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Monday, January 4, 2010

FORMER ICC HEAD APPOINTED TO ORDER

Philippe Kirsch, a former president of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean announced 57 new appointments last month, among them the former Montreal lawyer for his contributions to international criminal law.

Kirsch served as a judge on the court from 2003 to 2009 and was the ICC’s first president.

In a speech last year to mark the end of his presidency, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Kirsch the “father” of the ICC and said he was instrumental in its founding.

In addition to his legal career, Kirsch also served in a number of bureaucratic and diplomatic posts in the federal government.

He was appointed an officer to the order.

HUMANE SOCIETY FILES LAWSUIT

In an ongoing legal battle, the Toronto Humane Society has launched a $15-million lawsuit against the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The THS recently retained Frank Addario to fight animal cruelty accusations.

Addario is representing some of the shelter’s directors, who face non-criminal provincial charges of cruelty to animals.

Last month, the THS filed a notice of action detailing a number of allegations, including defamation and conducting a negligent investigation. None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The OSPCA raided the shelter over allegations that animals were neglected and mistreated.

Five senior staff members, including president Tim Trow, face a variety of criminal charges, including cruelty and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

NEW STANDARDS TAKE EFFECT

Among the host of new government regulations taking effect as of the new year are new standards for customer service for Ontarians with disabilities.

The regulations now apply to all government service providers and will be extended to all businesses in the province in two years.

All government organizations dealing with the public are now mandated to provide equal opportunity to access goods and services.

Each organization must establish policies, and those with more than 20 employees must make documented policies available.

Those policies must address the need for assistive devices as well as the accommodation of guide dogs and other support animals.

In addition, all employees must receive training on how to properly accommodate persons with disabilities.

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