|United Nations Special Representative for International Migration|
March 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018
|Appointed by||António Guterres|
|Preceded by||Peter Sutherland|
|United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights|
July 30, 2004 – August 31, 2008
|Nominated by||Kofi Annan|
|Preceded by||Sérgio Vieira de Mello|
|Succeeded by||Navi Pillay|
|Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada|
September 15, 1999 – July 28, 2004
|Nominated by||Jean Chrétien|
|Preceded by||Peter Cory|
|Succeeded by||Rosalie Abella/Louise Charron|
|Born||February 10, 1947|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Alma mater||Collège Regina Assumpta|
Université de Montréal (LLB)
University of Ottawa
Louise Arbour,(born February 10, 1947) is a Canadian lawyer, prosecutor and jurist.
Arbour was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. From 2009 until 2014, she served as President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. She made history with the indictment of a sitting head of state, Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević, as well as the first prosecution of sexual assault as the articles of crimes against humanity. From March 2017 to December 2018 she was the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration. She is currently in private practice in Montreal.
Early life and education
Arbour was born in Montreal, Quebec to Bernard and Rose (née Ravary) Arbour, the owners of a hotel chain. She attended convent school, during which time her parents divorced. As editor of the school magazine, she earned a reputation for irreverence.
In 1967, she graduated from Collège Regina Assumpta, and proceeded to the Université de Montréal where she completed an LL.B. with distinction in 1970. She became the Law Clerk for Justice Louis-Philippe Pigeon of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1971–72 while completing graduate studies at the Faculty of Law (Civil Section) of the University of Ottawa. This is where she met her long time common-law partner Larry Taman, with whom she lived for 27 years. In a 2014 interview, Arbour named the move from Quebec to Ontario as the "biggest hurdle [she] had to overcome to succeed in [her] career," as her entire education had been in French.
She has three adult children: Emilie, Patrick and Catherine. Her daughter Emilie Taman was an NDP candidate in the 2015 Canadian election in the electoral district of Ottawa—Vanier. She also has three grandchildren.
From 1972–73, Arbour was research officer for the Law Reform Commission of Canada. She then taught at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, first as a Lecturer (1974), then as Assistant Professor (1975), Associate Professor (1977-87), and finally as Associate Professor and Associate Dean (1987). She was Vice-President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association until her appointment to the Supreme Court of Ontario (High Court of Justice) in 1987 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1990. In 1995, Arbour was appointed as President of a Commission of Inquiry, under the Inquiries Act, for the purpose of investigating and reporting on events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario, following allegations by prisoners of abuse.[dead link] The inquiry resulted in the publication of the Arbour Report.
In 1996, at Richard Goldstone's recommendation, Arbour was appointed as his replacement as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. She indicted then-Serbian President Slobodan Milošević for war crimes, the first time a serving head of State was called to account before an international court.
Supreme Court of Canada
In 1999, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Arbour to the Supreme Court of Canada on May 26, just one day before the publication of the indictment of Milosevic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Works and awards
She has been published in the area of criminal procedure and criminal law, in both French and English. At various times, she has served as an editor for the Criminal Reports, the Canadian Rights Reporter, and the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.
In 2005, Arbour was awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, along with Justice Richard Goldstone, in recognition of her work on the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She was the subject of a 2005 fact-based Canadian-German made-for-television movie, Hunt for Justice, which follows her quest to indict Bosnian Serb war criminals. Arbour was played by Canadian actress Wendy Crewson.
She was made a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2007 "for her contributions to the Canadian justice system and for her dedication to the advancement of human rights throughout the world". She was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2009.
She was made a Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2011. She has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, including Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of Western Ontario in June 2000, Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University in May 2001, and Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of British Columbia in November 2001, the University of Waterloo in October 2006, in June 2009 from the University of Alberta and University of Guelph, and from Simon Fraser University in October 2009.
In April 2021, Arbour was appointed to lead an independent review of the military’s handling of sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct, by Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.
Honours and awards
- Doctor of Laws honoris causa, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2010
- LL.D. hon., Concordia University, 2001
- LL.D. hon., University of British Columbia, 2001
- LL.D. hon., Lakehead University, 2002
- LL.D. hon., Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France, 2003.
- LL.D. hon., St. Francis Xavier University, 2003
- Life member of the Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario, 1992
- Award Medal of the University of Montreal, 1995.
- Award Medal of Women's Law Association (Toronto), 1996
- G. Arthur Martin Award Medal, Criminal Lawyers' Association (Toronto), 1998
- Medal of Honour, Association internationale des procureurs, 1999
- Medal of Merit, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, 1999
- Fondation Louise Weiss award, Paris, 1999
- Pennsylvania Bar Foundation's Second Annual Service to Humanity Award, Harrisburg (Pennsylvanie), 2000
- Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal (Freedom from Fear), Roosevelt Study Centre, Middleburg (Pays-Bas), 2000
- Women of Distinction Award, Toronto Hadassah-Wizo, 2000
- Peace Award, World Federalists of Canada, 2000
- Human Rights Award, Lord Reading Law Society, 2000
- Wolfgang Freidman Memorial Award, Columbia Law School, 2001
- EID-UL-ADHA Award, The Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario, 2001
- Quebec Bar Medal, 2001
- National Achievement Award 2001, Jewish Women International of Canada, 2001
- 2002 Stefan A. Riesenfeld Symposium Award, Berkeley Journal of International Law
- Person of the Year Award, McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women (MCRTW), 2002
- Award from Foundation Justice in the World, International Association of Judges, 2002
- University of Montreal Law School Medal, 2003.
- Inducted in Hall of Fame, International Women's Forum, 2003
- Honorary Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2003
- Honorary Professor, Warwick University, Coventry (R.-U.), 1999–2004
- Vice-president, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, 1985–1987
- Honorary Member, American Society of International Law, 2000
- International Crisis Group board of directors member, 2000
- Honorary Member, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society 2001
- Honorary Member, Golden Key National Honour Society, 2000
- Honorary Bencher, Grays Inn, London (UK), 2001
- Member of the International Council, Institute for Global Legal Studies of Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 2001
- Advisory Board member, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Oxford University Press (New York Law School), 2001
- Editorial Board member, Journal of International Criminal Justices 2003
- Grand Prize of the Conseil québécois des gais et lesbiennes (CQGL), 2008
- United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, 2008
- Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, 2009
- North–South Prize, 2010
- Laureate of the Special Jury Prize for Conflict Prevention, awarded by the Fondation Chirac, 2011.
- In 2014 she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame
- In 2015, she was made a Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown, an order of the Kingdom of Belgium.
- In 2016 she was awarded the Tang Prize in Rule of Law for her enduring contributions to international criminal justice and the protection of human rights, to promoting peace, justice and security at home and abroad, and to working within the law to expand the frontiers of freedom for all.
- Reasons of the Supreme Court of Canada by Justice Arbour
- The Canadian made-for-TV movie Hunt for Justice (2005) is a docudrama account of Arbour's work as prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
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- Graphics, 很好設計, Weichunglee. "Tang Prize - Laureates". Tang-prize.org. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Louise Arbour.|
- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Profile of Louise Arbour
- Supreme Court of Canada biography
- Concordia University Honorary Degree Citation Archived 2015-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, June 2001, Concordia University Records Management and Archives