Toronto — The Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Janet E. Minor today announced that The Honourable Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, MP, will receive The Law Society of Upper Canada’s inaugural Human Rights Award at a special event on February 12, 2015.
Established in 2013, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and/or the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally or internationally. It is granted biannually to individuals for their devotion to these principles over a long term, or for a single, outstanding act of service.
“The Law Society is committed to the protection of human rights and the rule of law and we are extremely pleased to present our very first Human Rights Award to The Honourable Irwin Cotler,” says Treasurer Minor. “His long and illustrious career as an outspoken advocate for human rights — both at home and abroad — make him a most fitting recipient.”
Described as “being at the forefront of the struggle for justice, peace and human rights,” Mr. Cotler has served as an esteemed law professor, legal scholar and mentor, international human rights lawyer and Member of Parliament for Mount Royal (1999 – present).
From 2003 to 2006, he held the country's most esteemed justice portfolios as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. During that time, he issued the first National Justice Initiative Against Racism and Hate and initiated the first prosecution under Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act for incitement to genocide in Rwanda.
Mr. Cotler is the recipient of 10 honorary doctorate degrees and numerous awards.
More biographical information is available online.
Details about the award presentation ceremony will be available in the New Year.