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Keynote Speakers | Conférencières d'honneur
Dr. Gillian Triggs
Gillian Triggs is UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. She was appointed on 9 August 2019. Triggs is a highly renowned expert in international law who has held a number of eminent appointments in service to human rights and the refugee cause, including most recently as the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Vice Chancellor’s Fellow and Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne. Triggs oversees UNHCR’s protection work for millions of refugees, internally displaced, stateless and other people of concern. An Australian national, she has previously held a number of leadership roles, including as President of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal, Chair of the UN Independent Expert Panel of Inquiry into Abuse of Office and Harassment in UNAIDS, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney and as Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London. Triggs has been closely associated with a number of not-for-profit organizations throughout her career, including most recently as Chair of Justice Connect, an organization that connects 10,000 lawyers to provide pro bono advice to asylum-seekers and others in need of legal support in Australia. She is also the author of many books and papers on public international law.
Dr. Sharon H. Venne
Dr. Sharon H. Venne (Notokwew Muskwa Manitokan) is a Cree woman. She has worked at the United Nations prior to the establishment of the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples in 1982. The background research to the many clauses on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is included in her book: Our Elders Understand Our Rights: Evolving international law regarding Indigenous Peoples. Sharon worked to secure a UN Study on Treaties from the first introduction of the resolution in 1983 until the report was finalised in 1999. She worked to ensure that the report reflected Indigenous laws and norms. She recently published “Manufactured Consent – how state governments manufacture consent and use it against Indigenous Nations at the domestic and international level” in a book edited by Dr. Irene Watson: Indigenous Peoples as subjects of international law.
Professor Irene Watson
Professor Irene Watson belongs to the Tanganekald, Meintangk Bunganditj First Nations peoples of the Coorong and the South-east of South Australia and is the Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy, the David Unaipon Chair, and Professor of Law at the University of South Australia. Over many years, Irene has worked with First Nation Peoples across Australia in advancing Aboriginal rights. As Professor of Law, her research focuses upon Indigenous Peoples in domestic and international law, and has published Aboriginal Peoples Colonialism and International Law https://www.routledge.com/Aboriginal-Peoples-Colonialism-and-International-Law-Raw-Law/Watson/p/book/9781138685963
Conference Speakers | Panélistes
Dr. Ayham Alomari
Dr. Ayham Alomari is the Head of Epidemic and Pandemic Support at the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) based in Ottawa, Canada. He leads a global technical health team working in epidemic / pandemic and health in emergencies internationally and in Canada including the readiness and response to COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Alomari joined CRC in 2016 as a senior health manager, global health unit, he led the technical health team in providing advisory and operational support in areas related to global health, community health, health in emergency, epidemic/pandemic and health in conflict setting.
Prior to this role, Dr. Alomari has acted in various capacities and roles with the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement since 1999 at global, regional and national levels; including his role as a Senior Health Officer, Community Health and Non-communicable diseases at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) based in Geneva between 2010-2016; Head of Programs and Senior Health Delegate at the American Red Cross (Indonesia delegation) between 2007-2010, different health positions at the IFRC (regional and national level in the Middle East and North Africa and the Asia Pacific regions) between 2005-2007, and before that with the Syrian Red Crescent as a staff and volunteer in disaster management, first aid and community health between 1999-2005.
Dr. Alomari holds a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Damascus University in Syria, and a Master of Science (MSc.) in Global Health from University of Manchester, UK. He has extensive range of professional trainings and experiences in management, public health, global health, guideline development, policy & strategy, coordination, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation in development, emergency, recovery and conflict settings.
Professor José Alvarez
José E. Alvarez is the Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law at New York University Law School. A former President of the American Society of International Law and co-editor in chief of the American Journal of International Law, Prof. Alvarez is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Institut de Droit International. His books include The Public International Law Regime Governing International Investment (2011), The Impact of International Organizations on International Law (2017), International Investment Law (2017), and The Boundaries of Investment Arbitration (2018). For a fuller biography, see http://its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=profile.overview&personid=30514.
Alexa Biscaro is a senior associate with Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. Her bilingual practice focuses on international law and arbitration, constitutional issues, and business ethics and anti-corruption, with an emphasis on legal research and written advocacy. She frequently provides advice on complex appellate matters and judicial reviews. Ms. Biscaro has appeared before the Ontario Provincial Court, Ontario Superior Court, Quebec Superior Court, Quebec Court of Appeal and the Federal Courts of Canada. She has also served as tribunal secretary for a commercial arbitration under the auspices of the ICC.
