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Encyclopedia > Irwin Cotler
Hon. Irwin Cotler
Incumbent
Riding Mount Royal
In office since 1999 by-election
Preceded by Sheila Finestone
Born May 8 1940 ( 1940-05-08) (age 67)
Montreal, Quebec
Political party

Liberal For the ecclesiastical office, see Incumbent (ecclesiastical). ... Mount Royal is the name of a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada. ... A by-election or bye-election is a special election held to fill a political office when the incumbent has died or resigned. ... Hon. ... is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Motto: Concordia Salus (well-being through harmony) Coordinates: , Country Province Region Montréal Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1][2][3]  - City 365. ... , Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Official languages French Government - Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duchesne - Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 75 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area  Ranked 2nd - Total 1,542,056 km² (595... The Liberal Party of Canada (French: ), colloquially known as the Grits (originally Clear Grits), is a Canadian federal political party. ...

Profession(s) Lawyer, professor of law
Religion Judaism
Spouse Ariela Cotler

Irwin Cotler, PC , MP , OC , BA , BCL , LL.D , Ph.D (born May 8, 1940) was Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the constituency of Mount Royal in a by-election in November 1999, winning over 91% of votes cast. He was sworn into Cabinet on December 12, 2003. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Privy Council Office as it appeared in the 1880s The Queens Privy Council for Canada (French: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada) is the council of advisers to the Queen of Canada, whose members are appointed by the Governor General of Canada for life on the... The initial seat distribution of the 39th Canadian Parliament Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of the 39th Parliament. ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country (Hebrews 11. ... A B.A. issued from the University of Tennessee. ... Bachelor of Civil Law or BCL is the name of various degrees in law in English-speaking countries. ... Doctor of Laws (Latin: Legum Doctor, LL.D) is a doctorate-level academic degree in law. ... Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Minister of Justice (French: Ministre de la Justice) of Canada is the minister in the Cabinet of Canada who is responsible for the Department of Justice and is also Attorney General of Canada. ... The Attorney General of Canada is the top prosecuting officer in Canada. ... The Liberal Party of Canada (French: ), colloquially known as the Grits (originally Clear Grits), is a Canadian federal political party. ... Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC, MP, BA, LLB, LLD (h. ... Rendition of party representation in the 39th Canadian parliament decided by this election. ... The House of Commons (French: Chambre des communes) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the Senate. ... Mount Royal is the name of a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada. ... A by-election or bye-election is a special election held to fill a political office when the incumbent has died or resigned. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The son of a lawyer, he was born in Montreal, Quebec, studied at McGill University there (receiving a BA in 1961 and a law degree three years later) and then continued his education at Yale University. For a short period, he worked with federal Minister of Justice John Turner. Nickname: Motto: Concordia Salus (well-being through harmony) Coordinates: , Country Province Region Montréal Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1][2][3]  - City 365. ... , Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Official languages French Government - Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duchesne - Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 75 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area  Ranked 2nd - Total 1,542,056 km² (595... McGill University is a publicly funded, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... “Yale” redirects here. ... John Napier Turner, PC, CC, QC, MA, BCL, LLD (born June 7, 1929) was the seventeenth Prime Minister of Canada from June 30, 1984 to September 17, 1984. ...


Cotler was a professor of law at McGill University and the director of its Human Rights Program from 1973 until his election as a Member of Parliament in 1999 for the Liberal Party of Canada. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Yale Law School and is the recipient of five honorary doctorates. He was appointed in 1992 as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a past president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... The Liberal Party of Canada (French: ), colloquially known as the Grits (originally Clear Grits), is a Canadian federal political party. ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country (Hebrews 11. ... The Canadian Jewish Congress is an umbrella group of Jewish organizations in Canada and constitutes the main lobby group for the Jewish community in the country though it often competes with Bnai Brith Canada in that regard. ...

Contents

Human rights activity

Cotler has served on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and its sub-Committee on Human Rights and International Development, as well as on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In 2000, he was appointed special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court.


He is considered an expert on international law and human rights law. As an international human rights lawyer, Cotler served as counsel to former prisoners of conscience Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Jacobo Timmerman in Latin America, Muchtar Pakpahan in Asia, as well as other well known political prisoners and dissidents. Cotler represented Natan Sharansky, who was imprisoned in the Soviet gulag for Jewish activism. After his release, Sharansky went on to become Israeli Deputy Prime Minister. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... For other people named Mandela, or other uses, see Mandela (disambiguation). ... Jacobo ben Nathan Timmerman (January 6, 1923 - November 11, 1999) was a publisher, journalist, and author. ... A political prisoner is anyone held in prison or otherwise detained, perhaps under house arrest, because their ideas or image either challenge or pose a real or potential threat to the state. ... A dissident is a person who actively opposes the established order. ... Natan Sharansky (Hebrew: נתן שרנסקי, Russian: Натан Борисович Щаранский; born January 20, 1948) is a notable former Soviet anticommunist, Zionist, Israeli politician and writer. ...


Saad Ibrahim, an Egyptian democracy activist imprisoned by the Egyptian government, was represented by Cotler and acquitted in 2003. He acted as counsel to Maher Arar during part of Arar's imprisonment and supported demands for a public inquiry. He has also defended both Palestinians and Israelis against their own governments, and participated in a minor role in the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Maher Arar (born 1970 in Syria) is a Canadian software engineer who was subjected to the United States policy of extraordinary rendition, a process where detainees are transferred from one country to another, with the expectation that they will be tortured in the country to which they are rendered. ... The Palestinian flag, adopted in 1948, is a widely recognized modern symbol of the Palestinian people. ... Celebrating the signing of the Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Al Sadat. ...


