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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.

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On March 29-30, ICJ Canada co-hosted a fantastic conference at the University of Ottawa, partnering with the University of Ottawa, the Hague Institute for Global Justice, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and the Centre for International Policy Studies. Attendees were treated to thought provoking speeches and discussions on the state of global affairs today, and solutions to today's pressing foreign policy issues.

The eminent speakers featured at the conference included: Canada's current Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion; Adama Dieng, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide; the Honourable Louise Arbour; Margaret Biggs, former president of the Canadian International Development Agency; Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO; Ibrahim Gambari, Co-Chair, Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance; the Right Honourable Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; and several others. The guest of honour at a special dinner held at the Château Laurier was former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Missed out on the Conference but you’d like to know what was discussed? Among the media present at the event was CPAC, which has posted several videos of the conference online.

  • CLICK HERE to view the Panel on “Global Community and Just Society”. This discussion was moderated by ICJC President Errol Mendes.
  • CLICK HERE to view the Plenary Address, “Global Governance for the 21st Century” by Irina Bokova, who may become the first female UN Secretary General – she is one of nine official candidates for the position. The election will be held later this year.

More videos of the conference are available on the CPAC site. We encourage you to view them!

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In a joint letter sent to The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development, the ICJ collaborated with the CBA, the Parliamentary Centre, and the International Law Research Programme of the Centre for International Governance Innovation to encourage the Canadian government to prioritize support for rule of law in the post-2015 global sustainable development agenda and within Canada's overseas development assistance program.

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On May 14, 2015 the ICJ in collaboration with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) presented a program session titled Equity, Inclusion, Poverty Reduction....It's about Justice! Integrating Justice into the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda as part of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) annual International Cooperation Days Conference. This year, the Conference had the theme “ Universal Goals Canadian Challenges”. It was held in Gatineau, QC from May 12-14th and brought together 400 of Canada’s leading development professionals from civil society, the private sector, academia and government to focus on the post-2015 global development agenda.

The ICJ/CBA session was chaired by Errol Mendes, President of ICJ Canada. The objective of the session was to consider rule of law and access to justice as a universal goal and as a means to achieve the outcomes of other proposed post-2015 sustainable development goals and, in particular, to ensure equality and inclusivity in their implementation. Panelists included Adrian Di Giovanni, Senior Program Officer, Law and Development, International Development Research Centre (IDRC); Andrea Redway, Director of International Initiatives, CBA; and Petra Andersson, Director of Programs, Parliamentary Centre. To inform the discussion each of the panelists reflected on the collective experiences of Canadian legal institutions and each of their respective organization’s work on rule of law and access to justice issues in Canada and in developing countries. The conference attendees were invited by the chair, the panelists, and the session facilitator, Jennifer Khor, CBA Project Director, to consider how integrating access to justice and rule of law initiatives -including establishing legal frameworks, strengthening institutions and empowering citizen engagement- might meaningfully advance education, health, environmental, and equality development goals.

Response to the ICJ/CBA session was enthusiastic. As one participant noted, “there was a tremendous amount of interest in the room, a good discussion, and I know that I am excited and keen to bring these debates to more of our members”.

A draft policy paper prepared by Robin Sully, Secretary-Treasurer of the ICJ, was provided to the participants as a background document to help inform the discussion.

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