A professor from the University of Windsor will receive a prestigious award in Washington in April.
Chile Eboe-Osuji accepts an award for her work for international human rights and accountability – as a lawyer, teacher, scholar, prosecutor and international civil servant.
The award is called the Goler T. Butcher Medal and is awarded by the American Society of International Law. It also came as a surprise.
“I feel very elated by this. It was not something I expected,” Eboe-Osuji said. “When it happened, I was here in Toronto preparing my course for my students at the University of Windsor and I got this email from the American Society and it was a letter and I was very much in it. , greatly delighted. “
Eboe-Osuji said it was his family who initially pushed him towards justice.
“You have parents who encourage you in a certain direction (…) my father helped me a lot to move towards the law and I accepted it, I did not rebel. I was not due. rebellious kind, ”he said.
Born during the Nigerian Civil War, Eboe-Osuji said it left “a lasting impression on his mind” but that his work in international law was “a fluke.”
In 1997, while practicing law in Toronto, Eboe-Osuji said that a colleague asked him to serve on the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
From there, his full resume continued; He is President of the International Criminal Court and has served as a judge for the organization for almost 10 years, and has served as legal advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – while teaching law and human rights. political science at the University of Windsor and Lancer University.
Despite this work, Eboe-Osuji is quick to point out the work that remains to be done abroad and at home in Canada.
“Progress has been made, in fact progress has been made in the midst of a horrific global experience of WWII,” he said, referring to the formation of the UN and the recognition of the fact that “human beings have a role to play in international human rights”.
But the genocide continues, he said, and it is almost as if 1945 had been forgotten.
“Canada has come a long way, this country has accomplished important things, some on the world stage,” said Eboe-Osuji.
Windsor morning9:11International award
“The reconciliation project is important to continue it and ensure that we are convinced that the lessons of this experience have been learned,” he said.
“And Canada too, I believe, can return to what it was known for during the days of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, as an intermediate power that was the voice of conscience among the nations.”
A positive step is to see more non-white Canadian judges, he said.
Eboe-Osuji will receive this award on April 7 in Washington, DC
For more stories about the experiences of black Canadians – from anti-black racism to success stories within the black community – check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.