Irwin Cotler

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Professor Irwin Cotler "has taught constitutional law, international human rights law, law and poverty, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, discrimination and the law, civil liberties, and comparative and international protection of minorities' rights. His main research areas are freedom of expression and assaultive speech, equality law, peace and human rights, and comparative constitutional law. Professor Cotler was Chair of InterAmicus, the International Human Rights Advocacy Centre based at McGill Law Faculty; and Co-Chair of the Canadian Helsinki Watch Group. He has defended political prisoners in Peru, Tunisia, China (KunLun Zhang), Nigeria (Wole Soyinka), Indonesia, South Africa (Nelson Mandela) and Russia (Andrei Sakharov, Aleksandr Nikitin) and he has addressed major academic gatherings in Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem. He has argued before the Supreme Courts of both Canada and Israel and he has testified before parliamentary committees in Canada, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Israel and various Latin American countries. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Académie universelle des cultures, and was awarded the Justice Walter Tarnopolsky Memorial Medal, the Medal of the Bar of Montréal, and the Martin Luther King Jr Humanitarian Award. In 1999, Professor Cotler took a leave of absence from the Faculty of Law and was elected Member of Parliament for the federal constituency of Mount Royal. He was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in 2003. Professor Cotler’s work in genocide prevention and persecution of criminals has received international attention. He has worked tirelessly to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and convey the magnitude of the Darfur crisis to the public. Most recently he is working to indict Iranian President Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the UN Charter and the Genocide Convention." [1]

"An M.P. since 1999, he has made a distinctive mark as Chair of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (Canada); founder of the all-party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition; Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, the first ever all-party joint House-Senate human rights caucus; Executive Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; and Honourary Member of the Liberal Women’s Caucus. A leading public advocate in and out of Parliament for the Human Rights Agenda, he headed the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide." [2]

Cotler's wife is Israeli, and both his daughters moved to Israel and served in the IDF. One of them sought to voluntarily extend her army service by one year.[3]

Kuddos from Dershowitz

In his book Chutzpah Alan Dershowitz indicates that Cotler is his "mirror image" in Canada.


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

External Resources


  1. Irwin Cotler, The Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide, accessed December 17, 2007.
  2. Biography, Irwin Cotler, accessed March 11, 2009.
  3. Irwin Cotler addressed a panel organized by the Henry Jackson Society at the House of Commons, London, 30 June 2010. During teh Q&A he was asked about one of his daughters, and in his reply he volunteered the information about his family and relationship to Israel.
  4. Members, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, accessed March 11, 2009.
  5. Advisory Board, DLA Piper, accessed December 19, 2010.
  6. Experts, Cyber Dissidents, accessed February 9, 2011.
  7. About, Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, accessed March 10, 2011.
  8. Advancing Human Rights People, organizational web page, accessed June 16, 2012.