Canada’s vision for the future of international law

What do the prosecution of Saddam Hussein, the US ballistic missile defence program, Sharia law, international climate policy, human rights, and the future of NAFTA all have in common? They’ll all be up for discussion at the 12th Annual Canadian International Law Students’ Conference held in Toronto, Feb. 25-26.

This two-day event, presented by the international law societies of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto law school, promises to engage students, scholars, policy-makers, lawyers and activists alike in discussions on some of the most timely and controversial issues of public and private international law.

Speakers include the former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Paul Heinbecker, who proposed the so-called “Canadian compromise” prior to the invasion of Iraq; Alex Neve,  secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada; Lawrence Herman, a leading Canadian international trade lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; Clarence Dias, president of the International Centre for Law in Development in New York City; Marion Boyd, former Ontario attorney-general and co-author of the recent Arbitration Act report; David Orchard, best-selling author and two-time contender for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party; and many other distinguished experts in international law.

In its nine different panels and three keynote addresses, the conference will focus on Canada’s challenges, opportunities and vision for international law in the 21st Century. Filmmaker Sikanya Pillay will also present her short documentary, Robbing Pedro to Pay Paul?, which explores the impact of NAFTA and US agricultural subsidies on indigenous Mexican corn farmers.

In light of the rapidly changing global socio-economic climate, the CILS Conference has grown to become a major event which pushes the boundaries of discussion on many of the important issues of international law and helps influence the direction of international law in Canada.

For further information on the CILS Conference and to register, please visit or contact Jordan Zed, co-president, Osgoode International Law Society, Osgoode Hall Law School, at or 416-599-3003.