Defending Defenders: The Right to Know Rights | The Advocate, January 2021

“Defending Defenders: The Right to Know Rights,” by Catherine Morris, The Advocate, January 2021.

Abstract: The first two decades in this millennium have seen dramatic increases in risks to those reporting or protesting rights violations or advocating human rights, particularly in relation to land rights, environmental issues, and climate change. The protection of human rights lawyers and defenders around the world requires knowledgeable advocacy based on international human rights law and standards. In Canada, relatively few lawyers have studied international human rights law in law schools or through continuing professional development (CPD).

Lack of systematic human rights education in Canada has resulted in gaps in knowledge for lawyers wishing to engage in international advocacy to uphold the rule of law and protect lawyers and other defenders at risk because of their human rights advocacy. CPD can be costly, and lawyers need to focus their training dollars on seminars directly related to the domestic practice of law. LRWC addresses these gaps by provide international human rights education free of charge. This report describes a few LRWC publications and other educational initiatives over the past decade.