CCIJ’s Board of Directors and staff are supported by experts from a variety of related fields who comprise the Advisory Committee.
A lawyer in private practice specializing in civil litigation, Ms. Anani is an active member of Amnesty International’s Toronto chapter, including on the Amnesty International Women’s Action Network and Amnesty’s Women’s Human Rights Steering Committee. She has worked with the Disabled Women’s Network in Toronto and is active in the Armenian community, including in pursuing recognition of the Armenian genocide. Ms. Anani is frequently asked to speak about international human rights, refugee issues, and the rights of people with disabilities.
Mr. Arnold is a partner and senior civil litigator with the law firm of Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP and has litigated in all levels of court including in the Supreme Court of Canada. He is the co-chair and Senior Legal Advisor of the International Coalition against Torture and vice-chair of the Civil Litigation Section of the Canadian Bar Association of Ontario. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Arnold was a college teacher in Montreal, Charlottetown, and Halifax. He was the first Executive Director for the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission, and once worked for CBC radio in Charlottetown as a freelance broadcaster and storyteller.
Mr. Burns was a Professor of law at the University of British Columbia where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Law. He has served on the B.C. Law Reform Commission (1985-92) and the B.C. Forest Resources Commission (1990-91), and was a board member of the B.C. International Commercial Arbitration Centre from 1986 to 1996. Mr. Burns was appointed Chair of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in 1993, is a former President of the Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, and has been a member of the UN Committee against Torture since 1987.
Currently a consultant for the International Center for Transitional Justice and the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Mr. Côté was the Chief of Prosecutions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2003 to 2005. He had previously served as Legal Counsel for the War Crimes Unit of the Canadian Ministry of Justice and as Senior Legal Officer for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2006, Mr. Côté worked as Executive Director of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste set by the UN.
Ms. Dench is the Executive Director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, where she has worked since 1990 (as Executive Director since 1997). Through this organization and other organizations, she works for policies and programs that respect refugee rights and welcome refugees and immigrants to Canada. Her main interests lie in international and Canadian refugee and immigration policy with an emphasis on international human rights, gender sensitivity and anti-racism, and in NGO networking and advocacy. Ms. Dench has a BA from the University of Oxford and an MA from Concordia University.
Ms. Ferstman joined REDRESS in 2001 as Legal Director and became the organization’s Director in September 2005. She served as the informal coordinator of the NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court’s Victims’ Rights Working Group. Ms. Ferstman was the associate member of the Council of the International Criminal Bar and a member of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Expert Panel on Torture. She has worked on legal reform and capacity building in post-genocide Rwanda with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Rwanda and in 1999, was appointed Executive Legal Advisor of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees.
Dr. François Larocque
Dr. Larocque is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa in the National Program, for which he also serves as Director. He clerked at both the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, and has been the beneficiary of several scholarships and fellowships. Dr. Larocque has been helping CCIJ staff advocate for improvements to Canada’s State Immunity Act given his expertise in the jurisdiction of national courts in civil proceedings for serious violations of international law. He also assists CCIJ as pro bono counsel. Dr. Larocque holds a Ph.D, LL.B and B.A.
Dr. Pacifique Manirakiza
Currently serving as a commissioner on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Dr. Manirakiza teaches international law in the Common Law Program (French) at the University of Ottawa, specializing in international criminal law. Previously, he taught law at the University of Burundi and at Hope University in Kenya. He served as a member of a defence team before the UN ad hoc tribunal for Rwanda and was Deputy Prosecutor in Burundi. A member of the CCIJ’s Ottawa Working Group since its inception, Dr. Manirakiza has served as a CCIJ spokesperson and assisted in presentations and meetings related to Canada’s position on matters of international criminal law. He holds a PhD, LL.M and L.L degree.
Dr. Valerie Oosterveld
Valerie Oosterveld is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario where she teaches international criminal law, public international law, and international organizations. Prior to joining Western Law in 2005, Ms. Oosterveld served in the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs where she advised on international criminal law and international criminal tribunals. That role led to her involvement in the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Ms. Oosterveld was part of Canadian delegations to the 1998 United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an ICC, the subsequent Preparatory Commission for the ICC, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, and the 2010 Review Conference of the Rome Statute. Ms. Oosterveld has published extensively on gender issues within international criminal justice processes. She received a J.S.D. and LL.M. at Columbia Law School, LL.B. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and B.Soc.Sc. from the University of Ottawa.
Mr. Rico-Martinez is the founder and co-director of the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) Refugee Project which provides a range of support services for refugees and newly arrived refugee claimants in Toronto as well as temporary shelter for women and children. He is a past president of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a national umbrella organization of more than 170 organizations working on refugee advocacy. In recognition of his work for refugees, Mr. Rico-Martinez received the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award of the City of Toronto and the YMCA Peace Medallion.
Dr. Joan Simalchik
Dr. Simalchik is a professor and coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies program at the University of Toronto. She was the founding executive director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and a former Canadian member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Survivors. Dr. Simalchik served as chair of the policy Committee of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and was a long-term board member of the Gerstein Centre, a Toronto crisis centre for adults with psychiatric problems.
Beth Van Schaack
A graduate of Yale Law School and Stanford, Ms. Van Schaack clerked at the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and was trial counsel for torture survivors in a historic human rights lawsuit against two Salvadoran generals which resulted in a $54.6 million verdict. She joined the Santa Clara Law faculty from private practice with Morrison & Forester LLP and teaches international law. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Van Schaack was involved in human rights litigation as the Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Accountability. She served on the United States delegation to the 2010 International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
Currently the Manager of Media and Communications for the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Ms. Vincent began her career as a radio journalist in Canada, the US, and Mexico, including as host of an afternoon radio program in Mexico City. She left journalism to be the head of communications for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, based in Montreal. Over the last 16 years, Ms. Vincent has helped NGOs and others communicate their messages more effectively through media. She has worked as a senior communications advisor, speechwriter, and media strategist for not-for-profit groups and governments on international and social justice issues, environment, and health.