Join the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) and Amnistie internationale Canada francophone for an intimate evening with renowned professionals in the field of human rights. This informative event will begin with a moderated panel discussion with Prof. Homa Hoodfar, Dennis Edney, and David Grossman as they address issues related to Canadian diplomacy and international human rights. CCIJ’s Legal Director, Amanda Ghahremani, will moderate the panel. An interactive audience question and answer session will follow, and the evening will conclude with a private cocktail reception, where attendees will have ample opportunity to converse one-on-one with our distinguished panelists. Finally, a selection of paintings by two local artists will also be auctioned during the reception.

Tuesday, October 24 2017, 6:30-9:30pm
Centre for Sustainable Development, Clark Hall
50, Ste-Catherine Street West, Montreal

For lawyers interested in attending the event, this training activity has been approved by the Barreau du Québec for one (1) hour of continuing professional development.


Purchase your tickets here.

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The panel:

Professor Homa Hoodfar

Professor Homa Hoodfar is a sociocultural anthropologist and professor emerita of anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. While she is most widely known for her work on Western perceptions of the veil or hijab in its varied forms, meanings, and historical uses, her expertise is in the intersection of political economy, gender and development in Muslim contexts and the implications of micro-macro linkages between social policies and women’s lived realities. She has researched women’s empowerment strategies in family law, citizenship, displacement, and economic penury, focusing on Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan & Canada’s Muslim communities. She holds a B.A. in Economics (University of Tehran), an interdisciplinary M.A. in Development Studies (University of Manchester) and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology (University of Kent).

In June 2016, Professor Hoodfar was arrested in Iran after nearly three months of interrogations by the Iranian intelligence service. After a successful campaign led by her lawyer Amanda Ghahremani, and with the assistance of the Canadian and Omani governments, she was finally freed and able to return to Montreal after 112 days in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison.

Dennis Edney

Edney is a lawyer who practices criminal, constitutional and human rights law, and has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the United States Supreme Court.

The recipient of a number of awards and distinctions, Edney holds the National Pro Bono Award (2008) for his commitment to the Omar Khadr case, and the fight for access to justice and human rights. In 2009, the lieutenant governor of British Columbia awarded Edney with a human rights medal for fighting to uphold the Rule of Law without personal gain.

In 2011, Edney was appointed bencher at the Law Society of Alberta. He also received the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. Edney was awarded the prestigious Gerald L. Gall award by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human rights (2013), the Winnipeg Citizens Award for his contribution to human rights and justice (2014) and the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club of Canada (2014). He was named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers by Canadian Lawyer (2015), and received the Friend of the Muslim Community Award (2016).

David Grossman

David Grossman joined IMK in 2012. He had previously served as a law clerk to the Honourable Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada, and as special assistant to the Honourable Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

David represents clients in a diverse group of practice areas, with a focus on contractual claims and civil liability. He has particular experience in jurisdictional matters and in defending and seeking injunctions. Further, he has a strong interest in human rights and civil liberties, pleading before all levels of courts for organizations such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Centre for International Justice. He is a director of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, has co-authored numerous op-eds and has been quoted in the media on human rights issues.

Moderated by:

Amanda Ghahremani, CCIJ’s Legal Director and Acting Managing Director

Amanda is a lawyer and also the Director of the Kirsch Institute, CCIJ’s educational division. She was formerly CCIJ’s Managing Director and currently remains as the acting Managing Director. In 2016, Amanda successfully spearheaded the international campaign #FREEHOMA to release the Canadian-Iranian political prisoner, Professor Homa Hoodfar, from Evin prison in Iran. That same year, she also founded Women’s Charters and Declarations, an online database of women’s legal advocacy tools from across the world. She co-founded Inter Gentes: the McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism, and sat as the Multimedia Chair from 2014-2016. She was also the Director of the Innocence McGill legal clinic, where she worked alongside a dedicated team of volunteers on wrongful conviction files.  Amanda has previously worked at large and medium-sized law firms, with international human rights organisations, and has volunteered and worked pro bono with many community organisations. She has also served as an editor for several Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) publications. 

Amanda earned her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA in European Studies, where she focused on minority cultures. She completed her Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, subsequently publishing her master’s research on refugee discourse in Australia. She obtained a double law degree in common law and civil law from McGill University.

The artists:

Emma Haraké was born in Lebanon, and now lives and works in Montréal. She holds a Bachelor of fine art from the Lebanese University and is currently pursuing her graduate studies at Concordia University. Emma has exhibited extensively in prominent galleries and museums in Lebanon and the Middle East. Since 2015, she participated in many collective exhibitions in Montreal. Learn more at

Aquil Virani is a visual artist who often uses simple public participation to create socially-conscious artwork. His Canada’s Self Portrait project won an Applied Arts award after being exhibited at the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax. His latest solo exhibit, “Here is a gift,” featured portraits of two chiefs of the First Nations in the Whitehorse area of the Yukon that were gifted to their respective communities. Last month, he won a grant from the Michaelle Jean Foundation to create a documentary film about an anti-islamophobia poster project that premiered at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Learn more at