The Honourable Louise Arbour, C.C., G.O.C. is the 29th recipient of this Medal. In 1996, Mme. Arbour was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Her tireless efforts brought convictions against 60 people charged with participating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She also brought charges against Slobodan Milosevic, becoming the first UN prosecutor to indict a serving head of state for war crimes.
Mme. Arbour was a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2004, before her appointment as the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004 to 2008). She subsequently served as President & CEO of the International Crisis Group until 2014. In addition to involvement in the International Commission Against the Death Penalty and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, she is currently a jurist in residence with Borden Ladner Gervais, providing strategic advice to lawyers of the International Trade and Arbitration Group and mentoring to younger lawyers.
Kathryn White, President and CEO of UNA-Canada, noted that “the jury especially commended her actions of personal courage beyond her professional remit: that through her professional life she has shown leadership and resolve when confronted with despicable perpetrators and their protectors. Her leadership is a model – professional and personal – for young men and women aspiring to making peaceful change in the world through the enforcement of law and justice for all.”
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