Monday, March 21, 2016

The United Nations Association in Canada has announced that Louise Arbour is the recipient of the 2016 Pearson Peace Medal.

The medal was presented by Governor General David Johnston March 17 at a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
A news release from the association says the medal is for “a Canadian who has made an outstanding contribution, in a professional capacity or through volunteer work, to those causes for which Lester B. Pearson is remembered; aid to the developing world; mediation where conflicts arise; assistance to refugees and those in need; equal rights and justice for all; peaceful change through international law and multilateralism.”

Arbour was the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She was also a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2004, before her appointment as the UN’s high commissioner for human rights. She also served as president and CEO of the International Crisis Group until 2014.

“The jury especially commended her actions of personal courage beyond her professional remit: that through her professional life she has shown leadership and resolve when confronted with despicable perpetrators and their protectors. Her leadership is a model — professional and personal — for young men and women aspiring to making peaceful change in the world through the enforcement of law and justice for all,” said Kathryn White, president and CEO of UNA-Canada, in the news release.

Ontario has created a new Business Law Advisory Council. It will be chaired by Carol Hansell of Hansell LLP and the vice chairman is E. Patrick Shea of Gowling WLG.

The council will “make recommendations to reform laws that are responsive to changing business priorities and supportive of a prosperous economy,” according to a government news release.

The Toronto Lawyers Association has announced it will be holding the annual event on April 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Courthouse Library, located on the third floor of 361 University Avenue.

The event is for those who were called to the bar less than 10 years ago, and for articling and law school students.

Judges from the Court of Appeal, judges and masters from the Superior Court of Justice, and judges from the Ontario Court of Justice will be invited. Retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Ian Binnie will be making the opening remarks. Registration is free for TLA members, and it costs $20 for non-members or friends of the TLA. Those interested in attending can contact 416-327-5702 or for more information. 

Law Times reported last week that the federal government is studying the possibility of bringing back, and expanding, the Court Challenges Program. Readers were asked if they supported the return of the program.

Slightly more than 65 per cent of readers indicated they do indeed support the return of the Court Challenges Program, because the program funds important court challenges that have enhanced equality jurisprudence.

Less than 35 per cent of readers indicated they do not support government funding for court challenges, saying it’s a form of advocacy that is important but should not be financed by the public purse.

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