Conference on Disasters, Displacement, & Human Rights

“Bridging the Collaborative Gap” September 25-27, 2015 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Call for Presentations Earthquakes and tsunamis. Development-induced displacement. Armed conflict, terrorism, and human trafficking. Fifty-one million recognized refugees worldwide. Securitization, deportation, and criminalization regimes. Climate change and environmental chaos. Humanitarianism, human rights, and international criminal prosecutions. The quest for peace and justice. The … Read more

International Summer School on Human Rights & The Arts

The global theme for 2015 will be “Belonging”. The Summer School will consist of keynote addresses, plenary discussions, and themed discussions on three parallel tracks – literature and human rights; the visual arts and human rights; and music and human rights. The opening speaker will be the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed.

Law Students: Come to Copenhagen

iCourts is committed to building knowledge and insight into the role and function of international courts in a changing global society. The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order are hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international law and with a special interest in interdisciplinary studies of international law and its social and political context.

Canadian Lawyers Abroad – Avocats canadiens à l’étranger: Using Law to Improve Lives

For this edition of the Progressive Lawyer Spotlight, we shine it on Canadian Lawyers Abroad – Avocats canadiens à l’étranger, an amazing organization that supports good governance, rule of law and human rights work in the developing world and Canada. We recently spoke to Executive Director Brittany Twiss who took time out of her very busy schedule to fill us in on what CLA-ACE is all about.

Progressive Lawyer: Please give us an overview of the kind of projects CLA-ACE is involved in.

Brittany Twiss: CLA-ACE is a catalyst for positive social change. Through education and engagement we are increasing access to justice for marginalized populations worldwide, and enabling law students and lawyers to use their legal training to make a difference. Two extraordinary women, Yasmin Shaker (International Trade and Investment Counsel, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) and Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre Candidate, Liberty Party of Canada), founded CLA-ACE in 2005 in Ottawa.

At present, we have three major programs in operation:

National Dare to Dream Program

We are positively transforming the way First Nation, Métis, and Inuit youth aged 11-14 perceive and engage with the justice system through meaningful interaction with legal professionals and fun, justice-focused learning activities. Dare to Dream is now in operation in Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary and the Siksika Nation, with over 150 students and 80 volunteers participating.

National Student Chapter Program

We have Student Chapters at 15 law schools across Canada where we educate and engage students on pressing social justice issues. In the fall of 2014, we worked with various refugee law experts to draft a report and host an intensive two-day conference on “Access to Justice for Refugees” at UOttawa. After attending the conference, the students from across Canada returned to their schools to host their own refugee rights events and contribute reports to our national student journal.

International Student Internship Program

We enhance the capacity of international and indigenous human rights organizations, and provide law students with important learning experiences beyond the classroom. Since 2005, 120 students have provided valuable legal assistance to 35 organizations in 10 countries. In the summer of 2015, students will be placed in Kenya, Ghana, Namibia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Alaska, D.C., and throughout Canada.

PL: How do you pick partner organizations?

BT: We collaborate with other non-profit organizations that share our mission to use law to improve lives. Typically an intern host organization will conduct work in the areas of human rights, good governance and/or the rule of law, and will be working towards increasing access to justice for marginalized or underserved populations. The host organization is required to provide our interns with a legal supervisor and substantive, meaningful and educational legal tasks.

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Concert For Social Justice

Jackson Browne, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Morello, Dennis Haysbert, Chad Lowe, Martin Sheen, and Alfre Woodard to perform April 8, 2015, at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angele The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights is pleased to join The GRAMMY Museum® in celebrating the launch of their Speak Up, … Read more

Lecture: Palestine and the International Criminal Court

Tuesday 17 March 2015, 7pm at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut Speakers: Raji Sourani – Director, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Shawan Jabarin – Director, Al-Haq Civil society discusses prospects for justice following Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute and the ICC prosecutor’s ongoing preliminary examination into alleged grave crimes. SCL Lectures are public and … Read more

Leadership Changes In A World In Turmoil

Sergio Vieira de Mello’s long and distinguished UN career saw him dealing with refugee and human rights issues from Bangladesh, Cyprus and Mozambique in the 1970s, through to Peru, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Timor Leste in the 1990s.

He became UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002, as well as the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Iraq in 2003.

More than a decade on from Sergio’s tragic death in a Baghdad terrorist attack, the world sadly continues to be plagued by conflict and crisis.

Leading international journalist Christiane Amanpour, herself a veteran reporter from conflicts all over the globe, talks with the UN’s human rights and refugee chiefs about leadership challenges in a world in turmoil.