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.”