IHRP 30th Anniversary Cocktail Reception and Exhibit

Guest Speaker: Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Flavelle House, 78 Queen’s Park Cres.

Conference Centre



Tickets: $40

Students and Faculty: $20


Registration is now closed.

The theme of the evening is impact: Our program strives to equip students and recent graduates with the skills, the knowledge and the professional network to become effective human rights advocates. Our program also seeks to address human rights violations in Canada and abroad, by engaging in comprehensive research and advocacy that aims to reform law, policy, and practice.

The exhibition focuses on six core areas of IHRP work over three decades: refugee rights, the rights of women and girls, international criminal justice, counter-terrorism, freedom of expression and corporate accountability for human rights. 



IHRP: 30 Years of Impact


The IHRP is established by Professor Rebecca Cook, an international expert in women’s reproductive rights. The purpose of the program was to provide experiential learning opportunities for law students through summer internships at human rights organizations.   In its first year, the IHRP funded seven interns


The IHRP expands from summer internships and student volunteer working groups to include Canada’s first-ever international human rights clinic and a human rights speaker series.  In the clinic’s first year, students provide assistance to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and file submissions with the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism.


The Faculty creates an IHRP Advisory Board comprised of distinguished members of the bar, judiciary and academia, including Adrienne Clarkson, Louise Arbour, Bill Graham, Cecilia Medina, James Orbinsky, Bob Rae, and Ken Wiwa.


The IHRP successfully intervened in its first case before the Supreme Court of Canada: Regina v. Mugesera, prosecution of genocide under Canadian criminal law.


The IHRP launched Rights Review, a student-edited magazine.


The IHRP successfully intervenes before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Omar Khadr case.


The IHRP is counsel to 13 individuals whose rights were breached in an anti-Roma pogrom; the Romanian government eventually paid the families over 500,000 EUR in compensation.


The IHRP received a Lexpert Zenith Award for exception pro bono service through its legal clinic. 


The IHRP produces a plain-language user guide for affected communities considering filing a Request for Review with the Canadian government’s Corporate Social Responsibility Counselor for the Extractive Sector.
The IHRP releases a fact-finding  report with PEN on the Mexican government complicity in violating journalists’ right to freedom of expression. In subsequent years, the IHRP has partned with PEN to produce fact-finding reports on IndiaHonduras, and Guatemala.


The IHRP’s report, Cruel, Human and Degrading: Canada’s Treatment of Prisoners with Mental Health Issues, results in front-page coverage in local and national news outlets. Our report was also submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture, which found that Canada’s practices violated the Geneva Convention Against Torture.


The IHRP hosts international experts to discuss sexual violence in the Libyan and Syrian conflicts. Papers are published in the Journal of International Law and International Relations.


The IHRP appears again before the Supreme Court of Canada as an intervener (with MiningWatch Canada and the Canadian Centre for International Justice) in Yaiguaje et al. v Chevron Corporation et al.


The IHRP is awarded the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize for its groundbreaking work to end discrimination against women and sexual minorities.
The IHRP releases “We Have No Rights”: Arbitrary Detention and Cruel Treatment of Migrants with Mental Health Issues in Canada, revealing shocking gaps in the rule of law, due process, and accountability in Canada’s immigration detention regime.


The IHRP sends 15 post-graduate alumni fellows to 8 different UNHCR locations worldwide (Tanzania, Thailand, Honduras, Senegal, Indonesia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, & South Africa).


The IHRP releases on Parliament Hill two separate landmark reports on children  in immigration detention ("No Life for a Child”: A Roadmap to End Immigration Detention of Children and Family Separation; and Invisible Citizens: Canadian Children in Immigration Detention), which garnered international and national press coverage and resulted in significant policy changes.


The IHRP joins Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps. Along with university students from Berkeley, Essex and Pretoria, the IHRP’s sixth volunteer working group authenticates photographs and videos posted to social media that show what appear to be serious human rights abuses such as mass graves and use of indiscriminate weapons.
16 IHRP summer fellows work in Malawi, Israel, Thailand and other countries. Since 1987, nearly 400 students have participated in the program to work at international criminal tribunals, NGOs, and grassroots organizations throughout the world.


Speaker Bios 


Renu Mandhane is the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Prior to joining the Commission in October 2015, Renu was Executive Director of the IHRP.
She has an LL.M in international human rights law from New York University. Renu sits on the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch, and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations. She has also trained Canadian and foreign judges through the National Judicial Institute of Canada. Renu has worked at several domestic and international organizations to advance women's human rights, and has represented survivors of domestic and sexual violence and federally sentenced prisoners.







Edward M. Iacobucci, B.A. (Hons.) (Queen's) 1991; M.Phil. (Oxon.) 1993 (Rhodes Scholar, Ontario); LL.B. (Toronto) 1996, was appointed Dean  of the Faculty of Law and James M. Tory Professor of Law in 2015.  Prior to this appointment he was Osler Chair in Business Law and Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, and Associate Dean, Research.  He started at the Faculty of Law in 1998.  He was Visiting Professor at New York University Law School in 2007, Visiting Professor at University of Chicago Law School in 2003 and a John M. Olin Visiting Fellow at Columbia University Law School in 2002.  Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, he was the John M. Olin Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia in 1997-98 and served as Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada for Mr. Justice John Sopinka in 1996-97. He won a teaching prize at the Faculty of Law in 2000 and was a joint winner with his co-authors of the 2002-3 Doug Purvis Prize in Canadian Economics for The Law and Economics of Canadian Competition Policy.  His areas of interest include corporate law, competition law, and law and economics more generally.

Rebecca Cook, A.B. (Barnard), M.A. (Tufts), M.P.A. (Harvard), J.D. (Georgetown), LL.M. (Columbia), J.S.D. (Columbia), is a Professor Emerita and Co-Director of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme at the University of Toronto. She is a Professor in the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Medicine and the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. She is ethical and legal issues co-editor of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of Human Rights Quarterly and Reproductive Health Matters.  She is the recipient of the Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Health by the International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  She founded the International Human Rights Program in 1987.

Samer Muscati is the Director of the IHRP and Clinical Lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Before returning to U of T, Samer was the emergencies senior researcher in the women's rights division of Human Rights Watch, where he documented and monitored women’s rights abuses during human rights crises including situations of armed conflict, massive civilian displacement, and large-scale killings. A lawyer, documentary photographer, and former journalist, Samer has conducted numerous fact-finding missions on issues such as sexual violence and exploitation: in Somalia, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Libya, and Sudan. Samer received a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Carleton University, a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a graduate degree in international human rights law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.





The IHRP is grateful for the generous contributions to our event by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Goldblatt Partners LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP.  For more information on ways in which you can donate, please contact Kara Norrington at kara.norrington@utoronto.ca