Topic: Russia’s War on Ukraine – Implications for International Law and the United Nations.
Speakers: Ambassador Bob Rae; Dr. Mykola Gnatovskyy, Former Ambassador Ms. Sabine Nölke; Hon. Irwin Cotler.
With Moderation by: Professor John Packer
Partners: Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association, Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa, Embassy of Ukraine to Canada
Registration required: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L-Jepz0LQZ2QHCTaxp6tQA
About the Speakers
Ambassador Bob Rae
The Honourable Bob Rae, P.C., C.C., O.Ont., Q.C., former Premier of Ontario, and former interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, was born in 1948, in Ottawa. Mr. Rae received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Modern History in 1969 from the University of Toronto, a Master of Philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1971, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1977.
Mr. Rae’s passion for social justice dates back to his early days in student politics and community service. Between 1978 and 2013, he was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments, and served as the Premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995.
Returning to the practice of law in 1996 as a partner at Goodmans LLP, Mr. Rae led the restructuring of the Canadian Red Cross, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and also chaired the board of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also wrote Lessons to be Learned on the Air India bombing, and Ontario: A Leader in Learning, a study of the higher education system for the Government of Ontario.
Mr. Rae stepped down as a Member of Parliament in 2013 to return to legal practice and, in particular, to work with Indigenous communities and continue his work in education, governance, and human rights. He currently serves as senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP.
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Rae is a Fellow of the Forum of Federations, Massey College, and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He teaches at the University of Toronto in the School of Public Policy and Governance, the Faculty of Law, Massey College, and Victoria University. He is also a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers. He is the author of five books.
In October 2017, Mr. Rae was appointed as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar. In this role, he engaged in diplomatic efforts to address the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State and wrote the report Tell Them We’re Human in 2018. In March 2020, he was named Canada’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues to continue the important work he started as Special Envoy to Myanmar, while also addressing other pressing humanitarian and refugee issues around the world.
Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world.
Dr. Mykola Gnatovskyy
Dr. Mykola Gnatovskyy (born in 1977) holds LL.M. (1999) and Ph.D. (2002) in International Law. He is the author of many publications on European and international human rights law, as well as international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
He has taught at the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv since 2003, was a visiting professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv) between 2017 and 2020 and has delivered numerous occasional lectures at various universities in Europe and Asia. Since 2009 Dr Gnatovskyy has been a member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). He served as Vice-President of the CPT for two years (2013-2015) and as President of the CPT for six years (2015-2021). As a member of the CPT, he has participated in numerous visits to places of deprivation of liberty in various member states of the Council of Europe. Dr Gnatovskyy is also First Vice-President of the Ukrainian Association of International Law and has been a member of editorial boards of international law journals and/or yearbooks published in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and the UK.
Former Ambassador Ms. Sabine Nölke
Sabine Nölke holds a BA., MA [English Literature] and LL.B., from the University of Western Ontario; an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and an LL.D. (h.c.) from the University of Western Ontario (awarded in 2016). She began her diplomatic career in 1992 as junior counsel in the Economic and Trade Law Division.
As an international lawyer Ms. Nölke specialized on international peace and security, human rights, terrorism, humanitarian law and international and transnational criminal law; as Director-General of the Non-Proliferation and Security Threat Reduction Bureau she was responsible for Canada’s disarmament and non-proliferation policy as well as the WMD Threat Reduction Program and Canada’s counter-terrorism and anti-crime capacity building programs. She served abroad at the High Commission of Canada in London; with the Canadian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Vienna; as Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the international tribunals and institutions in The Hague (2015-2019); as Acting High Commissioner in Ghana (2019); and as Chargée d’affaires in Ireland (2020).
In the course of her career Ms Nölke acted as co-counsel for Canada before the International Court of Justice (case on Legality of the Use of Force, 1999-2004); as sous-Sherpa and Sherpa to the Prime Minister on the Nuclear Security Summit Process 2011-2015; as Canada’s Senior Official to the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (2012-2015); as co-Chair of the Sahel Working Group of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (2011-2015); as co-Chair of the Working Group on the Future of the OPCW (2017-18); and as Chair of the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor of the ICC (2019-20).
The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Irwin Cotler is the International Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and longtime Member of Parliament, and an international human rights lawyer.
A constitutional and comparative law scholar, Professor Cotler is the author of numerous publications and seminal legal articles and has written upon and intervened in landmark Charter of Rights cases in the areas of free speech, freedom of religion, minority rights, peace law and war crimes justice.
As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Irwin Cotler initiated the first-ever comprehensive reform of the Supreme Court appointment process and helped make it the most gender-representative Supreme Court in the world; appointed the first-ever aboriginal and visible minority justices to the Ontario Court of Appeal; initiated the first-ever law on human trafficking; crafted the Civil Marriage Act, the first-ever legislation to grant marriage equality to gays and lesbians; issued Canada’s first National Justice Initiative Against Racism and Hate; quashed more wrongful convictions in a single year than any prior Minister, and made the pursuit of international justice a government priority.
A leading Parliamentarian on the global stage, he has been Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran; Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Justice for Sergei Magnitsky; Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition; Chair, Canadian section, of the Parliamentarians for Global Action and Member of its international council.
About the Moderator
Professor John Packer
John Packer is Neuberger-Jesin Professor of International Conflict Resolution in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. He previously taught at the Fletcher School (Tufts University, USA) and the University of Essex (UK), held Fellowships at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, and has lectured at academic and professional institutions around the world.
Over his 30-year career, he was an inter-governmental official for 20 years (UNHCR, ILO, OHCHR, UNDPA, OSCE) and has advised numerous governments, communities and other actors in over fifty countries. From 1995 to 2004, he was Senior Legal Adviser then the first Director of the Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during which he advised on the situation in Ukraine notably bilateral and multilateral relations and the democratic transition including the 1996 Constitution of Ukraine and the 1998 Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. He has remained involved in Ukraine and the region advising various actors.
The focus of his research and practice is at the inter-section of human rights (including minority rights) and security, notably conflict prevention and quiet diplomacy, international mediation, transitional arrangements, and institutional developments at domestic and multilateral levels.