International Human Rights Day: An overview of the UN Human Rights System | Webinar on 10 December 2020

UPDATED: See the speaking notes for Marcia Kran’s lecture on the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

10 December 2020
If you attended: 1.5 hours of CPD credits available for BC and Ontario lawyers

Organized and hosted by
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
12:30-2:00 pm Pacific | 3:30-5:00 pm Eastern)

Free of charge (donations welcomed to cover costs)

1.5 hours of Substantive CPD credits (Ontario and British Columbia)

(scroll down for more information)

2020 is the 70th Anniversary of UN Human rights Day and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada is marking the day with a webinar for lawyers, law students and others explaining the UN human rights system.


  • Marcia Kran, member of the UN Human Rights Committee
  • Catherine Morris, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Executive Director
  • Harini Sivalingum, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Board Member
  • More about the presenters

Learn about UN Treaty Bodies and the UN Human Rights Council. What do they do? Who are their members? How do people advocate in these bodies?

Who should attend? Lawyers, law students and others wishing to learn more about the UN human rights system.

This webinar is the inaugural event in a series on UN and regional human rights treaties and mechanisms. Subsequent events will feature UN human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Convention on Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples , the Inter-American human rights system and other topics.

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of Canadian lawyers and other human rights defenders who work for the protection of human rights advocates in danger around the world. LRWC also promotes the implementation of international human rights standards for protection of the independence and integrity of legal systems.

More information: | .PDF Poster

Pre-Register Here

About the presenters

Marcia V. J. Kran is an international lawyer and political scientist from Canada. She has been an expert member of the UN Human Rights Committee since 2017. Before that, she was Director of Research at the UN Human Rights Office Office in Geneva. Earlier, at the UN Development Program she led work on democratic governance, rule of law and sustainable development in two regional centres as Head of Policy and Programmes at the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok and Governance Practice Leader at the Regional Centre for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in Bratislava. Former roles include: National Justice Program Manager at Open Society Justice Initiative in Budapest; Policy Counsel on international issues at the Canadian Department of Justice in Ottawa; Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice officer at the UN in Vienna. Her very first career after law school was as a Crown Prosecutor in Winnipeg.  She currently lives in Vancouver, and usually commutes to Geneva for her Committee work except for November 2020 when session was held online.

Harini Sivalingam is a PhD Candidate in the Socio-Legal Studies program at York University in Toronto, Canada, pursing research on how legal processes shape and influence the journeys of maritime forced migrants. Her dissertation research examines the lived experiences and decision-making processes of Tamil forced migrants who arrived in Canada aboard the MV Ocean Lady and MV Sun Sea.  Her research interests include forced migration studies, critical security studies, critical race theory, and post-colonial studies. Harini obtained her LL.B. at Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto) and her LL.M. in International Comparative Law at McGill University (Montreal).  She has worked as a lawyer in private practice in the area of immigration and refugee law, and at a community legal aid clinic providing legal information, advice, and assistance to social benefits receipts, workers and tenants. Harini has been a community organizer and activist in Canada for over 20 years.

Catherine Morris is LRWC’s Executive Director. She has taught graduate level courses in international human rights, negotiation and conflict studies at universities in Canada, Southeast Asia and Europe. She is a Research Associate of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) at the University of Victoria and a former Executive Director of the UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution. Ms. Morris has been involved in the planning and presentation of workshops for senior officials, civil society leaders, academics, and professionals in several countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Her research and writing has resulted in publications and papers on human rights, dispute resolution, and peacebuilding. She has authored or contributed to numerous LRWC statements and reports and serves as LRWC’s Main Representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council. She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association.