University of Pittsburgh
December 17, 2006

Former Canadian Justice Minister to Speak at Pitt Law School Jan. 11

The Honorable Irwin Cotler's talk is titled "Hate, Genocide, and Human Rights"
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Center for International Legal Education and the Global Solutions Education Fund will present the 15th Annual McLean Lecture on World Law featuring the Honorable Irwin Cotler, a member of Canadian House of Commons, at noon Jan. 11 in the Barco Law Building's Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. This event is free and open to the public.

Cotler's talk is titled "Hate, Genocide, and Human Rights." He has been a member of Parliament since 1999 and was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General by the Canadian Prime Minister in 2003. A fervent advocate for human rights, gender equality, and minority representation, Cotler is the founder of the Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition, cochair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, executive member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and an honorary member of the Liberal Women's Caucus.

Perhaps most significant in terms of this lecture, Cotler is a preeminent international human rights lawyer. He has served as counsel to former prisoners of conscience Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Jacobo Timmerman in Latin America, and Muchtar Pakpahan in Asia. He also served as international legal counsel to imprisoned Russian environmentalist Aleksandr Nikitin, Nigerian playwright and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the Chilean-Canadian group Vérité et Justice in the Pinochet case, and Chinese Canadian political prisoner, Professor KunLun Zhang. More recently, he served as counsel to Professor Saad Edin Ibrahim, the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world. His approach in such cases has been held up as the model for a new "genre" of human rights advocacy.

Cotler is the director of the Human Rights Programme, chair of InterAmicus, and a law professor at McGill University, Montreal. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Yale Law School, and is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.

The McLean Lecture on World Law honors the memory and contributions of Maclean W. McLean, a founder, executive director, and executive vice president of the Pittsburgh World Federalist Association chapter, now Global Solutions Education Fund, Pittsburgh.

This lecture has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one hour of substantive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. There is a $25 fee for credit. For CLE details, call 412-648-7023 or e-mail For more information about Pitt's School of Law, visit