The 2005-2006 University of Manitoba Chapter of CLAIHR, which was twenty-five members strong, continued with its fundraising activities that have proven highly successful in the past. The Student Chapter held its annual Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale on November 13th, 2005.
A Human Rights Film Festival, similar to last year’s, took place in late January 2006. The Chapter’s most highly anticipated and traditionally successful fundraising event, namely, its annual Quiz Night, which took place in March 2006.
In addition to fundraising initiatives, a Lunch-hour Panel Discussion was held during the Winter 2006 term. The theme was: ‘Legal Work in the Human Rights Field’.
The Student Chapter also undertook a research project concerning the International Impact of Tort Law on Human Rights.
A number of its members selflessly lent their time and energy in volunteering at Unlocking Innocence, an International Conference on Avoiding Wrongful Conviction. Unlocking Innocence was held at the Fairmont Hotel, Winnipeg, between October 20-22, 2005. This event was also co-organized by the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law, the Manitoba Department of Justice and the Law Society of Manitoba. The conference featured such keynote speakers as Janet Reno, James Lockyer, Peter Neufeld, Irwin Cotler and Bryan Stevenson, in addition to presentations from various members of Manitoba’s legal community. A comprehensive conference report will be available early in 2006 (please visit www.wrongfulconviction.ca).
The 2004-2005 term was one of significant development in the initiatives and make-up of the University of Manitoba’s Student Chapter of CLAIHR. The Chapter maintained its tradition of holding an annual Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale in the Fall, followed by Quiz Night in the Spring. Both of these events were extremely successful in raising funds and creating awareness about CLAIHR within the faculty. In addition to fundraising events, and for the first time, the Chapter partnered-up with the University of Manitoba’s Amnesty International Group in order to present a Human Rights Film Festival at the Robson Hall Faculty of Law. Through this collaboration, the University of Manitoba’s Student Chapter was able to raise awareness about human rights issues within the University and the community at large.
The Human Rights Film Festival took place over the course of three days and featured guest lecturers from the faculty and community who discussed contentious human rights issues in each of the films. Of note, Sharon Scharfe, a first-year member, gave a presentation about her experience working for human rights in East Timor, prior to commencing law school. At the end of the year, the three founding members and leaders of the Chapter, Jason Stabler, Michelle Bright and Shereese Qually, graduated and passed on their directorial duties to two students entering their second year, Sarah Kirshin and Clair Berland.