Global Justice, Part 2 - Protecting Human Rights in a World of Conflict

Global Justice is rooted in the aspiration to make the world a better place.It seeks to help us understand how human beings – no matter who they are or where they live – can be treated fairly. But who decides what justice really is? And what happens when human values and interests collide?
Left to right: Catherine Dauvergne, Elly Vandenberg, The Honourable Louise Arbour, and Stephen Toope.

Global Justice is rooted in the aspiration to make the world a better place.It seeks to help us understand how human beings – no matter who they are or where they live –  can be treated fairly. But who decides what justice really is? And what happens when human values and interests collide? IDEAS in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto presents a two-part series about these very tough issues confronting all of us today. *This episode originally aired December 22, 2015.

The Honourable Louise Arbour on the meaning of International Criminal Justice​ f​or ordinary people​ 1:31

It is commonly argued that one of the greatest political and legal achievements of the 20th century was the creation of "human rights" in international law. At the same time, another body of international criminal law emerged: individual liability for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But with the international institutions that are now in place, is global justice being served in a meaningful way?   

The Honourable Louise Arbour, former justice of the  Supreme Court of Canada, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and international prosecutor of  war crimes; Catherine Dauvergne, Dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, Elly Vandenberg, Senior Director, World Vision Canada, and moderator Stephen Toope, Director of the Munk School of Global  Affairs probe the interplay among human rights, politics and our international justice system. Readings by RH Thomson

Global Justice, Part 2 was produced by IDEAS in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.  It was recorded in front of a live audience at the Munk School on November 12th, 2015.  

Listen to the Question and Answer Period which followed the panel:


Participants in the program

The Honourable Louise Arbour, C.C., G.O.Q. was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1987 and the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1990.  In 1996, the Security Council of the United Nations appointed Ms. Arbour as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda where she attempted to build what she called a "law enforcement agency" for human rights. In this role, she secured the first conviction for genocide (Rwanda) since the 1948 Genocide Convention and the first indictment for war crimes by a sitting European head of state (Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic). She resigned to take up an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999, was appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in 2004, and took over as President and CEO of the International Crisis Group in 2009. She is currently a jurist in residence at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Montreal and a member of the Advisory Board of The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and the International Commission  Against the Death Penalty.

Catherine Dauvergne took up the deanship at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC on July 1, 2015. Dauvergne is a UBC Law alumna and completed her PhD in Law at the Australian National University. Dauvergne  is a member of the Law Society of BC. She has been working in the area of refugee, immigration, and citizenship law for twenty years. In 2012, Dauvergne was named a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation in recognition of her contributions to public discourse in Canada. Dauvergne has published extensively including six books and more than 60 articles. Her next book entitled The New Politics of Immigration and the End of Settler Societies will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.  
Elly Vandenberg is Senior Director of World Vision Canada. She is one Canada's foremost advocates for children and has been a tireless  champion for global development for more than 25 years. She leads World Vision Canada's advocacy team which provides an important voice for children around the world. Her expertise has influenced the Government of Canada's approach to international development, including its landmark decision to invest in maternal, newborn and child health as well as its commitment to address human trafficking. Elly specializes in peace-building and human rights based on extensive hands-on experience in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in international development from the University of Toronto, specialist  certificates in voluntary sector management and a professional certification in coaching. Elly and her husband, Paul Davidson, live in Ottawa and have three sons.


Professor Stephen J. Toope is Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs. Before joining the Munk School in January 2015, Professor Toope was President of the University of British Columbia from 2006 to 2014. He represented Western Europe and North America on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002-2007. He continues to conduct research on many aspects of international law and is currently working on issues of continuity and change in international law, and the origins of international obligation in international society. Before joining UBC, Toope was President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and Dean of Law at McGill. A Canadian citizen, Professor Toope earned his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, his degrees in common law (LLB) and civil law (BCL) with honours from McGill University, and graduated magna cum laude with his AB in History and Literature from Harvard University

Acclaimed Canadian stage and screen actor RH Thomson, was awarded in 2015 the  very prestigious Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement,  and last year, was the recipient of the 2014 ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence.  He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toronto, Trinity College.  Recently, Mr. Thomson directed The Crucible at Theatre Calgary and filmed guest star roles in the Showcase series King, the CBC series Republic of Doyle and Cracked and starred opposite Toni Collette and Michael Sheen in Dennis Lee's feature film Jesus Henry Christ.

Suggested Reading List:

From The Honourable Louise Arbour:

Madame Justice Louise Arbour, War Crimes and the Culture of Peace, University of Toronto Press, 2002.  
(The Senator Keith Davey Lecture at Victoria University at the University of Toronto was delivered in January 2001.)

Gary Jonathan Bass, Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals, Princeton University Press, Paperback edition, 2002.

Amin Maalouf, Les Identités Meurtrières, Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, 1998.

Amin Maalouf, In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong, Penguin Books, 2003.  (Translated from the French by Barbara Bray.)

From Elly Vandenberg:

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, Random House, 2012

Séverine Autesserre,  Peaceland:  Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Lisa Shirch, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding, Good Books, 2004

​Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving, Harper Collins, 2014

From Catherine Dauvergne:

Catherine Dauvergne, The New Politics of Immigration and the End of Settler Societies, (2016 Cambridge)

Catherine Dauvergne, Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means to Migration and Law, Cambridge, 2008. 

Daniel Kanstroom, Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History, Harvard University Press 2010.

Doug Saunders, The Myth of the Muslim Tide, Knopf Canada , 2012.

The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto  brings together the best minds to advance the latest thinking on  global issues. Its mission is to integrate research on global affairs with teaching and public education.


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