In 1986 he was chief counsel to the Canadian Jewish Congress at the Deschênes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals. The Deschênes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada, often referred to as the Deschênes Commission was established by the government of Canada in February 1985 to investigate claims that Canada had become a haven for Nazi war criminals. ... A war crime is a punishable offense, under international (criminal) law, for violations of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ...


National Security and the Law

One of the central challenges for Cotler during his time as Justice Minister was to address concerns about terrorism while guarding against arbitrary and unnecessary limits on rights. Part of his work in this regard, has included a review of Bill C-36, Canada's relatively recent Anti-Terrorism Act. The Anti-Terrorism Act has been criticized by some human rights groups and defense lawyers, as an unreasonable trade-off between security and freedom [1]. Cotler believed that the legislation did, in fact, strike a balance between rights and national security concerns, but understood that further consultation was necessary in reviewing the legislation. On February 21, 2005, Cotler spoke of the important work that Bill C-36 involved, and invited experts and other groups to continue dialogue to improve the legislation in the review process [2].


Cotler presided over other legislative changes concerning national security. This included proposed changes to privacy legislation known as “Lawful Access” to give police and intelligence officers the tools to conduct surveillance of electronic communications for law enforcement and national security purposes [3] [4].


Due to his position as Justice Minister, Cotler has received many appeals from various groups asking that so-called "secret" trials and detentions in Canada be abolished [5]. But these "appeals" and protests are often based on false or inaccurate information. For example, the security certificates are subject to judicial review and constitutional scrutiny by the Federal Court of Canada and the proceeding is not "secret". Rather, only evidence deemed to relate to national security is protected from disclosure.[[6]] Additionally, the Canadian federal court of appeal ruled, in December of 2004, that security certificates were fully consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[[7]] This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court heard the (related) appeals in June of 2006, has reserved its decision.[[8]] The Federal Court of Canada, more properly known as the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, is the court system set up by the Canadian national government to resolve disputes that arise under the national governments jurisdiction. ... The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. ...


Politics

Though he intended his foray into politics to be a brief departure from his academic career; this changed when Prime Minister Paul Martin called upon him to enter Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Regions Political culture Foreign relations Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Prime Minister of Canada (French: Premier ministre du Canada), is the Minister of the Crown who is head of the Government of Canada. ... Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC, MP, BA, LLB, LLD (h. ...


He recommended the appointment of numerous women and aboriginal judges, including of two women to the Supreme Court of Canada in August 2004: Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella, making the Supreme Court the most gender-equity high court in the world. The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. ... The Honourable Madam Justice Louise Charron, B.A., LL.B., LL.D. The Honourable Justice Louise Charron, BA , LL.B , LL.D (born March 2, 1951 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario) is a Canadian jurist. ... The Hon. ...


Cotler attempted to introduce several bills to decriminalize marijuana. [9][10]


On February 22, 2006, the Liberal Party appointed Cotler Critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the opposition shadow cabinet for the 39th Canadian Parliament. On 18 January 2007, Cotler was appointed Critic for Human Rights by newly elected leader Stephane Dion is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Liberal Party of Canada (French: ), colloquially known as the Grits (originally Clear Grits), is a Canadian federal political party. ... In the Cabinet of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (French: Ministre de la Sécurité publique et de la Protection civile) is responsible for overseeing the federal governments domestic security department, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. ... The outgoing Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet is listed below. ... The initial seat distribution of the 39th Canadian Parliament Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of the 39th Parliament. ... The Hon. ...


Views on anti-racism, genocide and anti-Semitism

Cotler is popular across Canadian cultural communities and beyond, having spent his career combatting racism and hate. As Minister of Justice, Cotler tabled Canada's first-ever National Justice Initiative Against Racism, in parallel with the government's National Action Plan Against Racism.


Cotler has equally struggled against genocide and impunity. His attempts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice have won praise as has been his founding of all-party Parliamentary groups to bring attention and action to end the genocide in Darfur. Cotler is at the forefront of a group of international jurists working to indict Iranian President Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the UN Charter and the Genocide Convention. Irwin Cotler separated six categories of anti-Semitism and found thirteen indices of discrimination against Jews that characterizes the "new anti-Jewishness". For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation). ... Impunity means exemption from punishment or loss.[1] In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims right to justice and redress. ... Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... New anti-Semitism is the concept of an international resurgence of attacks on Jewish symbols, as well as the acceptance of anti-Semitic beliefs and their expression in public discourse, coming simultaneously from three political directions: the radical left, Islamism, and the far-right. ...


External links

27th Ministry - Government of Paul Martin
Cabinet Posts (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice
(2003–2006)
Vic Toews
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Sheila Finestone
Member of Parliament for Mount Royal
1999-
Succeeded by
Incumbent

  Results from FactBites:
 
Irwin Cotler - definition of Irwin Cotler in Encyclopedia (698 words)
Irwin Cotler - definition of Irwin Cotler in Encyclopedia
Cotler: I always thought justice meant human rights.
Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler's Department of Justice Biography (http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/mag/)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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