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So far Juda Strawczynski has created 39 blog entries.

2014 Year in Review: Judicial Independence in Canada

By Logan St. John-Smith

Canada’s justice system was briefly in the international spotlight in 2014, when in a rare move, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) publicly criticised the Canadian Government for interfering with the independence of the judiciary.

This came after a group of Canadian legal academics and lawyers asked the ICJ to investigate statements made by the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice regarding the conduct of the Chief Justice surrounding the appointment of Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.

These statements, issued shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that Justice Nadon was ineligible for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, accused the Chief Justice of acting inappropriately by attempting to contact the Prime Minister regarding pending appointments to the court in the spring of 2013.

This public criticism of the Chief Justice led the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to issue a public statement expressing its concern that these comments risked diminishing public confidence in Canada’s democratic institutions.

In a public letter dated July 23, the ICJ called on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice to apologize, claiming that their comments “amounted to an encroachment upon the independence of the judiciary and the integrity of the Chief Justice”. The ICJ also found that nothing in the Chief Justice’s actions had violated international rules.

Specifically, the ICJ expressed its view that Chief Justice McLachlin’s attempt to alert the Minister of Justice to a potential legal issue arising from the nomination of a Justice of the Federal Court did not constitute a breach of the Bangalore Principles.

The Bangalore Principles are an international code of ethical conduct for members of the judiciary that promote the independence and integrity of the judicial system.

This kind of international criticism is rarely directed at Canada, and serves as a cautious reminder of the importance of judicial independence, even in a developed democracy like ours.

By |December 15th, 2014|Blog|

Welcome to the CLAIHR Blog

Welcome to the just launched Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) Blog. You will find the CLAIHR blog the place to go for postings on a range of topics on international human rights, including:

  • “International Human Rights Law 101” which provides a general introduction to various IHR legal topics;
  • Practice tips for lawyers involved or seeking to become more involved in advancing international human rights;
  • Case comments and other timely, topical commentary; and
  • Think pieces on Canadian IHR issues.

CLAIHR members and supporters, including lawyers, law professors and others will be contributing to the blog.

If you have ideas to pass along, or are interested in guest blogging, please get involved by emailing blogeditor@claihr.ca.

So bookmark CLAIHR, RSS us, follow us, share us, Likes us, Pin us, or just mention the new CLAIHR blog to a friend.

We are also excited that the CLAIHR Blog continues our tradition of engaging with Canadian law students who share our passion for promoting international human rights thanks to a partnership with Pro Bono Students Canada. A dedicated team of volunteer PBSC law students have helped shape the CLAIHR Blog in a myriad of ways; we are grateful to both PBSC and all of our volunteers for their contagious energy and support.

By |November 20th, 2014|Blog|

Pro Bono, Professionalism, and the International Human Rights Movement

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Acting as pro bono counsel in international human rights cases. This panel features:

  • John Norris, Criminal Lawyer, Educator and Advocate
  • John Terry, Torys LLP
  • Emma Phillips, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP
  • Daniel Sheppard, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP
  • with CLAIHR’s President, Juda Strawczynski acting as moderator

Thursday, November 27, 2014
12:00-2:00 pm, lunch provided
Offices of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
$50 (with annual membership fee); $25 for current members and all students
Register at http://claihr.ca/wordpress/support-us/

This program contains 1.0 professionalism hour
and 0.5 substantive hours

By |November 20th, 2014|Past Events|

Child Soldiers, Conflict Minerals and Canadian Responses

September 16, 2013–CLAIHR, in partnership with Child Soldiers Initiative and The Law Society of Upper Canada,

Panelists: Lt Gen Roméo Dallaire (Ret) and MP Paul Dewar
Moderator: Paul Schabas, Bencher, Chair of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Human Rights Monitoring Group

The summary for event is available here.

Watch the event:

By |September 16th, 2013|Past Events|

Why do our global institutions fail to prevent and protect against mass atrocities?

May 10, 2013 – CLAIHR in partnership with Canadian International Council and Gowlings LLP

Topic: Why do our global institutions fail to prevent and protect against mass atrocities?

Guest speaker – Dr Mukesh Kapila, Former Head of UN in Sudan

By |May 20th, 2013|Past Events|

International Crises: Should Canada intervene to protect human rights?

September 27, 2012 – CLAIHR sponsored event Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Topic: International Crises: Should Canada intervene to protect human rights?

Panelists: Senator Romeo Dallaire,
Senator Art Eggleton,
Martha Hall Findlay

Moderator: Jonathan Kay

By |September 20th, 2012|Past Events|

The Way Forward – The Promise of R2P

February 2012 – CLAIHR, with the International Law Students Association (ILSA), University of Ottawa Chapter

Topic: The Way Forward – The Promise of R2P

Panelists included: Allan Rock PC, Former Canadian Ambassador to the UN

To learn more about the conference please read an article published in Canadian Lawyers Magazine 4 Students.

 

By |February 20th, 2012|Past Events|

Peace, Reconciliation and Justice: The Afghanistan Experience Reflections of a Canadian Diplomat

March 24, 2010 – Presented by the Law Society, in partnership with the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights, Amnesty International and Canadian Lawyers Abroad.

Topic: Peace, Reconciliation and Justice: The Afghanistan Experience Reflections of a Canadian Diplomat

Speaker: Christopher Alexander, Ambassador to Afghanistan (2003-2005), United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan (2005-2009.

By |March 20th, 2010|Past Events|

Reconciling State Sovereignty with the Global Responsibility to Protect

April 2009 – The Law Society of Upper Canada, in Partnership with CLAIHR, Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Lawyers Abroad, Human Rights Watch and Lawyers’ Rights Watch

Topic: Reconciling State Sovereignty with the Global Responsibility to Protect” Responsibility to Protect Panel Discussion

Panelists: The Honourable Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario,

Steve Crawshaw, UN Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch

Professor Pacifique Manirakiza, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Hon. Harry F. LaForme, Court of Appeal of Ontario

Keynote Speaker at reception after panel: Anne Maria Tremonti, award-winning journalist and host of “The Current” on CBC Radio

By |April 20th, 2009|Past Events|