Louise Arbour

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Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ (born February 10, 1947) is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She has since July 2009 served as President and CEO of the International Crisis Group.[1]


Early life

Born in Montreal, Quebec to Bernard Arbour and Rose Ravary, the owners of a hotel chain, she attended convent school, during which time her parents divorced. As editor of the school magazine, she earned a reputation for irreverence.

In 1967, she graduated from College Regina Assumpta, and proceeded to the Université de Montréal where she completed an LL.L. with distinction in 1970. She became the Law Clerk for Mr. Justice Louis-Philippe Pigeon of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1971-1972 while completing graduate studies at the Faculty of Law (Civil Section) of the University of Ottawa. She was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1971 and to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1977. She was made a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2007 "for her contributions to the Canadian justice system and for her dedication to the advancement of human rights throughout the world".[2] She was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2009.[3]

She has received many honorary Degrees, including Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of Western Ontario in June 2000,[4] Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University in May 2001,[5] and Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of British Columbia in November 2001,[6] the University of Waterloo in October 2006,[7] in June 2009 from the University of Alberta[8] and University of Guelph,[9] and from Simon Fraser University in October 2009.[10]

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