Canada in International Law: At the Inflection Point
Canada in International Law: At the Inflection Point

The Centre for International Governance Innovation is pleased to host a conference on Canada in International Law: At the Inflection Point. 


We live in an era where nations with great powers are preoccupied with domestic agendas and view multilateralism as an inconvenient constraint on their sovereignty. Examples such as frequent deadlocks in the United Nations Security Council, the United Kingdom’s anticipated exit from the European Union, the United States’ challenges to the multilateral trading system and its announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as increasing geopolitical tensions, all suggest that middle powers such as Canada must stand firmly on their commitment to defending and continuously improving global rule of law. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, recently emphasized that as other nations turn inward and question the postwar multilateral order, Canada needs to set its own clear and sovereign course, strive for leadership in multilateral fora and work to renew and strengthen the rules-based international order.  This conference will explore these challenges to see how Canada has contributed and is contributing to shaping global rule of law. 

The launch of CIGI's latest publication Reflections on Canada’s Past, Present and Future in International Law will follow the panel discussions after the event.

PROGRAM AGENDA:

12:00 – 12:15 pm Introduction: Canada in International Law – at the Inflection Point

  • Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director, International Law Research Program, Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Valerie Hughes, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Queen's University 


12:15 – 1:00 pm Making of International Treaties & Implementation into Domestic Law 

  • Mala Khanna, Deputy Assistant Deputy Minister, Justice Canada
  • Gib Van Ert, Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of Canada
  • Charles-Emmanuel Côté, Associate Dean and Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of Laval University
  • Armand de Mestral, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation

1:00 – 1:45 pm Honouring International Treaties with Indigenous Peoples 

  • Jorge Barrera, Indigenous Reporter, CBC
  • Sakej Henderson, Research Fellow, Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre of Canada
  • Sarah Morales, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law 
  • Larry Chartrand, Director, Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp / Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan

1:45 – 2:30 pm International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

  • Genevieve Zingg, Freelance Journalist and Graduate Student, Columbia University
  • Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada 
  • Rene Provost, Professor of Law, McGill University
  • Sara Seck, Associate Professor, Schulich School of Law, and the Marine & Environmental Law Institute at Dalhousie University

2:30 – 3:00 pm Health Break 

3:00 – 3:45 pm International Economic Law

  • Jonathan Fried, former Ambassador of Canada to Japan 
  • Allison Christians, H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation, McGill University Faculty of Law 
  • Valerie Hughes, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Queen’s University 
  • Richard Ouellet Full Professor of International Economic Law, Law Faculty and Graduate Institute of International Studies, Laval University

3:45 – 4:30pm International Environmental Law

  • Robert Fife, Ottawa Correspondent, Globe and Mail
  • Jutta Brunnee, Professor of Law and Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law, University of Toronto 
  • Ted McDorman, Professor, University of Victoria Faculty of Law
  • Anne Daniel, International Environmental Lawyer and Former General Counsel, Department of Justice
  • Marcus Davies, Legal Officer, Global Affairs Canada 

4:30-5:15pm Intellectual Property Law 

  • Sean Silcoff, Globe and Mail 
  • Bita Amani, Associate Professor, Queen's University Faculty of Law
  • Ton Zuijdwijk,CIGI Senior Fellow and former General Counsel, Trade Law Bureau of Global Affairs Canada and Department of Justice
  • Howard Knopf, Counsel with Macera & Jarzyna, LLP
  • Myra Tawfik, Professor of Law, University of Windsor and Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation

5:15 – 5:30pm Closing Remarks

  • Oonagh E. Fitzgerald, Director, International Law Research Program, Centre for International Governance Innovation 
  • Valerie Hughes, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Queen's University 
  • Alan Kessel,Legal Adviser, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada 

 

Reception and Book Launch 

5:30 pm–7:00 pm 
Fairmont Château Laurier, 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 8S7

Marking 150 years since Confederation provides an opportunity for Canadian international law practitioners and scholars to reflect on Canada’s rich history in international law and governance, where we find ourselves today in the community of nations, and how we might help shape a future in which Canada’s rules-based and progressive approach to international law gains ascendancy. These essays, each written in the official language chosen by the authors, provide a critical perspective on Canada’s past and present in international law, survey the challenges that lie before us and offer renewed focus for Canada’s pursuit of global justice and the rule of law.

Reflections on Canada’s Past, Present and Future in International Law demonstrates the pivotal role that Canada has played in the development of international law and signals the essential contributions it is poised to make in the future.

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