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Human Rights Champion To Speak

Member of Parliament and former Canadian justice minister to present Klutznick Lecture

March 25, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Irwin Cotler -- a champion in the global struggle for justice, peace and human rights -- will deliver the annual Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization Thursday, April 7, at Northwestern University.

His lecture, “Human Rights Derailed: Delegitimizing the State of Israel,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Ryan Family Auditorium in the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Cotler was elected to Parliament in 1999 with 92 percent of the vote, in what was called “the (century’s) most stunning electoral victory.” As an international human rights lawyer, he defended high-profile prisoners of conscience, including South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, Nigerian playwright and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and Arab democracy advocate Saad Edin Ibrahim.

Dubbed by a leading Canadian magazine as “Counsel to the Oppressed,” Cotler led the Canadian delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide. His dedication to human rights and humanitarian causes has earned him the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest civilian honor) and 10 honorary doctorate degrees.

Cotler, now professor of law emeritus at McGill University, was at the forefront of the international struggle against apartheid and the architect of legal remedies against racism in Canada.

Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick established the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization in 1986 at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The Klutznick Lecture is presented by the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Although admission to the lecture is free, reservations are suggested. For reservations or more information, call (312) 357-4675 or visit http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/jewish-studies/events/.

Topics: Campus Life