Former Canadian minister to speak at Law Society forum

Prof Irwin CotlerSingapore’s Law Society will have Professor Irwin Cotler speak at its Biennial Lecture entitled Pursuing Justice and Confronting Injustice: Lawyers Can Make a Difference.

In an inviatation sent out to members, the Law Society wants the event to “inspire lawyers to maintain the independence and integrity of the legal profession.”

Even more notably, the Lecture is touted to “promote the rule of law and pursue justice.”

Professor Irwin Cotler has a distinguished career. He was the Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney-General from December 2003 to January 2006 and, presently, a Member of the Canadian Parliament.

He is also an internationally renowned human rights lawyer, community leader, and peace activist.

Mr Cotler served as counsel to former prisoners of conscience, including Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Jacobo Timmerman in Latin America, and Muchtar Pakpahan in Asia.

He has led the struggle against impunity, racism and discrimination in many countries. He is at the forefront in helping to develop of international humanitarian law.

He has helped to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and advocated the establishment of an International Criminal Court.

The Lecture will be held on 6 Jul 07. Among the topics that Professor Cotler will speak on are:

1. the importance of the constitutionalisation of rights: lessons from the Canadian experience;

2. the independence of the judiciary: the integrity of the judicial appointments process;

3. terrorism and human rights: the dilemma of democracies;

4. the protection of the vulnerable: women, children, minorities and aboriginal peoples;

5. combating hatred, incitement and all forms of intolerance: lessons from the Canadian experience;

6. confronting international injustice and impunity: the responsibility to protect.

In its invitation, the Law Society says that the speaker will share with Singapore lawyers that they “can and do make a difference in people’s lives.”

Let us hope that our lawyers will benefit from this important lecture and begin to contribute to Singapore on confronting injustice on the human rights front

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