RWCHR Chair Irwin Cotler Receives Heintz Award for Humanitarian Achievement


Described as " a Champion of Human Rights " by those in attendance, RWCHR Chair Irwin Cotler was awarded the prestigious Heintz Memorial Award for Humanitarian Achievement by a gathering of the world's leading international lawyers.

The Award recognized Cotler as "a compassionate visionary dedicated to the pursuit of justice who leaves a legacy in International Humanitarian Law." Past recipients include Nuremberg Trials Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz, human rights campaigner Sergei Magnitsky, and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, among other luminaries.

Presented at the International Humanitarian Law Dialogues, the event brought together the founding Prosecutors and Presidents of the world's International Tribunals and Courts, along with other top international legal experts. The historic gathering was organized in partnership with the Robert H. Jackson Center, named after the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who served as Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi War Criminals.

In the words of the Jackson Center, "Cotler has been a long-time champion of human rights and supporter of modern international criminal law. As Minister of Justice for Canada, he made the pursuit of international justice a government priority. As an international human rights lawyer, he served as counsel to numerous prisoners of conscience, including Nelson Mandela. His continued work in founding the Raoul Wallenberg Centre places him at the center of human rights advocacy."

The EU Reporter has called the Heintz Award "one of the world's most prestigious individual achievement prizes."