Osgoode symposium honours former president of Supreme Court of Israel

Prominent judges, lawyers and scholars from Canada and Israel will explore the role of the judiciary in the 21st  century at a symposium on Sept. 26 and 27 in honour of Asher D. Grunis, former president (chief justice) of the Supreme Court of Israel.

Asher D. Grunis

Hosted by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Centre for Public Policy and Law at York University, “Institutions, Constitutions: The Judiciary’s Role in the 21st Century” will examine comparative constitutional ideas and the role of the courts in advancing constitutional values in Canada and Israel.

The symposium will also recognize the many contributions of Grunis, a 1977 Osgoode DJur graduate who has had a distinguished career as a law professor, practising lawyer and judge. He served as president of the Supreme Court of Israel from February 2012 until January 2015 when he reached mandatory retirement age.

“We are delighted to welcome back an Osgoode alumnus who, as the 10th president of the Israeli Supreme Court, served to safeguard the democratic values of Israel,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin. “This symposium honours Dr. Grunis for his unwavering commitment to law and justice and a lifetime of service to society.”

Among the notables participating in the symposium are: Aharon Barak, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court; Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada; Chief Justice George Strathy of the Ontario Court of Appeal; and Irwin Cotler, former minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. In addition, academics from about a dozen universities in Canada and Israel will take part in the event.

The symposium, which takes place at Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 26th floor, 1 Dundas St. W., Toronto, will begin on Monday, Sept. 26, at 2:15pm with welcoming remarks, followed by panel discussions on “Efficiency and Justice” and the “Institutional Role in Protecting Human Rights.”

A cocktail reception will follow at 6:15pm, during which Cotler will deliver a keynote address in honour of Grunis.

The second day will feature sessions on the “Institutional Role in Appointing Judges,” “Multiculturalism and Minority’s Rights” and “The Judicial Role.”

For a detailed agenda, please visit ycppl.info.yorku.ca/events. Please note that the registration fee is waived for members of the media.