Celebrated advocate named recipient of new award
The Honourable Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, esteemed parliamentarian, emeritus law professor and counsel to persecuted world leaders and prisoners of conscience, was today named as the first-ever recipient of the Law Society’s Human Rights Award.
During a meeting of Law Society’s board of governors, Treasurer Janet E. Minor acknowledged Mr. Cotler’s devotion to human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally.
“Mr. Cotler’s illustrious career as an outspoken advocate for human rights — both in Canada and abroad — make him a most fitting recipient,” Treasurer Minor said.
A Liberal member of parliament for Mount Royal who is the Critic for Rights and Freedoms, International Justice, and, vice chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights, Mr. Cotler has helped free global figureheads including Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Cotler is renowned for his advocacy against oppressive regimes throughout the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. He is recognized as a scholar by universities and parliaments around the world and lectures internationally.
He served as Minister of Justice and as the Attorney General of Canada beginning in 2003 and helped make the Supreme Court of Canada the most gender representative high court in the world having supported the appointments of Mesdames Justices Rosalie Abella and Louise Charron.
Mr. Cotler also appointed the first-ever visible minority and Aboriginal justices to Appellate courts.
Mr. Cotler will receive the Law Society’s Human Rights Award at a ceremony on February 12, 2015.