Professor Irwin Cotler
Currently serving as Opposition Critic for Justice and Human Rights, Professor Cotler is a distinguished academic and a prominent human rights lawyer, whose dedication to humanitarian causes has earned him the Order of Canada among many other awards - including ten honourary doctorates . He is Vice Chair of the Justice & Human Rights Committee of the House of Commons as well as Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights, and Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition. A leading public advocate in and out of Parliament for the Human Rights Agenda, he headed the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide. He is co-founder and chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism which held second international conference in Ottawa in November which brought together 250 Parliamentarians and experts from 50 countries, and has launched an international coalition of leading jurists, Parliamentarians, Iran activists, survivors and genocide scholars whose landmark 200-page international report seeks to hold Ahmadinejad's Iran to account for its state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, mass domestic repression, sponsorship of global terror and nuclear armament.
Mr. Cotler is Professor of Law Emeritus at McGill University and Chair of InterAmicus, the McGill-based International Human Rights Advocacy Centre. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Yale Law School.
An international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler served as Counsel to former prisoners of conscience in the former Soviet Union (Andrei Sakharov & Nathan Sharansky), South Africa (Nelson Mandela), Latin America (Jacobo Timmerman), and Asia (Trade Union Leader Muchtar Pakpahan). He served as Counsel to the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world, Professor Saad Edin Ibrahim.