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A Harbour of Truth Born in 1947 in Montreal, Quebec Completed high school in 1967 Received her bachelor's degree from Quebec's College Regina Assumpta.

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Presentation on theme: "A Harbour of Truth Born in 1947 in Montreal, Quebec Completed high school in 1967 Received her bachelor's degree from Quebec's College Regina Assumpta."— Presentation transcript:


2 A Harbour of Truth

3 Born in 1947 in Montreal, Quebec Completed high school in 1967 Received her bachelor's degree from Quebec's College Regina Assumpta in 1967 and her law degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Montreal in 1970. Called to the Quebec Bar in 1971 and the Ontario Bar in 1977. After completing her graduate studies at the University of Ottawa, served as a law clerk for Mr. Justice Louis-Philippe Pigeon in 1971- 1972 Getting There – Education and Training

4 Her Early Career Acted as a Research Officer of the Law Reform Commission of Canada between 1972-1973 Held various teaching positions at Osgoode Hall Law School from 1974-1987 Served as Vice-President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association from 1985-1987 In 1990, appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario.

5 Career Highlights In 1992, she ruled that prison inmates have the right to vote. In 1995, she was appointed as President of a Commission of Inquiry. She investigated and reported on the events at the Women’s Prison in Kingston, Ontario. In 1996, she was appointed Chief Prosecutor of War Crimes at the International Court in the Hague From 1996 to 1999, Louise Arbour served as Chief Prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. On 15 September 1999 she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. On 20 February 2004, she accepted an appointment as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This position was taken officially on 1 July 2004. On 19 April 2004, Time magazine named Arbour one of the world’s 100 most influential people. In June 2008, she will resign from her United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights role. In 2008, Arbour will join the International Crisis Group, the world’s leading non-partisan group providing advice on preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

6 Meritious Contributions to Canada and the World Helped write the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Made recommendations regarding humane treatment of prisoners while investigating events at P4W in Kingston Under her legal leadership, rape has been recognized as a crime against humanity in international law One of the first people who declared the Rwanda situation to be genocide. Her declaration caused a great deal of public/political opposition As Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, responsible for the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes against humanity…the first time a serving Head of State has been called before an international court As Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, presided over the court when it upheld the first-ever conviction of a head of state -- Jean Kambanda of Rwanda -- for orchestrating genocide

7 Awards and International Recognition Arbour has been granted many awards including: (1) Women’s Law Association of Ontario (WLAO) President’s Award in 1996 (2) Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights in 2005 (3) Freedom from Fear Award in 2000 (4) 2006 Award for Lifetime Achievement (5) 2006 Ottawa University’s Distinguished Canadian Leadership Award (6) 2007 Stanley Knowles Award for her humanitarian efforts from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Arbour’s work for the truth about the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia was documented in the 2005 television movie “Hunt for Justice”.

8 Going Against the Grain After the devastating 1994 news of the systematic killings in Rwanda, Arbour went against United Nation’s opinion and stated that the killings were a genocide. Her position caused much controversy. At the same time, her vocal stand proved Arbour had determination and courage. This makes her an excellent role model to today’s youth: “freedom to expression and opinion”. Recently, Rwanda abolished its use of capital punishment. This action pleased Arbour. It allows those suspected in the slaughtering of 800,000 to be moved to countries where they can receive a fair trial.

9 Going against the Grain Arbour has also expressed her strong views on what the world’s role in Darfur. She has urged the United Nations to (1) act quickly to stop the violent rapes and killings, and (2) establish a lasting and meaningful peace. Arbour spoke loudly against the United States War of Terrorism “enhanced interrogation” activities calling the actions torture and a violation of international human rights. In 2005, Arbour criticized the US-led war in Iraq. While working with the United Nations, Arbour expressed her disappointment with the United Nations reluctance to act to solve human rights issues based on its interpretation of the principle of “national sovereignty.”

10 Going against the Grain In June 2006, Arbour suggested about the Israel-Lebanon conflict that "those in positions of command and control might be subject to "personal criminal responsibility." Although unsaid, her comments were directed at Israel’s military and political leaders. Her words – plus her initial refusal to meet with families of kidnapped Israeli soldiers - - were widely condemned in Israel. In June 2008, Arbour expressed her concern at a UN forum for human rights. Some presentations seeking greater protection for women from “honour killings and genital mutilation” in Muslim countries were halted at the request of those same countries…who feared a negative portrayal of Shari's Law. Arbour suggested this “taboo” should be removed, and the possibly offending ideas presented openly and freely. Arbour’s ideas and comments have not always been accepted…or possibly consistent with her other positions (e.g., She quasi-accepted the government of Uganda’s “forcible disarmament” campaign of the Karamojong minority in which rape and torture were reported).

11 It is the way that Louise Arbour states her opinions, no matter what the public or political view is, that makes her such an admirable woman. Her courage, integrity, conviction, pursuit of truth and honesty, and nerve make her a model for tomorrow. Louise Arbour – In Conclusion

12 Erin Davies and Sarah Sutherland Frontenac Secondary School Grade 10 Civics January 2008 For – Mr. Stride

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