Professor Cotler was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Ben-Gurion University on Tuesday, June 7th 2016.
Professor Cotler was robed by Justice Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel, and was presented the Doctorate by Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University.
The citation, upon presentation of the Doctorate, read as follows:
“In recognition of an illustrious legal scholar, who has dedicated himself to upholding justice and protecting the rights of all people; with admiration for the Chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights; for his struggle against oppression wherever it may be found; with appreciation for an advocate of liberty, for his relentless endeavours on behalf of political prisoners and all those denied their freedom of speech… With the utmost respect for a visionary leader who, during his tenure as Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, led ground-breaking legislation in aid of the struggle against racism and hate, and transformed the Canadian judicial system into an exemplar of equality; in gratitude to a true friend to the State of Israel, whose actions embody all that is good and noble in the humanistic values of Judaism; and with esteem for a peacemaker, who has worked tirelessly to obtain equality for all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and has as a result, made the world a better place.”
On the occasion of receiving the Honorary Doctorate, Professor Cotler delivered the Irene and Hyman Kreitman Annual Memorial Lecture on “Pursuing Justice: Defending Political Prisoners – from Sharansky, to Mandela, to Badawi”. Interestingly enough, Anatoly Sharansky and Nelson Mandela had previously received Honorary Doctorates from Ben-Gurion University.
You may also wish to see the following pieces, which appeared in the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel: