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The Secretary-General, following consultations with the Chairmen of the five regional groups of Member States, today informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Justice Louise Arbour of Canada as the new United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights.
The General Assembly is expected to consider and approve the nomination in the near future.  Once her nomination is approved by the Assembly, Justice Arbour is expected to retire from the Supreme Court of Canada in late June 2004 to take up her new assignment in Geneva.
Since 1999 Louise Arbour has served on the Supreme Court of Canada.  In 1996 she had been appointed by the Security Council as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, based in The Hague.
Admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1971 and the Bar of Ontario in 1977, she served for 13 years as Associate Professor of Law and later Associate Dean at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University (criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, droit civil) and became a member of the bench in December 1987, first as a trial judge on the Supreme Court of Ontario and, in 1990, at the Ontario Court of Appeal.
In April 1995, she was chosen to lead an official investigation into the operation of the correctional service of Canada, based on allegations by female inmates at a women’s prison in Kingston, Ontario.
Until her appointment to the Tribunals, she served as vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.  She is also is a life member of L’Association des Juristes d’Expression Francaise de l’Ontario.
Throughout her career, Louise Arbour has published extensively, in both English and French, in the fields of human rights, civil liberties, gender issues and criminal procedure.  In addition, she has performed editorial work on behalf of the Criminal Reports, the Canadian Rights Reporter, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and La Revue Générale de Droit, and has been a guest speaker at many conferences and presentations throughout the world.
She was inducted into the International Hall of Fame –- International Women’s Forum in 2003; the same year in which she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the American College of Trial Lawyers, and won the Médaille de la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal.
Louise Arbour was born in Montreal on 10 February 1947.  She is fluent in French and English.
Louise Arbour was the chief prosecutor of the United Nations Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She has previous experience as a judge on the Canadian Ontario Appeals Court and as a Deputy Attorney General of Ontario. Louise Arbour has been responsible for prosecuting cases against war criminals in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Louise Arbour oversees more than 200 people from 50 countries that compile and analyse evidence. She has worked in concert with the UN, the military and other authorities to track suspects and find strategies for arresting and securing convictions.
Louise Arbour believes passionately in the importance of a strong and independent International Criminal Court and an independent Prosecutor. In July 1998, more than 120 countries agreed to establish the worlds first International Criminal Court. - See the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court link at http://www.un.org/law/icc/index.html for more detailed information.
Once ratified by at least 60 countries, the International Criminal Court will be based in the Hague in the Netherlands and will have 18 judges from different countries. It will try cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and wars of aggression, even when the international community is divided over a conflict.In the future, it will have the authority to try individuals for reigns of terror of like Cambodian Pol Pot, Ugandian Idi Amin or Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and individuals responsible for gross violations of human rights.
Louise Arbour is featured on Global Heroes / Heros du Monde a Canadian multi-media site in French and English, profiling Canadians working to promote human rights, democracy, justice and peace throughout the world. Created as a educational resource by Canadian students and teachers, the site profiles inspiring Canadians endeavours to make the world a better place. An excellent teaching resource for secondary school students, the site includes stories from Indonesia, Mali, Guatemala, Peru, Angola, Tajikistan and Canada to name just a few of the countries featured. The International Criminal Court, Labour Rights, the struggles for Democracy, demining stories from Cambodia, the forgotten conflict in Tajikistan are just some of the issues covered.
The site requires users to have Shockwave installed, and includes audio and video interviews, radio news stories and photographs, and links to Human Rights sites around the world. A Passionate Connection, the multimedia section of Global Heroes was created to promote the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
by Global Heroes Online

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