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CCIL Award for Public Sector Lawyer

In recognition of significant contribution or service in the field of public international law by a public sector lawyer.

This non-monetary award recognizes significant contribution or service in the field of public international law by a public sector lawyer. The recipient will have significantly enhanced the understanding of and respect for public international law in the public sector.

Eligibility Criteria


Current or former public sector lawyers (i.e. lawyers working for the federal or a provincial or territorial government, crown corporations, legal aid offices or other government entities). There are no posthumous awards.

Nomination Process


Nominations or self-nominations may be sought by the Awards Committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the CCIL based on a call letter. Nominations submitted in previous years may be reconsidered.

Members of the CCIL Board of Directors may submit nominations.  All nominations will be reviewed by the Awards Committee, which will present its recommendation to the CCIL Board of Directors for decision by the Committee.

  • Nominations can be submitted by an e-mail or letter which sets out the significant contribution or service in the field of international law by a current or former public sector lawyer.

  • The nomination should include three letters of support for the candidate of not more than three pages each. In the alternative, one letter of no longer than 3 pages may be provided in support of a candidate if it is signed by a minimum of 3 nominators.  

All materials must be addressed to: CCIL Public Sector Awards Committee, c/o CCIL Secretariat, 275 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 5Z5 and submitted via mail or by email (PDF format) to:


2022 Recipient: Kathryn Sabo

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Kathryn Sabo

Kathryn Sabo was awarded the the 2022 Public Sector Award for her leadership and accomplishments in the field of private international law. 

Ms. Sabo is General Counsel in the Constitutional, Administrative & International Law Section of the Department of Justice Canada. She joined the Department of Justice in 1992 and from the beginning brought her expertise to the field of private international law. 


Ms. Sabo has served as the lead counsel for private international law in the Department of Justice for many years, representing Canada and the federal government on a wide array of initiatives across the spectrum of private international law matters. This ranges from her work with the Hague Conference on Private International Law, to the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and more. For example, she played a crucial role in the work leading to the 2019 Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, a project that was decades in the making. She has worked closely both with Department of Justice and provincial colleagues to advance a broad array of initiatives at the international level relating to such matters as insolvency, security interests, secured transactions, legalization of documents, and choice of law. 


As well, she has worked tirelessly to advance the adoption of private international law instruments by Canada and their implementation by the provinces and territories. 


Her nominators highlighted her acute and incisive understanding of private international law and areas of potential consensus, her collaborative approach to negotiations, and “her ability to speak her mind fearlessly and yet in a way that is always respectful and kind.” These qualities make her “a formidable negotiator” and have “allowed her to serve Canada very well on numerous occasions as well as having a hugely positive influence on the development of international instruments.” 

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Left to right:  Valerie Oosterveld, Kathryn Sabo, CCIL President Gib van Ert

CCIL Awards Reception celebrated October 28, 2022 in Ottawa

photo credit: Sarah Bradley @

Past Recipients

Past Award Winners

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