Louise Arbour

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Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011.jpg
Louise Arbour at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in 2011
UN Special Representative for International Migration
Assumed office
9 March 2017
Appointed by António Guterres
Preceded by Peter Sutherland
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
In office
July 1, 2004 August 31, 2008
Nominated by Kofi Annan
Preceded by Sérgio Vieira de Mello
Bertrand Ramcharan
(acting High Commissioner)
Succeeded by Navi Pillay
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
September 15, 1999 June 30, 2004
Nominated by Jean Chrétien
Preceded by Peter Cory
Succeeded by Rosalie Abella/Louise Charron
Personal details
Born (1947-02-10) February 10, 1947 (age 72)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Spouse(s)Larry Taman (common-law, estranged circa 1998) [1] [2] [3] [4]

Louise Arbour, CC GOQ (born February 10, 1947) is a Canadian lawyer, prosecutor and jurist. She is currently the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration. [5]

Order of Canada order

The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.

The National Order of Quebec, termed officially in French as l'Ordre national du Québec, and in English abbreviation as the Order of Quebec, is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of Quebec. Instituted in 1984 when Lieutenant Governor Jean-Pierre Côté granted Royal Assent to the Loi sur l'Ordre national du Québec, the order is administered by the Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Quebec residents for conspicuous achievements in any field, being thus described as the highest honour in Quebec.


Arbour was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. From 2009 until 2014, she served as President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. [6] She made history with the indictment of a sitting head of state, Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević, as well as the first prosecution of sexual assault as the articles of crimes against humanity.

Supreme Court of Canada highest court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada, the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts. Its decisions are the ultimate expression and application of Canadian law and binding upon all lower courts of Canada, except to the extent that they are overridden or otherwise made ineffective by an Act of Parliament or the Act of a provincial legislative assembly pursuant to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is an appellate court in Ontario that is based at historic Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda International court established by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.

Early life and education

Arbour was born in Montreal, Quebec to Bernard and Rose (née Ravary) Arbour, the owners of a hotel chain. She attended convent school, during which time her parents divorced. As editor of the school magazine, she earned a reputation for irreverence.[ citation needed ]

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

In 1967, she graduated from Collège Regina Assumpta, and proceeded to the Université de Montréal where she completed an LL.B. with distinction in 1970. She became the Law Clerk for Justice Louis-Philippe Pigeon of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1971–72 while completing graduate studies at the Faculty of Law (Civil Section) of the University of Ottawa. This is where she met her long time common-law partner Larry Taman, with whom she lived for 27 years. [2] [3] [4] [7] In a 2014 interview, Arbour named the move from Quebec to Ontario as the "biggest hurdle [she] had to overcome to succeed in [her] career," as her entire education had been in French. [8]

Collège Regina Assumpta

Collège Regina Assumpta is a private, selective French-language school located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, that was established in 1955 by the Sisters of Notre-Dame Congregation. The principal is Mister Sarkis. The financing principal is Marie-Andrée Delorme, the principal of pedagogical services is Marie-France Coutu and the principal of the Culture and Sports Centre and principal of equipment is Christophe Bancilhon and after the school activities director is Stéphan Arbour. Although it used to be a school for Catholic girls, it is now open to children of both genders and of any religion.

Université de Montréal university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Université de Montréal is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university's main campus is located on the northern slope of Mount Royal in the Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges boroughs. The institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes.

Louis-Philippe Pigeon, was a Canadian lawyer, academic, and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

She was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1971 and to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1977.

Personal life

She has three adult children: Emilie, Patrick and Catherine.[ citation needed ] Her daughter Emilie Taman was an NDP candidate in the 2015 Canadian election in the electoral district of Ottawa—Vanier. She also has three grandchildren. [8] Her long time common law partner, Larry Taman, who was once Deputy Attorney General of Ontario, working with Attorney General Ian Scott. [1] [3] [4]

Ottawa—Vanier Federal electoral district

Ottawa—Vanier is a federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1935. Previous to that date, it was part of the Ottawa electoral district that returned two members.

Ian Gilmour Scott, was a Canadian politician and lawyer in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 to 1992 who represented the downtown Toronto ridings of St. David and St. George—St. David. He was a cabinet minister in the government of David Peterson serving as Attorney General of Ontario and Solicitor General. Along with Robert Nixon and Sean Conway he was considered to be "the intellectual heart and soul" of the Peterson cabinet.


From 1972–73, Arbour was research officer for the Law Reform Commission of Canada. She then taught at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, first as a Lecturer (1974), then as Assistant Professor (1975), Associate Professor (1977-87), and finally as Associate Professor and Associate Dean (1987). She was Vice-President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association until her appointment to the Supreme Court of Ontario (High Court of Justice) in 1987 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1990. In 1995, Arbour was appointed as President of a Commission of Inquiry, under the Inquiries Act, for the purpose of investigating and reporting on events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario, following allegations by prisoners of abuse. [9]

The Hague

In 1996, at Richard Goldstone's recommendation, Arbour was appointed as his replacement as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. She indicted then-Serbian President Slobodan Milošević for war crimes, the first time a serving head of State was called to account before an international court. [10] Other indictees were Milan Milutinović, President of the Republic of Serbia, Nikola Šainović, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Vlajko Stojiljković, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. [11] [12]

Supreme Court of Canada

In 1999, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Arbour to the Supreme Court of Canada (oc1999-0941) the 26th of May, just one day before the publication of the indictment of Milosevic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). [13]

Works and awards

She has been published in the area of criminal procedure and criminal law, in both French and English. At various times, she has served as an editor for the Criminal Reports, the Canadian Rights Reporter, and the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. [14]

Arbour has been awarded honorary doctorates by twenty-seven universities. In 2005, Arbour was awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, along with Justice Richard Goldstone, in recognition of her work on the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. [15] She was the subject of a 2005 fact-based Canadian-German made-for-television movie, Hunt For Justice which follows her quest to indict Bosnian Serb war criminals. Arbour was played by Canadian actress Wendy Crewson.[ citation needed ]

She was made a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2007 "for her contributions to the Canadian justice system and for her dedication to the advancement of human rights throughout the world". [16] She was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2009. [17]

She was made a Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2011. [18] She has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, including Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of Western Ontario in June 2000, [19] Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University in May 2001, [20] and Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of British Columbia in November 2001, [21] the University of Waterloo in October 2006, [22] in June 2009 from the University of Alberta [23] and University of Guelph, [24] and from Simon Fraser University in October 2009. [25]

On January 24, 2008, Arbour welcomed [26] the entry into force of the 2004 version of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which has been criticized for containing the following:

Article 2(3) All forms of racism, Zionism and foreign occupation and domination constitute an impediment to human dignity and a major barrier to the exercise of the fundamental rights of peoples; all such practices must be condemned and efforts must be deployed for their elimination. [27]

Following criticisms about this statement, [28] [29] Arbour reportedly distanced herself from some aspects of the charter.[ clarification needed ] [30] The Arab Charter remains listed in the Office of the High Commissioner's website, among many texts adopted by international groups aimed at promoting and consolidating democracy. [31]

In September 2008, Arbour gave a lecture, "Integrating Security, Development and Human Rights", at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series. [32]

In 2013, Arbour courted controversy by questioning the international community's policy toolkit. [33]

On 9 March 2017, Madam Arbour was appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, to be his Special Representative for International Migration. [34] She will lead the follow-up to the migration-related aspects of the 19 September 2016 High-level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, with an aim to complete negotiations on a Global Compact on migration-related matters in the fall of 2018. In this pact she does neither address the causal issue of overpopulation[ citation needed ] nor the responsibilities of the member states in this matter. [35]

Honours and awards

See also


  1. 1 2 "The UN's 'illegal' High Commissioner for Human Rights". canadafreepress.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Louise Arbour Biography - life, children, parents, school, mother, young, information, born, college, time - Newsmakers Cumulation". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 "The Globe and Mail". Fact.on.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 "News Story: Arbour takes on job of a lifetime - June 11, 1999". Fact.on.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  5. "Secretary-General Appoints Louise Arbour of Canada Special Representative for International Migration | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Un.org. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  6. "International Crisis Group - President". International Crisis Group. July 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02.
  7. "Louise Arbour - Canadian attorney and judge". Britannica.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  8. 1 2 "Louise Arbour, noted legal mind, shares insights and advice as she joins her first law firm". Theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  9. "Commission of Inquiry into certain events at the Prison for Women in Kingston" (PDF). Caefs.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  10. "Indictments | International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia". Icty.org. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  11. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: CASE No. IT-99-37, un.org; accessed April 29, 2015.
  12. "Home - International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia". Un.org. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2007-10-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. "SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS LOUISE ARBOUR OF CANADA HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Un.org. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  15. Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights website; accessed April 29, 2015.
  16. "Governor General Announces New Appointments to the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. December 28, 2007. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008.
  17. "National Order of Quebec citation" (in French). Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  18. "AWARDS TO CANADIANS". Canada Gazette.
  19. "Supreme Court Justice, Noted Social Activist Among Honorary Degree Recipients". Communications.uwo.ca\accessdate=19 November 2017.
  20. "Honorary Degree Recipient Announcement". May 1, 2001. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009.
  21. "UBC Honorary Degree Recipients - Alphabetical List". Library.ubc.ca. November 22, 2001.
  22. "UN's human rights commissioner to receive honorary degree". Newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca. September 25, 2006.
  23. "Humanitarians, philanthropists, leaders celebrated at U of A spring convocation". Expressnews.ualberta.ca. April 8, 2009. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011.
  24. "Eight to Receive Honorary Degrees". Uoguelph.ca. June 1, 2009.
  25. "SFU 2009 Honorary Degree Recipients". Sfu.ca. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  26. Arab Charter on Human Rights enters into force, Publication Date 25/1/2008 www.mynews.in Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine
  27. League of Arab States, Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights, May 22, 2004, reprinted in 12 Int'l Hum. Rts. Rep. 893 (2005), entered into force March 15, 2008, available online here
  28. "The UN enables hatemongers" Archived 2012-11-03 at the Wayback Machine , The Ottawa Citizen, February 1, 2008.
  29. UN Rights Chief Must Clarify Endorsement of Arab Charter with Anti-Semitic Provisions Archived 2013-07-08 at the Wayback Machine , unwatch.org; accessed April 29, 2015.
  30. STATEMENT BY UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE ARAB CHARTER ON HUMAN RIGHTS (Geneva, Switzerland), unhchr.ch, January 30, 2008; accessed April 29, 2015.
  31. The Arab Charter, 2.ohchr.org; accessed April 29, 2015.
  32. Arbour, Louise, "Integrating Security, Development and Human Rights" (2008). Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series. Book 17. http://digital.sandiego.edu/lecture_series/17
  33. "Doctrines Derailed?: Internationalism's Uncertain Future - International Crisis Group". Old.crisisgroup.org. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  34. "United Nations Population Division - Department of Economic and Social Affairs". Un.org. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  35. "Special Representative for International Migration". Refugeesmigrants.un.org. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  36. "Louise Arbour, Laureate of the 2011 Special Jury Prize". Fondationchirac.eu. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  37. "Video: Louise Arbour, 2011 Laureate of the Special Jury Prize". Fondationchirac.eu. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  38. "Awards to Canadians". Canada Gazette.
  39. https://mosaicinstitute.ca/mosaic-honours-louise-arbour-at-inaugural-peace-patron-dinner/
  40. Graphics, 很好設計, Weichunglee. "Tang Prize - Laureates". Tang-prize.org. Retrieved 19 November 2017.

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