A partnership of leading Canadian academics and non-governmental actors, led by Université Laval’s Fannie Lafontaine, was awarded $2.5 million for the next five years by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to strengthen justice for victims of international crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Comprised of a team of 22 academic researchers and NGO partners from 12 partner organizations, this Canadian partnership, with a strong international focus and network, will contribute to the effectiveness of the global effort to hold accountable those responsible of the most serious international crimes, while enhancing Canada’s role as a global leader in this field.
The partnership will work on developing an interdisciplinary research program that focuses on different and complementary routes that victims of international crimes can take in Canada, in other states and before international institutions, to seek criminal, civil, and administrative or other remedies. It will address issues such as sexual and gender-based violence, the place and role of victims in devising and implementing accountability mechanisms, strategic litigation in Canada and abroad, corporate liability, cooperation with international tribunals and between states in the fight against impunity, deportation of suspected war criminals, and access to refugee status, among other issues.
The Common Law Section of the University of Ottawa, which, along with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), is among the partner organizations, is happy to announce that several of its faculty members are among the project’s co-investigators and collaborators, including Jennifer Bond, François Larocque, Joao Velloso, John Packer, and Penelope Simons. David Petrasek of the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is also among the co-investigators from uOttawa.
Professor Bond, one of the project’s co-investigators, is a leader on the intersections between criminal law, refugee law and human rights law. She will draw upon her related work to examine the way international justice for victims and perpetrators is (or is not) achieved through and around the asylum system.
Professor Larocque, another co-investigator, will bring to bear his vast experience in the field of transnational human rights litigation, that is, civil actions in the domestic courts of one country in relation to grave human rights violations that occurred in another country.
The HRREC, under the direction of Professor Packer and in collaboration with Professor Velloso, will use its Human Rights Clinic infrastructure and considerable expertise to provide advanced clinical training to students from the Faculties of Law, Social Sciences and Arts. Meanwhile, collaborator Professor Simons will engage in research on access to justice for victims of grave human rights violations, including gender-based violence, associated with transnational corporate activity.
Congratulations to all professors involved in this project!