Image:  Two traffic signs - Freedom of Speech and Censorship

Special Issue: Humour, Hate and Harm: Rethinking Dignity, Equality and Freedom of Expression in Ward v Quebec (Commission de droit de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse)

This special issue explores the implications of the Court’s decision based on Quebec and Canadian human rights law with respect to freedom of expression, hate speech, and the right to safeguard dignity in the context of equality rights claims. It also addresses the implications for international human rights law, and the impact on human rights commissions, as institutions with a statutory mandate to ensure the respect, protection, and fulfillment of human rights. 
Animals in War Memorial in Hyde Park

Voiceless and Silenced: Animals in Armed Conflict

Dogs returning from military service in Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, just like human soldiers. Camels were seen abandoned and fleeing from burning oil wells in the 1991 Gulf War. Dolphins were recruited by the United States to detect underwater mines in Iraqi ports. The war crimes regime in international criminal and humanitarian law suffers from anthropocentric bias, resulting in a legal framework which systemically inflicts violence against non-human animals.
Migrants walking towards Turkey-Pazarkule border

Refugee "Responsibility Sharing" - Challenging the Status Quo: A Special Issue of the PKI Global Justice Journal

Facing unprecedented numbers of people fleeing violence and persecution, refugee receiving states are increasingly relying on what are euphemistically termed refugee responsibility-sharing agreements. The earliest incarnation was the Dublin Convention, implemented as an arrangement between 12 EU member states in 1997. Since then, these pacts have proliferated – often accompanied by other unilateral measures predicated on a concept of “safe country of arrival” or “country of first entry.” Broadly, these agreements and policy tools bar entry to asylum seekers who, prior to their arrival in the country where they are seeking asylum, have travelled through a “safe” country that could have adjudicated their asylum claim.
The IRPP Study Report Cover

A Federal Human Rights "Moon Shot"? Reviewing Alex Neve's Closing the Implementation Gap

Like all romantic ideals, human rights are more appealing in the abstract than in practice. Feel-good platitudes are effortless, whereas building robust institutions and transforming cultures requires genuine commitment and hard work. This is the challenge that Alex Neve, a distinguished Canadian human rights lawyer and activist, seeks to address in his report Closing the Implementation Gap: Federalism and Respect for International Human Rights in Canada.

The Contribution of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to the Protection of Human Rights and the Public Interest at Sea

Forty years after the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and over twenty years of subsequent jurisprudence, to what extent has the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) contributed to the protection of human rights and the public interest at sea? The answer to this question is not as obvious as it might seem for at least two important reasons.
Human Rights and Citizenship Abandoned in NE Syria: A special issue of the Global Justice Journal

Human Rights and Citizenship Abandoned in NE Syria: A special issue of the Global Justice Journal

When we put plans in place for this issue of the Global Justice Journal focused on the many human rights and international legal concerns arising from the Canadian government’s refusal to facilitate the repatriation of Canadian citizens detained in dangerous conditions in NE Syria, we knew that the topic was timely and urgent. We did not anticipate that when we came to the point of finalizing the tremendous articles written by our contributors, the context would be changing literally daily, including a groundbreaking Federal Court ruling.
Balance, two dolls and money

Inaccessibility in International Human Rights: The Requirement to Exhaust All Domestic Remedies

The UN individual communication procedures under various treaty bodies provide a relatively affordable and straightforward mode of redress for individuals whose rights have been violated by their state. However, for an adjudication on the merits, each communication must meet certain admissibility requirements, one of which is the exhaustion of domestic remedies.
Freedom Convoy 2022 truck lineup

The Keeping Ontario Open for Business Act Forgets about Human Rights

What lessons have we learned from the debacle as to how police and governments responded to the occupation, blockades and protests associated with the self-styled Freedom Convoy earlier this year? Is there an appreciation of the range of human rights concerns that were in play and sold short; and are any reforms being guided by a clear human rights framework?
A group of armed Ukrainian soldiers near the flag of Ukraine

Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries and the Ukraine Conflict

The reaction by the international community to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been unprecedented and multi-faceted extending to action taken by both States and private corporations. States have condemned Russia in the United Nations General Assembly, imposed significant sanctions, provided humanitarian aid to neighbouring countries and Ukraine, as well as ship armaments and other military supplies to Ukraine.
The International Criminal Court in Hague

Canada joins in the referral of the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court

On March 2, 2022, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced that he had received a coordinated referral from 39 States Parties to investigate the recent military invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Canadian observers will recall that Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly had announced, a few days earlier, that Canada intended to request an investigation from the Court. This is only the second time that States Parties have exercised the State referral power to initiate an investigation under the Rome Statute.
A cubic shaped metal unlocked jail cell

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and “residual” problems with former accused

On February 7, 2022, Judge Joseph E. Chiondo Masanche ordered a number of persons formerly prosecuted before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to be returned to the Arusha, Tanzania branch of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals because they had been given seven days to leave Niger for reasons of public order.
Kosovo Flag on soldiers arm

Kosovo Specialist Chambers draws the jurisdictional line on ex-President Thaci’s appeal

The Court of Appeal of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers recently denied the appeals brought by ex-President Thaci and his co-accused from an unsuccessful challenge to the jurisdiction of the Specialist Chambers set to hear indictments for war crimes and crimes against humanity they had allegedly committed during the Kosovo conflict from 1998-1999 as leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The memorial stupa of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The end of the judicial mandate of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is near

The judicial mandate of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) nears its end. On January 12, 2022, the Chambers issued a Press Release headlined that it had entered the residual phase of its mandate, though its text notes that the residual functions would actually commence at the end of judicial proceedings in any Chamber of the ECCC.
Close-up of gavel hammer and glass globe on United States

Climate Litigation and Emerging Environmental Dimensions of Human Rights: An Opportunity in Canada

Since December 2019, three landmark judgments were rendered in rights-based climate litigation in Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Given each of these cases are grounded in the rights to life and health, these cases offer insight into how environmental risks can be protected under existing human rights structures.