The International Law Research Program Advisory Committee assists the director of the program in developing a strategic plan, reviewing program activities and suggesting ways to enhance the program. The committee will advise and may recommend, but it is not a decision-making or policy-making body.


Thomas Cottier

Thomas Cottier is a full professor of European and International Economic Law at the University of Bern. He is a founder of the World Trade Institute (WTI) and was managing director from 2000 to 2014. He co-directs the national research program on trade law and policy located at the WTI. Thomas was a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute in Switzerland and also currently teaches at the Europa Institut Saarbrücken in Germany and at Wuhan University in China. He was a member of the Swiss National Research Council from 1997 to 2004. He held several positions in the Swiss External Economic Affairs Department and was the deputy-director general of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office from 1988 to 1993. He served as a trade negotiator for Switzerland during the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay Round, and was member and chair of several GATT and World Trade Organization panels. He served as counsel at the law firm Baker & McKenzie from 1998 to 2005. Thomas writes and publishes on a wide range of trade and international law issues.


Lawrence Herman

Lawrence Herman, principal at Herman & Associates, Toronto, was international counsel at Cassels Brock LLP for over 25 years. His practice emphasis is on international trade and international business transactions. He acts for corporations, governments and international agencies in the trade area, dealing particularly with the GATT/WTO, the NAFTA and investment disputes in various forums. He regularly appears as counsel before dispute-resolution bodies under the NAFTA, as well as before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the courts in Canada. Earlier in his career, Lawrence served in the Canadian foreign service in a variety of posts, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and in Ottawa, representing Canada in numerous international conferences and meetings, including the GATT, UNCTAD, OECD and the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference. Among other activities, he is on the Executive Committee of the Canada-US Law Institute and is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto.


Valerie Hughes

Valerie Hughes is director of the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and served previously as director of the Appellate Body Secretariat of the same organization. Previously, Valerie was assistant deputy minister, Law Branch of the Department of Finance Canada, general counsel of the Trade Law Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and senior counsel, Constitutional and International Law Section at Justice Canada. Valerie has also practised law in two large Canadian law firms, focusing mainly in the area of international law.


Meg Kinnear

Meg Kinnear is secretary-general of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Prior to her present role, she served as general counsel (1999-2006), senior general counsel (2006-2009) and then director general of the Trade Law Bureau of Canada. In November 2002, she was named chair of the Negotiating Group on Dispute Settlement for the Free Trade of the Americas Agreements. From 1996 to 1999, Meg was executive assistant to the deputy minister of justice of Canada. Prior to this, from 1984 to 1996, she was counsel at the Civil Litigation Section of the Canadian Department of Justice, where she appeared before federal and provincial courts as well as domestic arbitration panels.


Barry Sookman

Barry Sookman is a senior partner with McCarthy Tétrault. He is the former co-chair of the firm’s Technology Law Group. Prior to that, he was head of its Intellectual Property Group. Barry is one of Canada's foremost authorities in the area of information technology and intellectual property law. He is the author of numerous books dealing with information technology and intellectual property including the seven volume treatise on Computer, Internet and e-Commerce Law and is an adjunct professor in intellectual property law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Barry is a past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association ― Computer and Computer-Related Technology section. He is a member of the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale, the International Technology Law Association, The Copyright Society of the USA, ITAC’s Legal Affairs Committee, and IP Osgoode’s Advisory Board.


Stephen J. Toope

Stephen J. Toope is the former president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia (UBC). An international law scholar who represented Western Europe and North America at the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002 to 2007, Stephen’s academic interests include public international law, legal theory, human rights, international dispute resolution and family law. Prior to joining UBC, Stephen was president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a position he held since 2002. From 1994 to 1999, he served as the dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Previously, he served as law clerk to the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1986 to 1987. He is the incoming Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs.