The Canadian Council on International Law bestows from time to time a gold medal to commemorate the life and work of John E. Read, who was a distinguished member of the International Court of Justice. The awards are granted to Canadians who have made a distinguished contribution to international law and organizations and to non-Canadians who have made an outstanding contribution to international law and organizations in the fields of special interest to Canada.
Valerie Hughes is the Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), based in Geneva. She and her team assist dispute settlement panels in deciding international trade disputes between WTO Members. They also provide legal advice to the Director-General of the WTO and to WTO divisions, as well as to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body and WTO Members. From 2001 to 2005, Valerie served as Director of the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO. She also spent 22 years with the Government of Canada, during which time she held various positions, including Assistant Deputy Minister, Law Branch in the Department of Finance, General Counsel of the Trade Law Division in Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Senior Counsel in the International Law Division of the Department of Justice. Valerie also worked in two major Canadian law firms. Valerie has served as counsel before international courts and tribunals on trade law and law of the sea matters and has published widely on the subject of international dispute settlement.