After completing law school, Ms. Biscaro clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Thomas Cromwell. In 2019, she obtained her Masters of International Law from the University of Cambridge. Ms. Biscaro volunteers as duty counsel for Pro Bono Law Ontario.
Charles-Emmanuel Côté est professeur titulaire à la Faculté de droit de l’Université Laval, à Québec, et membre de l’École supérieure d’études internationales (ESEI), où il enseigne le droit international public, le droit international économique et le droit constitutionnel. Il a été Vice-doyen aux études de premier cycle et à la formation continue et Secrétaire de la Faculté de droit de 2014 à 2018. Il est titulaire d’un doctorat en droit de l’Université McGill (Dean’s Honour List) et est avocat au Barreau du Québec. Il est aussi membre du Conseil d’administration du Conseil canadien de droit international (CCDI). Le professeur Côté a auparavant été conseiller en politiques institutionnelles et constitutionnelles au Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes (SAIC) du gouvernement du Québec, ainsi que chercheur au Centre de droit de la consommation de l’Université catholique de Louvain, en Belgique, œuvrant sur des projets d’assistance législative de la Commission européenne à destination des pays d’Europe centrale et orientale et de l’ex-URSS. Il est membre du Committee on the Rule of Law and International Investment Law de la International Law Association (ILA) et du Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Academic Forum de PluriCourts, à l’Université de Oslo. Il a été nommé sur la liste des personnes pouvant agir à titre de membre des groupes spéciaux de l’Accord de libre-échange canadien (ALEC), du chapitre 19 de l’Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (ALÉNA) et du chapitre 10 de l’Accord Canada – États-Unis – Mexique (ACÉUM). Son ouvrage sur la participation des personnes privées au règlement des différends internationaux économiques s’est mérité un prix de la Chambre de commerce internationale. Ses travaux de recherche actuels se concentrent sur le règlement des différends internationaux économiques, l’arbitrage investisseur/État et les aspects juridiques internationaux du fédéralisme.
L’Organisation mondiale de la santé
Geneviève Dufour est professeure titulaire à la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke et directrice du programme de maîtrise en droit, cheminement droit international et politique internationale appliqués. Elle est membre du Barreau du Québec depuis 2002. Elle est spécialiste de droit international économique et de droit international public. Ses recherches se concentrent sur les questions relevant du droit du libre-échange ainsi que des interactions entre le commerce international, le droit de l’environnement et les droits de la personne. Elle est présidente de la Société québécoise de droit international, membre du Conseil d’orientation du Réseau francophone de droit international, membre du comité de direction de la Revue québécoise de droit international, membre du conseil d’administration du Conseil canadien de droit international et membre du comité de rédaction de la Revue péruvienne de droit international. Elle est aussi membre du comité directeur et directrice scientifique de la simulation de l’Organisation de l’aviation civile internationale.
Matt Eisenbrandt has nearly two decades of experience in the fields of international justice and corporate accountability for human rights violations. Matt is a U.S.-trained lawyer who has spent more than ten years working in these areas in Canada. He is the Director of Transnational Investigations for Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP in Vancouver, with a focus on the firm’s cases against Canadian companies for alleged human rights abuses in their overseas operations, including the Nevsun case. Matt was previously the Legal Director for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, where he oversaw the organization’s casework on behalf of survivors seeking justice for torture, war crimes, and other atrocity crimes. He earlier served as the Legal Director for the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), a U.S.-based group that holds human rights abusers accountable through legal cases, particularly under the Alien Tort Statute. Among other cases, Matt was a member of the trial team in a lawsuit against a man from El Salvador for his role in the death-squad murder of beloved archbishop – and now Saint - Oscar Romero. The case about Romero is the subject of Matt’s award-winning book Assassination of a Saint. Matt has a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and B.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Joe Fiorante Q.C. is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He was called to the BC Bar in 1989 and is also a member of the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories bar. His practice is concentrated on complex tort cases including international aviation, product liability cases, and transnational torts. He is one of the lead lawyers on Araya v. Nevsun and also led the plaintiffs’ counsel team on Garcia v. Tahoe; two ground-breaking transnational tort cases litigated in British Columbia. He is also counsel for a group of Nepalese security guards who were killed and severely injured in a bomb attack while en route to their shift at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Joe is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and Litigation Counsel of America. He is the former Chair and continues to volunteer with Project Somos, a Vancouver based charity building an innovative, sustainable school for children in Guatemala. He was also one of the architects of the Right The Wrong Campaign, a pro bono social justice project described by the Globe and Mail, as “one of the most effective lobbying efforts in Canada history”. The campaign resulted in the federal government agreeing to a comprehensive support program for Canadian victims of the drug thalidomide.
Alison FitzGerald, Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Alison FitzGerald specializes in international arbitration and international trade and investment. She has extensive experience advising and representing clients in international and domestic arbitrations, both in commercial disputes and investor-state disputes, in a wide range of sectors including upstream oil and gas, construction, energy, aeronautics, chemicals, railway, software licensing and film distribution. Ms. FitzGerald also represents and advises clients in respect of arbitration-related court proceedings.
Ms. FitzGerald has appeared before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal in trade remedy and safeguard proceedings, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal in commercial matters, and the Federal Court of Canada in complex constitutional matters. In addition to her disputes experience, Ms. FitzGerald regularly advises clients on business risk pertaining to economic sanctions, bribery and corruption, and human rights in supply chain. She has also advised clients on complex matters of international law and corporate liability, as well as issues of state responsibility.
Ms. FitzGerald has been named three years in a row by Who’s Who Legal as a Future Leader in Arbitration. She was appointed by the Canadian government in 2018 to the NAFTA Chapter 19 roster, and is regularly called upon to write and speak on topics in international arbitration and international law. She is co-author of the Canada chapter on sovereign immunity in Getting the Deal Through 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Amanda Ghahremani is an international human rights lawyer, a Co-Investigator with the Canadian Partnership for International Justice, and a Research Associate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University. Her expertise includes international criminal law, corporate accountability, universal jurisdiction, and transitional justice, for which she was nominated as Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers three years in a row. Amanda is currently part of the counsel team representing Eritrean plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Nevsun Resources for its alleged use of forced labour and slavery at the Bisha gold mine. She is also leading a project on criminal accountability for Iranian atrocity crimes through universal jurisdiction prosecutions. Her recent work includes co-authoring the legal analysis on genocide for Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and successfully leading the international campaign to release Iranian-Canadian political prisoner Professor Homa Hoodfar from arbitrary detention in Iran. She was previously the Legal Director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice.
Dr. Sara Ghebremusse
Dr. Sara Ghebremusse is an Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law. She writes, researches, and teaches in the areas of African law and society, law and development, mining governance in the Global South, human rights, and transnational law. She has published in all these fields and has presented her research at conferences in Canada, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.
Nicole Hogg is the Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Department at the ICRC’s Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada, based in Washington, D.C. Prior to this position, she worked for seven years in the ICRC’s legal division in Geneva, firstly as Legal Adviser in the Arms Unit, then as Legal Adviser to Operations for Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Nicole joined the ICRC in 2003 as a field delegate, conducting missions in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and in Côte d’Ivoire. From 2006-2008 she held the position of regional legal adviser for the ICRC Regional Delegation for the Pacific, based in Sydney, Australia.
Prior to joining the ICRC Nicole worked as a commercial litigator in Melbourne and as a research solicitor at the Law Institute of Victoria. She has published on the topic of women as perpetrators in the Rwandan genocide. She holds a Law degree and an Arts degree (with a major in French) from the University of Melbourne and an LLM in international law from McGill University in Canada.
Anne-Marie La Rosa
L’Organisation internationale du travail
Avocate de formation, Anne-Marie possède une vaste expérience professionnelle avec dix ans de pratique privée en tant qu'avocate au Canada et plus de 25 ans de collaboration avec des organisations internationales dont: le BIT (1994 - 2005 et 2019-), le TPIY (1996) et, le CICR (2005-2018). Au CICR, Anne-Marie a été conseillère juridique et conseillère diplomatique principale, chargée des relations du CICR avec les organes des Nations Unies à Genève, et en particulier le Conseil des droits de l'homme. En 2018, la gouvernance du CICR lui a confié le mandat de conceptualiser et de proposer les axes autour desquels le projet quadriennal du CICR sur l'établissement de normes professionnelles sur les personnes disparues devrait évoluer. En 2019, Anne-Marie La Rosa a de nouveau rejoint le BIT pour agir en tant que manager opérationnel du programme mondial sur l'assurance et la protection contre les accidents du travail. Anne Marie La Rosa enseigne également le droit international pénal, le droit international social, la justice transitionnelle et le droit international humanitaire en Europe et à l'étranger et a récemment été nommée professeure associée à l'Université de Sherbrooke. En 2016, elle a été choisie par le gouvernement français pour faire partie de la mission d'étude de haut niveau sur la recherche et l'enseignement sur le génocide et les crimes de masse. Anne-Marie La Rosa a écrit de nombreux ouvrages et articles, dont un dictionnaire de droit international pénal et une monographie consacrée aux tribunaux pénaux internationaux, tous deux publiés par les Presses Universitaires de France. Elle a contribué aux nouveaux commentaires des Conventions de Genève.
François Larocque est avocat et professeur titulaire à la Faculté de droit de l’Université d’Ottawa, Section de common law (programme français). Il détient la Chaire de recherche Droits et enjeux linguistiques de l’Université d’Ottawa. Il a fait ses études en philosophie et en common law à l’Université d’Ottawa avant de compléter son doctorat à la University of Cambridge (Trinity College) au Royaume-Uni sous la direction conjointe des professeurs James Crawford et Philip Allott. Il a été auxiliaire juridique à la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario et à la Cour suprême du Canada pour la juge Louise Arbour. François Larocque est l’auteur de Civil Actions for Uncivilized Acts : The Adjudicative Jurisdiction of Common Law Courts in Transnational Human Rights Proceedings (Irwin Law, 2010). Maître Larocque est intervenu au nom d’Amnistie internationale et Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights à la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario et à la Cour suprême du Canada dans les affaires Bouzari, Club Resorts, et Kazemi.
L’Organisation mondiale du commerce
Gabrielle Marceau, Ph.D., est conseiller sénior à la Division de la Recherche (ERSD) du Secrétariat de l'OMC depuis le 1er mai 2020. En septembre 1994, Mme Marceau a rejoint le Secrétariat du GATT et, pendant plusieurs années, sa principale fonction a été de conseiller les membres des groupes spéciaux, responsables des différends de l'OMC, les membres du Bureau du Directeur général, le Secrétariat et les Membres de l'OMC sur les questions liées à l'OMC. De septembre 2005 à janvier 2010, Mme Marceau a été conseiller juridique au Cabinet de l'ancien directeur général de l'OMC Pascal Lamy, et de septembre 2016 à janvier 2017, elle a été directrice par intérim, responsable de la division des affaires juridiques. Gabrielle Marceau est également professeure agrégée à la Faculté de droit de l'Université de Genève; elle a été professeure invitée à l’Institut des Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (HEID) à Genève, à la Sorbonne à Paris, à l'Université Monash de Melbourne, au World Trade Institute de Berne et dans de nombreuses autres institutions. La Professeure Marceau est également impliquée dans plusieurs associations et des groupes faisant la promotion du droit international (économique). Elle a publié de nombreux articles sur le droit de l'OMC et le droit économique international. Avant de rejoindre le Secrétariat du GATT, Gabrielle Marceau, membre du Barreau Québec, a exercé en pratique privée au Québec, Canada, principalement en droit du travail, en assurance et en droit civil.
Prof. Petros Mavroidis
Petros C. Mavroidis joined the faculty in 2003. He served as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) legal affairs division from 1992 to 1995 and has been a legal adviser to the WTO since 1996. He was the chief co-rapporteur for the American Law Institute study “Principles of International Trade: The WTO” (2013).
Mavroidis has written 10 books and scores of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His book, The Regulation of International Trade, won the 2017 Certificate of Merit in International Law for a distinguished contribution to the field from the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. The two-volume tome is a meticulous exploration of WTO agreements regulating trade in goods. The third volume of the series dealing with Trade in Services will be published by MIT Press during summer 2020.
Among his many affiliations, Mavroidis is a member of the American Law Institute, American Arbitration Association, and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law.
Vanessa is a Legal Adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross, where she works on issues including women, gender and sexual violence in armed conflict. Her experience prior to the ICRC includes litigation on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the running of support services for survivors of domestic violence and human-trafficking, and work for organizations including DCAF, Human Rights Now and the International Criminal Law Media Review.
She holds an LLM in international humanitarian law from the Geneva Academy, a Graduate Diploma in Law in the UK, and a BA in Political Science from Yale University.
Usha Natarajan (PhD, MA, LLB, BA) is Edward Said Fellow at Columbia University, Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, and International Schulich Visiting Scholar at Dalhousie University. Her research is interdisciplinary, utilizing postcolonial and third world approaches to international law to provide an interrelated understanding of development, environment, migration and conflict. Natarajan’s research is recognized by global awards and grants in the fields of international environmental law, migration and refugee law, and postcolonialism. She is widely published and serves as editor on numerous international law journals. Natarajan was previously with the American University in Cairo where she served as a tenured associate professor of international law, and before that worked with international organizations in Asia and the Pacific including UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank.
Penelope Simons is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on business and human rights and in particular on: the human rights implications of domestic and transnational extractive sector activity; state responsibility for corporate complicity in human rights violations; the regulation of transnational corporations; gender and resource extraction; as well as the intersections between transnational corporate activity, human rights and international economic law. She is the co-author with Audrey Macklin of the University of Toronto of The Governance Gap: Extractive Industries, Human Rights, and the Home State Advantage (Routledge 2014). She also co-authored Integrating Sustainable Development into International Investment Agreements: A Guide for Developing Countries (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2013) with Tony VanDuzer and Graham Mayeda. Penelope is a member of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, the Interdisciplinary Research Group on the Territories of Extractivism (GRITE) and the Center for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, all at the University of Ottawa, as well as the SSHRC-funded Canadian Partnership for International Justice. In 2018, Penelope was awarded the Walter S. Tarnoplosky Award, recognizing her as “an individual who has made a significant contribution to human rights.”
John Siwiec is an Associate at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP with expertise in commercial disputes, including in the areas of international arbitration, commercial litigation, and intellectual property, and in the recognition and enforcement of international arbitration awards and foreign judgments. John has experience as counsel and arbitrator in institutional arbitrations, including under the ICC, LCIA, ICDR, and ADRIC, as well as ad hoc proceedings, and has appeared before all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Quebec Superior Court (Commercial Division). John has served as the President of Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP) and has been selected by Global Arbitration Review (GAR) for recognition in the Future Leaders section of Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration. John is a past recipient of the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL) Ronald St. John Macdonald Young Scholars Award.
Sujith Xavier, LL.B. (Essex), LL.M. (McGill), Ph.D. (Osgoode) & Barrister and Solicitor (Law Society of Ontario), is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. His research spans domestic and international legal theory, including Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), constitutions and administrations, global governance, international law, and transitional justice. Sujith is one of the co-editors of Decolonizing Law: Indigenous, Third World and Settler Perspectives (Routledge Press, 2021) & Third World Approaches to International Law: On Praxis and the Intellectual (London: Routledge, THIRDWORLDS Series, 2017). Sujith is a founding member of the Editorial Collective of Third World Approaches to International Law Review (TWAILR.com). He is currently researching and compiling data for his manuscript on transitional justice in post-colonial and settler colonial societies. Sujith has significant experience working with local grassroots non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka. He was a legal intern with Al-Haq in Ramallah, Palestine. While living in The Hague, he worked for Judge Agius in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Sujith’s notable cases include Canadian Arab Federation v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2013); Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v. Alexander Vavilov (2018) and he was an Amici Curiae before the Supreme Court of the United States in Department of Homeland Security, et al. (Petitioner) v. Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam (Respondent) (2020). He is currently representing two interveners in Canada (AG) v. Kattenburg (A-312-19, Federal Court of Appeal).
Krista Zeman is Counsel at the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, where she has represented Canada before several investor-State tribunals constituted under NAFTA Chapter Eleven, and at the WTO. Her litigation experience covers a range of sectors, including energy, pharmaceuticals, mining, and forestry, and treaty obligations, including under NAFTA Chapter Eleven, Canada’s bilateral investment treaties, and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
Krista also advises various federal government departments on Canada’s international trade and investment law obligations. She further provides both advisory and dispute services in the context of the longstanding softwood lumber dispute with the United States, and advises clients in free trade agreement negotiations, where she focuses on investment and services disciplines, including in investment, ISDS, cross-border trade in services, financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications, and state-owned enterprises.