York U forum will examine Canadian government action on issues related to torture


TORONTO, January 4, 2013 – The Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School will hold a special forum on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 to discuss Canadian policies and actions on issues related to torture.

The forum will focus on topics such as the use of evidence in Canadian courts obtained by means of torture, recent federal directives on sharing information with foreign powers, and the government’s position on torture in armed conflicts such as the Afghan conflict.

Parliamentarians, former civil servants, journalists, advocates and academics will take stock of how the federal government has treated issues of torture in recent years, notably in light of the conclusions of relevant public inquiries held over the past decade.

Professor François Tanguay-Renaud, director of the Nathanson Centre, will introduce the topics at 12:30pm, followed by three panels:

Evidence of Torture in the Courts: The Immigration, Criminal, and Civil Contexts (12:40 to 2:20pm)
Prof. Benjamin Berger (Osgoode Hall Law School) (Panel Chair)
Barbara Jackman (Jackman, Nazami & Associates)
Anil Kapoor (Kapoor Barristers; Special Advocate)
Prof. James Stribopoulos (Osgoode Hall Law School)
Lorne Waldman (Lorne Waldman and Associates)

Evidence of Torture & Executive Action: The CSIS, RCMP, CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) Issues
(2:30 to 4:10pm)
Prof. Ron Atkey (Adjunct, Osgoode; first Chair, Security Intelligence Review Committee (1985-89)) (Panel Chair)
Raymond Boisvert (Former Assistant Director, Intelligence (CSIS))
Prof. David Cole (Georgetown University)
Prof. Kent Roach (University of Toronto)

Evidence of Torture & Armed Conflicts: Afghan Detainees and Other Cases

(4:20 to 6pm)
Prof. Amir Attaran (University of Ottawa)
Murray Brewster (The Canadian Press)
Dr. Walter Dorn (Canadian Forces College)
Dr. Chris Madsen (Canadian Forces College)
Craig Scott (Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth) (Panel Chair)

WHAT:  “Evidence of torture in Canada: the new normal of official complicity”
WHEN:  Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 – 12:30 to 6pm
WHERE: Osgoode Hall Law School, Ignat Kaneff Building, room 1014, York University
MAP: Building 32 on MAP

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Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
416-736-5820/ vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca