Irwin Cotler, former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, to be honoured at human rights conference at U of S

SASKATOON – A former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada will deliver a keynote address to kick off Human Rights in the 21st Century: Honouring the Honourable Irwin Cotler, PC, a conference presented by the College of Law’s Ariel Sallows Chair in Human Rights, Paul Finkelman.

Thursday, Sept. 29

7:30-8:45 pm

Convocation Hall, Peter McKinnon Building

107 Administration Place

University of Saskatchewan


Cotler is the chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an emeritus professor of law at McGill University, former member of Parliament, former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, and an international human rights lawyer. 

A constitutional and comparative law scholar, Cotler intervened in landmark Charter of Rights cases in the areas of free speech, freedom of religion, minority rights, peace law and war crimes justice. As minister of justice and attorney general, Cotler initiated the first-ever comprehensive reform of the Supreme Court appointment process and helped make it the most gender-representative Supreme Court in the world; appointed the first-ever Aboriginal and visible minority justices to the Ontario Court of Appeal; initiated the first-ever law on human trafficking; crafted the Civil Marriage Act, the first-ever legislation to grant marriage equality to gays and lesbians; issued Canada’s first national justice initiative against racism and hate; has stopped more wrongful convictions in a single year than any prior minister, and made the pursuit of international justice a government priority.

The conference, which runs from Sept. 29 to Saturday, Oct. 1, will also feature the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, minister of sport and persons with disabilities. She will speak as part of a panel on the subject of disability at 3 pm on Friday, Sept. 30 in room 150 at the College of Law (15 Campus Drive). The full speaker lineup can be found

Members of the public can register at to attend this free event.




For more information, contact:

Sarah Trefiak

Communications Officer

College of Law
University of Saskatchewan


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